Bobcats honor wrestling icon
Larry Jackson inducted into MHS Hall of Pride; Marshalltown falls to No. 7 Ankeny
In a pre-meet ceremony to honor former Bobcat standout Larry Jackson, Marshalltown High School head wrestling coach Mike Mann hoped his squad would get all the motivation it needed to knock off seventh-ranked Ankeny.
The inspiration only worked so much for a Bobcat starting lineup so shorthanded.
Marshalltown surrendered five forfeits to the Class 3A No. 7 Hawks, and Ankeny left the Roundhouse with a 55-20 victory in Thursday’s CIML wrestling match.
Ankeny won five of the eight contested matches — four by bonus points — in spite of wrestling without three of its six ranked competitors in the lineup.
The Hawks were ahead 22-0 by the time MHS sophomore Luke Hageman got the Bobcats on the scoreboard with his 8-0 major decision of Porter Drost at 132 pounds, but Marshalltown didn’t strike again until Dylano Castellanos started the team’s strong finish with his major decision at 170.
“We went over to huddle before we came out for the introductions, and I didn’t need to say much more,” Mann said, recognizing his former Bobcat teammate Jackson. “If you don’t get inspired by a story of a Marshalltown Bobcat coming back here and all the great things he did and all the teachers that helped him — more important even than the wrestling part — I can’t help you.”
Marshalltown honored Jackson, a 1981 graduate, for his November induction into the Iowa Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame while also inducting him into the MHS Hall of Pride. Jackson was a team captain for head coach Phil Henning and voted the team’s Most Outstanding Wrestler in 1981 at 155 pounds. Jackson finished fifth in the state tournament that year, before continuing his academic and athletic career at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls.
“This award means so, so much to me,” Jackson said. “The people here at Marshalltown High School made a big difference in my life, and I can never, never thank them enough. Thank you all for celebrating this with me.”
Jackson was a NJCAA National runner-up in 1982, going 33-2 in helping the Panthers place third as a team. The following season he was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the District Tournament and he went 37-0 on his way to an NJCAA National championship.
Jackson was selected to the All-Iowa Team in 1982 and won the 1983 Pan-American Games in Cali, Colombia.
Jackson, who was enshrined into the Ellsworth CC Hall of Fame in 1997, went on to wrestle at Iowa State from 1983-1986. He placed third in the Big 8 Conference Tournament in 1985 and qualified for the NCAA Championships.
During his 25-year head coaching career, Jackson spent nine seasons at Ballard and 16 at Des Moines East, helping to guide 54 state qualifiers, 12 placewinners and one state champion while compiling 150 career dual-meet victories.
Jackson also donated his time, energy and knowledge to the Hammer Time Wrestling Academy in Des Moines for the last 12 years.
“He’s always been a great inspiration, a great success story,” said Mann, a 1978 MHS graduate. “If that didn’t fire up the kids, I don’t know what to say.”
Three of Marshalltown’s four wins came in the final five weights, as Castellanos delivered a 16-6 major decision over Gage Ouverson at 170. The Bobcats forfeited at 182, and Ankeny’s William Hinrichs edged out Gannon Williams for a 5-3 decision at 195.
Marshalltown’s fifth-ranked Carson Williams accepted Ankeny’s only forfeit at 195, and Julian Gomez closed out the dual with a second-period pin of Zach Pelinski.
“There were some good things Dylano did, Luke Hageman did, but some of the other guys are still not adjusting to what the other guy is doing and they’re not taking the tie-ups that they need to be taking,” Mann said. “We’re getting a little better on our defense. We’re still working on trying to get guys to adjust to the things that we’re showing them and we’re a little bit perplexed why they’re not making those connections.
“We just keep drilling the same things and trying to get them to go through that and hopefully they’re going to connect the dots and put their technique together and finish a move. You saw some moves tonight that we executed and then we didn’t finish. We’ve got to put a couple moves together offensively on our feet and from underneath and on top.”
Marshalltown moves on to visit Des Moines Lincoln on Saturday for a 9 a.m. tournament.
Ankeny 55, Marshalltown 20
106–Benjamin Hansen (A) pinned Ivan Pantoja, 3:33; 113–Fnu Maihan (A) major dec. Damien Rodriguez, 11-3; 120–Isaac O’Toole (A) pinned Hector De La Cruz, 3:37; 126–Cael Cox (A) won by forfeit; 132–Luke Hageman (MHS) major dec. Porter Drost, 8-0; 138–Alex Cox (A) pinned TJ Whitehead, 1:38; 145–Ryan Allen (A) won by forfeit; 152–Caleb Rathjen (A) won by forfeit; 160–Xander Kenworthy (A) won by forfeit; 170–Dylano Castellanos (MHS) major dec. Gage Ouverson, 16-6; 182–Cade Bennethum (A) won by forfeit; 195–William Hinrichs (A) dec. Gannon Williams, 5-3; 220–Carson Williams won by forfeit; 285–Julian Gomez (MHS) pinned Zach Pelinski, 3:23.