After working hard throughout the winter months, Bettendorf wrestling is ending the regular season with 12 state wrestlers, the MAC Coach of the Year, and a district title. After its big district win, the buzz on Saturday night belonged to Bettendorf wrestling.
Senior Will Jefferson plays a large role not only on the mat but also as a role model for younger athletes. While he remains a competitor, Jefferson doesn’t want the younger wrestlers to lose sight of the fun aspect of the sport. He said, “Just have fun. Enjoy it while it lasts.” Jefferson finished seventh last year and is looking for a state title this year. “It’s Senior year. I want to go out with a bang. I gained some weight and I’m going for the dub,” Jefferson said. He is not the only senior on the team who is going to state. That list of seniors also includes Rylan Hughbanks, Voyen Adamson, and Alex Blizzard.
Blizzard, who was injured last year, is back and looking for a state win. “Being able to be back on the mat was a great feeling. Watching everyone last year and not being able to wrestle drove me to work harder this year,” Blizzard said.
Blizzard, also a senior on the team, tells younger wrestlers, “Everyday work harder. Get better and better every day and eventually, it will all come together.”
Junior Aiden Evans will be attending state this year for his second time. Evans said, “Hard work, dedication, discipline, you’ve got to put the time in to be good. You get out what you put in. There’s no cutting corners, and you can’t really cheat.”
Evans is also planning on earning a higher ranking in this year’s state tournament. “I had an injury last year, so I feel like I can do better this year.”
The Bulldog wrestling team is at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. They will be wrestling in the State Dual Team Wrestling Tournament on Feb. 13 and the IHSAA State Wrestling Tournament on Feb. 14-16.