Javaan Yarbrough of Copley is a Junior Greco-Roman National Champion
State wrestling titles are forfeited in March.
They are won in Fargo, ND, in July.
Ask those who competed at the 16U and Junior Freestyle and Greco-Roman Nationals last week.
A total of 6,645 participants from 47 states took part in 13,101 games over the course of seven days to stand taller than anyone else in the country.
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It ended on Friday with the Junior Greco tournament. Copley’s Javaan Yarbrough won the title at 100 pounds.
Perry’s Aidan Fockler (285) also left the All-American after finishing seventh.
It is the fourth All-America honor for Yarbrough and the third for Fockler.
Yarbrough also has two high school national titles after winning the 16U Freestyle title last season.
“It motivates me, especially when you have a team on the side,” Yarbrough said. ” It helps me. Children come here and beat me. I beat them. It helps you learn.
Success goes far beyond the state level alone.
Over the past 16 seasons, 83.3 percent of NCAA champions have competed in Fargo at some point and 79 percent of All-Americans have done the same.
Yarbrough has seen a lot like Perry’s David Carr winning a national title at Iowa State. Fockler grew up watching Carr, so he knows how important that is, too.
Yarbrough showed just how much that can change in a matter of days in his semifinal match with Maryland’s Tyler Garvin, who got the better of Yarbrough in the junior freestyle final in a 9-6 win.
Fast forward to Friday and it was all at Yarbrough in a 9-0 technical fall.
When you’ve been to the finals four times in Fargo, you know what it takes.
Yarbrough never gave up All-American and regional champion Isaac Stewart of Montana. That added up to a 9-1 technical victory.
Javaan Yarbrough back on top
It was the fourth technology in five games for the star and put him back on top.
“Man, at first I was bad after losing in freestyle,” Yarbrough said. “Coming back here my coaches told me to clear my mind and do a good job. Trust them and you will get your money back for last year [Yarbrough was second in Greco as a sophomore].”
With another successful summer under his belt, Yarbrough now returns to the Suburban League where he hopes to race through the conference en route to adding a state title to his two national crowns.
Never overlook the four stop sign trophies he has. Fighting different styles against competitors with different tactics will only be useful when the folkstyle season begins in November.
“I’m much better,” Yarbrough said. “My competition helped me fight everything I was going through in freestyle. You must listen. You must listen carefully. Listen to your coaches. Listen to your friends. They help you get through things.
Aidan Fockler is back in force
Fockler knows how difficult this tournament makes you. He’s been through the gauntlet in four tournaments over the past two years and felt the grind.
“It’s a hard, gritty place that requires you to dig deep,” Fockler said. “You really have to work for everything here. There is great competition and great opportunities to progress in wrestling here.
Fockler opened the morning in a tough consolation semifinal with two-time Idaho State setter Shilo Jones. Jones, who was a state and regional runner-up this year, controlled the majority of the game and finished it with 1:09 left in a 17-6 technical fall.
This pushed junior Perry to the fifth-place game where another teammate, Wyoming High School’s Bruce Wagers, was waiting.
Fockler had to beat Mustafa Woodi of Shaker Heights to advance to the medal rounds, so a second game with someone from Buckeye State was nothing new.
The bets arrived as a regional champion, so it was more than just wrestling the Ohio team again.
Fockler kept his cool and won 10-2.
Now his attention turns to the high school season and a chance to win a state title.
“It’s definitely an advantage to wrestle here,” Fockler said. “You have a bunch of different styles from the top kids in the country. That’s a lot of great experience in wrestling.
Contact Brad Bournival at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bbournival.