Kendrick Jones, Hahnville High School senior and back-to-back Class 5A state championship wrestler has also been named a two-time All-American and the third best wrestler in the nation.
Jones has also committed to Iowa Central Community College for the 2016 season.
Iowa Central boasts eight NJCAAA-ICCAC national wrestling titles since 1981. The Triton wrestling team won the national title every year from 2006-2010. They are also the 2015 National Champions.
Notable alumni are Jon Jones, former national champion at Iowa Central and current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and Cain Velasquez, also a former national champion wrestler with the Tritons and current UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Iowa Central assistant wrestling coach Mark Rial said the coaching staff is excited to get Jones to the school.“We want to prepare him both athletically and academically,” Rial said. “To get him entrenched in our program and give him the type of exposure that will fulfill his and our mutual goal of transferring to a Division 1 program.”
Jones was invited to participate in the Cliff Keen USAW Folks Style National wresting tournament in Ceder Falls, Iowa earlier this month, where he faced fierce competition in the 200-pound weight class. The two-day event featured wrestlers from across the country with each wrestler competing in three matches per day unless eliminated.
The first day Jones won all his matches with ease. He said he was excited about the second day, and a little anxious.“I had to wait what seemed a long time for my first match,” Jones said. “But I finally was called to the mat and I was ready.”
Jones faced a USA world team member and won the first of three, two minute periods with a score of 2-1, but in the second period the experience of his opponent got the better of Jones and he was pinned. “I hate to lose,” Jones said.
In the second match, Jones was determined not to lose again, much less get pinned. His determination paid off, winning 9-2 in the six minute match.
Winning the third match of the day put “The Hulk”, as he likes to be called, up on the podium. “I felt like a king,” Jones said.
He said he worked really hard to improve himself and his wrestling technique. “Last year I was just thinking about winning,” Jones said. “This year I thought about what I had to do in order to win.
I guess you could say I matured, learned what my coaches wanted me to learn and tried not to be just coach able, but teachable.”