After having to sit out the first half of this season due to an injury he suffered during football season Junction City’s Aryus Jones completed a perfect season and earned his first ever State Championship.
“When you break your leg, you start to realize how many things you take for granted and stuff,” explained Jones. “I couldn’t even walk for the longest time and to see how much I’ve progressed since late October to now, it’s incredible.”
Months of rehab allowed him to return about mid-season and the chase to the championship was on.
“I just couldn’t stand going to wrestling tournaments and watching my teammates perform without me, watch people at #160 win, and it just drove me crazy to think that I could be out there, I could be doing that.”
Jones was the only Blue Jay to advance to the championship finals in the State Tournament this year, picking up wins by tech fall, major decision and a decision on his way to the championship. In that final match Jones went up against Trent Miles of Washburn Rural, a wrestler he’d faced twice prior, once at the centennial league tournament where Jones won by tech fall, and again at regionals where Jones won in a 10-7 decision.
The championship match appeared to be the perfect opportunity for Miles to pull off the upset, but Jones wasn’t going to let that happen, and in fact the match was over just about as fast as it started with Jones picking up the win via fall in :30 seconds.
“I knew going in there that he had seen a couple of takedowns before, because we had wrestled a couple of times. I thought this kid is going to be tough, so I snapped his head down, saw the open leg and went for it. Had a little bit of a scramble, at about the end of it I saw his head close to his knee, and I figured why not go for a cradle and try to end it fast, and I ended up getting it.”
Jones can now take a small break and enjoy the offseason as the Class 6A State Champion at 160 pounds, but he don’t expect that break to be real long as he plans to get right back at it to begin preparing for next season, as he will look to defend his title as a senior at Junction City High School.