The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

January 22, 2013

Crosby excels on the mat and in the classroom

OTTUMWA — Jason Crosby is the quintessential student athlete.

The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont High  School wrestler’s pedigree on the wrestling mat and in the classroom harkens back to a simpler time when the complex nature of sports celebrities were more or less spared from the intense glare of the media spotlight, a time before the ubiquitous eye of the press callously ushered these Zeus-like figures down from their pedestals and forever shattered the veil of innocence that shielded fans from the foibles of their favorite sport’s stars.

Yet, right here in southern Iowa is a young man who appears to be imbued with all the traits attributed to those mythic athletes of yesteryear. Crosby, who is ranked sixth in Class 1A at 138 pounds, is the real deal — one would be hard-pressed to find a moral stain of failure on his academic or athletic record.

The Rocket wrestler has compiled more than 30 victories and suffered only three losses this season. He is one of the many reasons coach Brett Little’s wrestling squad’s record sits at 18-1 this season. Crosby never misses a practice or a meet. He assists in fundraisers for his team. His GPA? A flawless 4.0, the highest in his senior class.

“He’s always doing what he’s supposed to do,” wrestling head coach Brett Little said, “not always what he likes to do, not what’s going to be the most fun, but what he needs to do to be the best at both [academics and wrestling].”

He does everything right. That’s a standard even the saintliest people would have trouble living up to. But, thus far, Crosby appears to have pulled it off.

“He goes above and beyond what’s expected of him and that’s how he stays where he’s at,” Little said.

Little credits Crosby’s parents, Lynn and Craig, with instilling him with lessons on the importance of work ethic and accountability at an early age. Crosby said his parents taught him to “get good grades and do the best I can at everything and be the best kid I can be.”

In his junior wrestling season, Crosby qualified for state and was named first team all-conference. The season, however, was not without its adversity. Crosby leaned heavily on a near arm far leg shot — which Little said he could do as well as anybody — but wrestlers and coaches eventually got hip to his scheme and began planning for it accordingly. The pre-match preparation sometimes worked, as Crosby suffered two 1-0 losses at state.

So this season, coach Little and Craig Crosby, who also is the assistant coach on the wrestling team, worked with Jason on broadening the number of shots in his  repertoire. The Rocket wrestler has added three more shots to his arsenal, which made wrestling him a more arduous task.

“I can take more people down because I have more shots available to use than just one or two,” Crosby said.

What sets Crosby apart is both what he chooses to do and what he chooses not to do. Not everyone is disciplined enough to deny himself a chance to attend a a high school basketball game because he’s got to study for a test, Little said.

“I have to make those decisions a lot,” Crosby said, “I still have some time to hang out with friends, but I’m trying to study a lot more and cut back on that.”

And while it will be hard to replace Crosby because of his 150 career victories, Little said, it may be even harder to replace the standard the senior wrestler has set for his teammates to aspire to.

“Whenever you have a kid who is willing to do whatever it takes in his personal life and in the classroom, it’s a good role model for all those kids,” Little said. “Your grades don’t have to be sacrificed to be a great athlete. And he’s walking proof of that right now.”

But before he departs, Crosby has unfinished business to take care of.

“I’m very competitive,” he said. “I always want to win no matter what I’m doing no matter what it is. I really want to win a state title as a team and individual.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 0419 OTT Sports Hogue and McKay photo Big day for Hogue, McKay By KEVIN PINK IHCC Information Department Former IHCC teammates take part in ISU's big day at State Capitol Big day for Hogue, McKay

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports Ashley Salgado photo Former OHS star Salgado signs with Converse College OTTUMWA -- Former Ottumwa star athlete Ashley Salgado has signed her National Letter of Intent to play women's basketball at Converse College, a NCAA Division II institution in Spartansburg, SC. Salgado played two seasons at Marshalltown Community Co

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports IHCC baseball photo Falcons remain in first after sweep at Muscatine MUSCATINE — Friday provided the first-place Indian Hills baseball team with two very different games at Muscatine. Fortunately for the Falcons, the results were the same. IHCC remained tied atop the region with Iowa Western after sweeping the first t

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports IHCC golf photo Warrior golfers boast big lead at Illinois invite SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — After one round, the Indian Hills men's golf team boasts a 15-stroke lead in the Blue Boy Invitational Friday with a score of 296 strokes. Jakob Garstecki spearheaded the Warriors' success by firing the top score of the day at 72

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419 OTT Sports softball color photo Warriors suffer sophomore day sweep to Southeastern OTTUMWA — Jim Overturf has been coaching junior college softball for over two decades. In that time, Overturf has seen over two decades worth of days dedicated to celebrating a departing class of sophomore players. In his experience, Overturf has see

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albia boys have record-setting night at Waukee WAUKEE — Alex Schultz turned in a pair of outstanding performances at what ended up being a record-setting night for the Albia boys track and field team at the Waukee Invitational. Competing as the lone Class 2A school against some elite competition,

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Sports Ottuwa Conference photo Ottumwa AD talks about possible conference change OTTUMWA — Tom Kopatich has plenty of experience with the Southeast Conference. Kopatich, the athletic director for Ottumwa High School, coached the Ottumwa football team when the Bulldogs belonged to the conference. So what does he think about a pos

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Tap Saturday Boys Soccer Ottumwa at Waterloo West Invitational, 9 a.m. Oskaloosa at Winterset Tournament, 10 a.m. College Golf Indian Hills at Buena Vista Spring Invitational (Storm Lake) College Baseball Indian Hills at Muscatine (DH), Noon College Softball Indi

    April 18, 2014

  • Ottumwa boys track ties for seventh in Urbandale URBANDALE — The Ottumwa boys track and field team tied for seventh place with Des Moines North at the Chuck Silvey Invitational at Urbandale Thursday with 11 points. The Bulldog boys 4x400 team of Roger Cruz, Matt Moreland, Jalen Strunk and Osha Wyl

    April 18, 2014

  • Clarification Clarification: The Ottumwa boys tennis team competes at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Dan Staggs Courts against Ankeny.

    April 18, 2014

NCAA Tournament Scoreboard
Sports photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook