Ledford earns state title, Panthers finish eighth

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Daivon Ledford celebrates his state title win with head coach Jason Powers. Roxanne Andreasen/For the Paper.

Daivon Ledford has been one of the most competitive challengers for the Jackson County Comprehensive High School wrestling team and this weekend he solidified his status by earning a state title. Ledford, who competed in the 170 weight class, has broken records this year and has kept a very significant streak alive in the Panthers’ wrestling program.

“Daivon has had a season that will go down in the record books. He dominated his opponents all season, accumulating 17 technical falls on the year,” said head coach Jason Powers. “He gave up less than 30 points in his 48 matches this year and only lost one match, which was to an eventual 6A state champion. He has had one of the most dominate, possibly the most dominate, season in school history and he was able to top it off with a state title.”

“Daivon is now the fifth wrestler in Jackson County history to be a three-time state placer,” said Powers.

Ledford has been the contributing factor in keeping JCCHS a name to remember in the high school wrestling realm.

“Daivon kept the streak alive of having a state finalist in each of the last six seasons and [is] the fifth state champion in the last six years and the third state champion in a row,” said Powers.

The Panthers sent four wrestlers to the state tournament with three making it to the next round. Conner Andreasen and JT Wood joined Ledford for a chance to get a medal, however, Andreasen and Wood’s route to the finals was difficult. Wood could not seem to get a break and ran into an old foe that sent him home early but will be returning next year.

“JT had a very tough bracket at the state tournament this year with four previous state placers in his bracket. JT had to face the wrestler that put him out of the state tournament last year in the first round. JT came up short in that match but was able to battle back to win his next match to allow him to place.. JT came up short in his consolation semi-finals match and then suffered a very narrow 5-4 defeat in his fifth/sixth place match to the same wrestler that he lost to in his first match. JT is only a junior though and has one more year at the state tournament. I expect that he will have a great offseason as well and will be ready to take on the state tournament next year,” Powers stated.

Like Wood, Andreasen’s day on the mat was no walk in the park. After losing in the semifinals, he turned the major setback into a major comeback and finished the day in third place.

“Conner had a great finish to his senior season with a third place finish. He had his eyes set on the state finals but ran into the eventual state champion in the semifinals and lost. He then was able to wrestle his way back to a 3rd place finish which is a great accomplishment. Conner set himself apart from the fourth, fifth and sixth place finishers. He won his three matches at the state tournament by a tech fall in his 1st match, pin in his consolation semi-finals match and then won his third place match by a score of 9-2,” said Powers.

“Conner has had a great high school career and to cap it off with a third place finish at the state tournament was awesome. I am very proud of what he accomplished not only this year, but over the past tree years as well,” Powers said.