IVC senior incredibly resilient

Wrestling Adversity

By Marc Strauss

July 15, 2010 Updated Feb 13, 2008 at 8:01 PM CDT

Two–time state champion Jeff Bybee has wrestled with more than his share of adversity these past two years.

"I've been coaching 17 years," said Grey Ghosts wrestling coach mark Kosinski, "and I've never seen a kid deal with what Jeff has had to deal with."

The IVC senior will wrestle in the state meet this weekend, but it took mental toughness that rivals his physical strength to get there. In December, Jeff's mother Kelli died after battling brain cancer. Bybee missed the first 3 weeks of the season, but has won 26 of his 27 matches. His mother would be very proud.

"I do everything for her - my grades, my wrestling. It's what she wanted from me."

The passing of his mother is only the latest setback Jeff's overcome. In November, 2006, he lost a finger in shop accident, yet 3 months later he qualified for sectionals. But during the sectional semifinal Jeff broke his leg and had to forfeit. So, this trip to state is a long time coming.

"I want to dominate my senior year," says Jeff.

At 26-1 and ranked number-one in class-A at 145 pounds Bybee has achieved the dominance he desires.

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