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Wrestling: Rich Central’s Jabari Moody to wrestle in international competition in Croatia in August

Jabari Moody Rich Central competes against East St. Louis' ChrishTucker for 106 pound match for Class 2A Quarterfinals State Farm

Jabari Moody, of Rich Central, competes against East St. Louis' Chrishon Tucker for the 106 pound match for the Class 2A Quarterfinals at the State Farm Center, Friday, February 21st, 2014 in in Champaign | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 21, 2014 4:03PM



Jabari Moody has journeyed far and wide to showcase his skills on the wrestling mat.

Now the Rich Central senior standout is set to travel farther than he’s ever gone before.

After a slew of notable wins, Moody earned a spot with Team USA for the FILA Junior World Team Championship in Zagreb, Croatia, starting Aug. 2.

The Harvey Twisters product conquered the 2014 National High School Coaches Association Folkstyle Championship in Virginia Beach, Virginia, then defeated two high school All-Americans at the World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin.

“I was very excited to make the team,” Moody said. “I had to beat the current Team USA guy (Glenbard North’s Kirk Johansen) in my weight class two out of three times for his spot. I was relieved when I beat him the second time.”

The trip to Croatia will be Moody’s first time abroad.

“I plan to do some sightseeing,” Moody said. “I’ll be going up against very high-caliber wrestlers, so I’ll have to stay focused. But I think I’ll be OK. I’ve been traveling all around the country for wrestling.”

In February, Moody was one of 10 wrestlers to win a state championship with an undefeated record. Rich Central coach Tony Markanich said he’s not surprised by Moody’s success on big stages.

“He’s put the time in since he was a young lad,” Markanich said. “His whole family — including his father, who helps coach him — has been role models for him to give 100 percent to their dream, which is to exceed as far as they can in sports.

“He’s always talked about wrestling in the Olympics, and now he’s one step closer to his goal.”

Moody plans to stay humble and continue working on his craft before the international competition.

“I’m excited to represent this country and my family,” Moody said. “I’m ready to bring home a gold medal.”



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