State Champ James Jabaley Passes Away

Former Notre Dame Wrestler

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

"Everyone loved Jabo ... He was popular and had that infectious smile ... on the mat he had cat-like quickness, was tough and was known as a fine technician."

-- Notre Dame head coach John Mullin who was a teammate of James Jabaley in the mid-1970s.

 

In his final high school wrestling match (Feb.18, 1978), Notre Dame senior James Jabaley remembered his late brother, Charles, by wearing his old white uniform and won his third state title.

Today we remember "Jabo" with his infectious smile, unbelievable heart and tremendous toughness.

The former three-time state champ (1976-77-78) died Tuesday of cancer and left behind nothing but great memories for those who knew him.

A Funeral Mass will be held Mon. Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Catholic Church on Moore Road in Brainerd.  Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

"Not only did he have exceptional talent as a wrestler, but more impressively, he had an unbelievable heart which was a huge source of inspiration to those around him," said 1968 Notre Dame state champion Yogi Anderson who coached Jabaley for three years. "I am grateful to have been his friend and it was an honor to be his coach."

In winning that final state championship, he was also selected as the state tournament outstanding wrestler; the third Irish wrestler to be so honored following Pez Whatley (1969) and David Weeks (1973).

"James was always smiling and a nice guy, yet extremely tough on the mat," said 1975 East Ridge state champ Danny Gilbert.

"James was a great athlete and a great person. He was unique in so many ways," stated 1968 Notre Dame state champion Ken Mara.

One of four wrestling brothers, "Jabo", who lost two matches his final two seasons, led the Irish to district and region team titles as a junior in 1977 and joined with fellow Irish state champs Robbie Gaddis and Art Johnson to finish third in the state in 1978.

James Jabaley - Three-time state champion, Notre Dame

(also won district and region titles, twice)

State Finals

1976: 105 pounds ...  James Jabaley won as Tommy Bonner (East Ridge) defaulted due to breaking team rules

1977: 105 pounds ... James Jabaley (ND) dec. Greg Wingo,

1978: 105 pounds ... James Jabaley (ND) dec. Bill Barbee (Baylor)

 

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

 


Lookies Lose Second Straight Sunday At Smokies, 5-2

A four-run fifth inning broke a deadlocked 1-1 game and the Smokies went on to a 5-2 win over the Lookouts Sunday afternoon at Smokies Stadium. Inning-by-inning game  r ecap . Smokies starting pitcher Frank Batista tossed seven solid innings of one-run ball, while four consecutive run-scoring singles from right fielder Almora Almora Jr., designated hitter Kyle Schwarber, ... (click for more)

Lee Women Complete Three-Game Sweep of Christian Brothers

Lee scored a single run in the top of the 10th inning after holding off a Christian Brothers rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure a three-game sweep of the Bucs on Sunday afternoon. The Flames completed their Gulf South Conference (GSC) schedule with a 17-13-1 record. They will take a 29-17-1 mark into a non-conference game against visiting Tusculum College on ... (click for more)

Woman Injured, Man Dead After Shooting Outside Collegedale Walmart

One man is dead and a woman injured after a shooting near the Collegedale Walmart on Sunday afternoon. The man apparently shot the woman in the lower extremities prior to taking his own life. The incident was at the Game Stop in Ooltewah around 2:20 p.m. The woman was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds to the legs. (click for more)

Anonymous Facebook Posters Pose Possibility Of Signal Schools Separating From Hamilton County School System

"Should Signal Mountain Schools separate from the Hamilton County School System?"   That’s the question posted on a Facebook page titled, simply, Signal Mountain Independent School District.   The creators of the page do not identify themselves. “(W)e certainly don’t want our kids dragged into the issue or targeted for special treatment by any ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: FBI To Study ‘Lickers’

About 25 years ago there was a terrifying movie called “The Silence of the Lambs.” It was so good it won the Academy Awards in all five categories – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay. Further, Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster were brilliant, but do you remember the third “star?” Scott Glenn played a character named “Jack Crawford,” the ... (click for more)