MANASSAS PARK, Va. (WUSA 9) — Brett Jenkins is the wrestling coach at Manassas Park High School and he has one clear goal for the Cougar grapplers.
“I’ve helped coach state championship teams but I want to be the head coach of a state championship team,” said Brett, who knows a little something about state championships himself.
“I won states in 1999 and I repeated in 2000 at the same weight class.”
But Manassas Park’s current head coach wasn’t the first Virginia wrestling champ with the last name Jenkins.
“I won a Virginia state high school championship in 1978 at 145 pounds,” said Brett’s uncle Greg Jenkins, who has been wrestling, coaching or refereeing the sport his whole life. It’s no wonder his son, Corey, took it up.
“He took me to practices all over and high school state tournaments when I was younger,” said Corey.
Greg Jenkins says there are no shortcuts to winning with wrestling. The Jenkins men credit their winning ways to hard work, commitment and dedication. That Jenkins work ethic rubbed off on Corey who was a state champ last year as a junior. It was a foregone conclusion he’d repeat this year and leave high school a two-time champ, but sometimes fate has other plans.
Corey blew out his knee in this year’s semifinal match.
“When I went to stand up, he returned me and I came down on my knee. I didn’t know what happened so I called time,” remembered Corey.
Brett and Greg Jenkins also remember the match vividly.
“I needed to get focused and not dwell on what happened, but inside I wanted to cry for him. It was heartbreaking,” said Brett.
Corey is rehabbing and could wrestle again if he chooses, but he said he wanted his senior year to be his last with the sport. Corey’s season didn’t end as planned, but no one can take away last year’s championship or the wrestling legacy the Jenkins have brought to the mat.