Chaz Zickus became the first South Jones discus thrower to capture a Class 5A boys title in 2018 as a junior and followed with a two-peat in 2019. Wednesday at noon, in a small ceremony inside the South Jones Gymnasium, Zickus received his championship ring in front of school administrators, coaches, family and friends.
“Chaz came to South Jones his sophomore year,” said track coach Matt Smith. “This is my first year as the track coach. Coach [Roger] Satcher was with him the year before. He came in this past year having won the title the year before hands down. It was like there was no competition for him. This past year, though, was a little different.”
In his senior year, Zickus won his second consecutive title despite finishing second in district and south state competition.
“I’m very excited and proud that I was able to do all of that,” Zickus said, “but it’s because of hard work and a practice.”
Training among the best also helped Zickus achieve repeat title performances. He trained with Tom Pukstys - the 2012 US Olympic Throws Coach.
“We have a close friend who was an Olympic coach,” said Zickus. “He was the coach for the London 2012 Throws team. So I’ve had the honor of going and training with him out of state in places like Baton Rogue and Chicago.”
Zickus won the 2018 title with a throw of 140 feet and one inch. This past season he captured his second with a throw of 144 feet and 11 inches.
It wasn’t exactly the titles Zickus said he took pride in, it was helping his teammates qualify for state.
“I enjoyed teaching my teammates how to throw and a few other things,” said Zickus. “I helped one teammate in particular get third place in state this year. I felt like that was more of an accomplishment than me actually winning because he went from not qualifying for state last year to placing in the top three this past season.”
Having graduated from South Jones in May, the now two-peat South Jones alum is currently waiting freshman year at Jones College and plans to head into the medical field.