116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
FAYETTE — People find different things between the time they leave for college as big kids and graduate as young adults.
Jackson Joens and Jackson Foley found friendship in a familiar face — a face that began as a foe.
“We didn’t really care for each other in high school but we didn’t know each other too well,” Joens said. “When we got here, we clicked and have been roommates for the last two years. It’s been a really cool experience.”
Joens grew up in the Catholic school system and graduated from Xavier, a two-time state champion with over 1,000 career points.
“Xavier has a really cool community where everyone comes to everything,” Joens said. “It was really nice to get those accomplishments and share them with other people.”
Foley was raised in Swisher and his mother, Lisa, is a longtime teacher for the Cedar Rapids public schools, which led to him attending Kennedy for his prep career. His father, Steve, works in Coralville and was also a big influence on his life.
“It was a joy to go to school every day,” Foley said. “The teachers were amazing and supported all of us.”
Although both Jacksons enjoyed their prep careers in Cedar Rapids, it wasn’t very likely they’d end up teammates in college.
Joens committed to Upper Iowa in June of his junior year, just a month after receiving the offer.
Foley’s path was slightly longer.
“I would say I was under-recruited and I jumped at the opportunity knowing (Upper Iowa) was a D-II school and I could prove myself and have that chip on my shoulder,” Foley said. “I do have to remind (Joens) that Kennedy beat Xavier five of the six times we played.”
Now the two have completed four years together with an option for a fifth next season, thanks to the bonus COVID year many student-athletes are choosing to utilize.
Joens is studying business administration with an emphasis in sports administration and has already interned within the Peacocks’ athletics department. His plan is to consider his options now that Upper Iowa was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Division II Central Region Championships, 65-60, by top-seeded Augustana (S.D.) earlier this month.
Foley has already decided to return for his super-senior season while he completes his student teaching, in hopes of one day becoming a social studies teacher and coach.
“Being in a small town, you get to know (teammates) all really well and so leaving that will be tough,” Foley said. “The success we’ve had will be something to look back on but also something we’ll miss out on as well.”