Noah was born on July 11, 1996 in Lakeland, FL via an emergency c-section when his mother became extremely ill and it was determined that his vital signs had ceased. Six weeks premature and still-born, he was revived and placed in the NICU unit. His mother was told that his chances were not good and they could do nothing but wait.
Defying Medical Assessments
His parents were told over the course of Noah’s first year of life that his growth would most likely be stunted, he would be physically weak, have poor health, have physical disabilities, possibly be mentally impaired, have extremely poor eyesight and have significant hearing loss. As he grew his parents watched for signs of these challenges, yet despite the medical community’s persistent urging that something would definitely develop that would be considered a disability – Noah grew stronger, taller, with a keen sense of hearing and razor sharp vision and was a quick learner.
At the age of five he broke his left arm at the elbow while playing. While at the emergency room he was given Ketamine as a sedative. A highly controversial sedative for humans Noah fell into the demographic of children who have an adverse reaction to it. Over the course of one week’s time he went from being “Student of the Month,” to not being able to remember how to count, read, recite his alphabet or even hold a pencil. His dexterity became non-existent and an uphill battle of physical side effects from the drug began to emerge. Three months later with no rehabilitative help available from the school it was recommended he repeat the school year. Refusing to accept this as the only option his parents removed him from standardized school and began educating Noah at home as he had to relearn everything using more interactive methods not available in most schools.
A core value Noah has always been taught is that you cannot accept mediocrity as a goal just because others would tell you it’s the best you can hope for. No one knows your true potential, but you and there is always a way. With effort, persistence, patience and belief – anything is possible.
Music – Music – Music
As Noah grew he developed an interest in guitar playing. His mother had read that playing an instrument was found to open channels in the brain that allowed dexterity to build and made the mind sharp. Noah purchased his first guitar when he was nine at a Toys R Us with a birthday gift card and some money he had saved. His mom had made a deal with him – “You buy the guitar and I’ll pay for the lessons.”
He began taking lessons from a gifted musician, Larry Pearre, who came recommended by a local instrument and music store. The Jeffries would learn over time that he was also the Dean of Music at a Christian college in Tampa as well as the praise and worship leader of a church in Tampa and a professional musician. He is someone who over the years became not just Noah’s teacher, but his friend as well. Larry had a strict policy that you must learn to read music and understand the theory of it, before just sitting down and trying to bang out a tune heard on the radio. This concept helped Noah immensely as learning to read music and the dexterity learned in the practice of playing the guitar increased his academic skill as well. His reading and all standard school work excelled.
Over the course of the next six years Noah learned electric guitar, bass guitar, banjo, acoustic guitar, mandolin and dobro. The deal remained in place, “You buy it and we’ll pay for the lessons.” Any instruments which were not gifted to him he paid for himself, putting them on lay-a-way, saving and paying for them over time. He also taught himself to play harmonica, piano and is now also working on violin. Larry has been given the opportunity to record his own music and write a book and 2011 is his final year as a teacher. He has recommended Noah to an advanced instructor and Noah will continue on with David Smith. Noah has been invited by Larry to be a session player on future recordings.
One of the World’s Strongest Young Men
Noah’s father, Bud Jeffries, is a professional performing strongman, author and strength coach. Spending hours in gyms and beside squat racks was a normal place for Noah to be as he grew. Due to his father’s work he had the opportunity to meet many athletes and coaches and learn from them. He seemed to be a natural at the feats of strength and whether it was the constant exposure making it seem that these gifted athletes and levels of strength were the norm or a good dose of prime genetics – Noah quickly became one of the world’s strongest young men performing in strongman demonstrations from the age of six. His first feat of strength was bending a cold-rolled piece of 1/4″ steel bar.
Today he travels, speaks and performs with a strongman show for youth groups, community outreach programs and school assemblies speaking out against bullying and using his own circumstances to address success, commitment and never giving up when everyone else says its impossible whether it be in sports, academics, or socially.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Through his father who competed in martial arts, Noah became interested in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Today he studies with Ross Kellin, a world champion and phenomenal coach for professional grapplers. Due to Noah’s size and strength levels he was placed in the adults’ beginners white belt classes at the age of twelve and learned the basics only seeing it as fun. One year ago in 2010 he became very interested and began wanting to commit more of his time to training in BJJ. In July of 2011, one week after turning 15, Noah won the COPA America Nationals Teen division in his class. He also took 2nd in the men’s open division. In 2012 Noah won the Florida State COPA in his Teen division and then again took 2nd in the Men’s Open White Belt wt division. He continues to study with other amazing coaches such as Roger Kessler and Marcio Gracie.
Enter the Shooter
Since Noah was a small child his grandfather took him hunting and camping. Target practice became something he enjoyed doing and would spend hours shooting at paper targets in a wooded area with a BB gun under supervision. As he grew older he developed strong interests in the military, history and the police force. He was drawn to those endeavors and expressed a desire to one day either be on the police force or in the military.
In January of 2010 his aunt mentioned to him that a group at her church, The Trinity Sportsmen, was having a fund raising event which was a sporting clays charity shoot. Noah had never shot at clays or had any exposure to the sports which surround them: Sporting Clays, Skeet, Trap and 5-Stand. Skeet and Trap are in the Olympics though Sporting Clays has not made it there yet. She gave him the flyer where it stayed on the refrigerator door for a month. Three days before the competition his mother asked him if he was still interested in competing in the event. He stated he was and she suggested they go to the clays range where he could at least practice it one time. She said, “If you’re going to do the event you might want to at least shoot at clays one time before the competition.”
The first day shooting from the 5-stand he hit 35 of the 50 thrown. They returned the next day where he then hit 45 of the 50 thrown. The following morning was the day of the event. Noah won top junior and came in 3rd overall with a final score of 44 out of 50. He was hooked. For the next several months he competed nearly every weekend at any event he could find. He consistently won top Junior in every event, and was the High-Over-All or in a shoot-off for HOA or 2nd nearly every time. People in the area involved in the sport began to take notice of him saying his skill was bizarre and he was a natural. At his 4th event while shooting alone a team of older gentlemen noticed him and his scores and asked if he would like to shoot on their team for the day as they were one man down. He agreed, he won the junior division, was in a shoot off for 2nd place and their team won overall. After that he was a permanent member of their team. Jack Martin, Mike Duncan and Gary Cole – Noah calls them his own personal League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
In April of 2010 his family learned that the Southeastern Regional Trap competitions were taking place only an hour from their home. Just having been introduced to trap one week prior by a great competition shooter and friend, Bill Hecker, and doing extraordinarily well, Noah chose to enter. It wasn’t until arriving at the event that they learned the competition is the 3rd largest in North America. In a field of over 600 competitors Noah placed 9th in the Sub-Junior division.
For all of the sporting clays events Noah had done which were charity shoots, the targets are set softer than high-end competitions. It was suggested by the shooting range Noah normally would practice and compete at that he try an NSCA (National Sporting Clays Association) registered shoot. He did and learned the intense competition level these targets were set at and he found his new passion. In May of 2010 the Florida State Championships were being held in Okeechobee and Noah had set his sites on making it there. He shot the NSCA competitions necessary to earn the targets to be able to qualify to compete at state.
The entry fee for state, regional and national level competitions is significantly higher accompanied by travel expenses. Noah buckled down and came up with the idea of growing corn on his families’ farm area where they grew a hobby garden. Posting ads on Craig’s List he sold out of bushels of corn within 48 hours and had a large portion of his expense covered. Two local area businesses chipping in and with his grandparents’ help he was able to make it to state, competing for the first time after having only been shooting for three months. He came in 5th in the junior division. One year later in the 2011 Florida State competition he came in 2nd in his class division and was the top male in the Sub-Junior division. He qualified for the US Open and Nationals.
At the 2011 Southeastern Regionals in Trap in a field of over 800 competitors he placed 5th in the Sub Junior division. It was here that two Olympic coaches took interest in him and should he choose to has the ability to train for the US Team to compete in the 2016 Olympics.
In October of 2010 Noah competed in the Polk County Builders Association charity drive where he competed against the Polk County Sheriff’s team for the 3rd time that year. In that event he won the the Top Junior, Men’s Overall, High Overall and his team won as well. It was the first time Noah was able to meet Sheriff Grady Judd in person who is one of his heroes. Sheriff Judd gave the awards presentation at the event and Noah was asked by the Sheriff’s team with Capt Kevin Widner and Lt Larry Williams if he would like to compete on their team the following weekend at the Sheriff David Gee competition in Lithia, FL. He was deeply honored by this and accepted.
At that event in a field of over 200 competitors of sharp shooters, SWAT officers, and military personnel, Noah won the Junior division and placed 2nd over all scoring a 47 out of 50. The winning score was a 48. In March of 2011 he was asked again to shoot with their team at the Sheriff Grady Judd fundraiser for the families of fallen officers. He again won the top Junior and was 2nd High Overall with a 49 out of 50. It is one of Noah’s greatest honors to be asked to compete with these officers and to have helped raise money for these great causes.
Since then Noah has placed in the top 10 in AA division at Nationals in 2012, 2nd in Sub Jrs in AA at Nationals, from January to March of 2013 he competed in the Triple and won both the Junior division and the AA Title. Noah also won Sub Jr at Florida State in 2012, and in then again in 2013 won Juniors, and Master 1, and the .20 Gauge HOA.
In 2013 he met Jack Concannon, an amazing champion, coach and master gun smith. Noah had his gun stock rebuilt by Jack at the beginning of 2013 when the original broke. During that time he was fortunate enough to have some lessons with Mr. Concannon which helped him tremendously. In August of that same year, while training for IBJJF Worlds, Noah tore the costachondral cartilage which adjoins the ribs to the spine. He was told no movement for three months. This backed into NSCA Nationals in 2013. One week before Nationals Noah was once again blessed to have the opportunity of training with Jack for an intense four days of coaching. Having not touched his shotgun three months he was still able to go Nationals and place in the top 10 in Juniors – he feels, thanks to Jack Concannon.
Community Involvement – Toys For Tots
Noah is also committed to involvement in the community and in December of 2011 he will be hosting a charity shoot for something close to his heart. Christmas has always been a large celebration time for him and his family. In 2010 with all the events he competed in not one was for children at Christmas. A week before Christmas as he left the field from another fund raiser he asked why no one did one for kids at that time of year. He said, “Christmas was always so amazing for me – I always feel badly for the kid’s names on the trees at Walmart and the kids in homes who don’t have a family, but I don’t have money to do anything about it. I wish I could do an event for them!” In summer of 2011 he didn’t forget that idea and began to make arrangements to host a Toys for Tots fundraiser on December 3, 2011. He’s hoping to make it an annual event.
Goals for the future
Academically Noah elected to attempt to graduate early in 2012 just before his 16th birthday and he achieved that goal. He has been offered opportunities with several law enforcement bodies for scholarships while he is building college credits. He has many opportunities available to him and is committed to making sure his future choices are those which protect and serve his community and country, whether he is in law enforcement or the military.