Throughout the 2017-18 high school sports season, we will name a weekly Sentinel Athlete of the Week every Monday night highlighting the on-field performances of some of the area’s best high school competitors.
MECHANICSBURG — Adam Jacob’s postseason coming-out party was delayed by a year — entirely th…
This week’s athlete is East Pennsboro wrestler Adam Jacob. The 106-pounder, seeded No. 3, took down two of the top seeds in his bracket during the District 3 Class 3A Section III Individual Wrestling Tournament: Cedar Cliff’s Aiden Lewis (No. 2) 6-1 in the semifinals and Cumberland Valley’s Ben Monn (No. 1) 4-3 in TB2 in the finals.
The title comes one year after the sophomore took fifth at sectionals, just two days after getting a cast off of a broken arm that he suffered in a snowboarding accident.
Q: You won your first sectionals title. What was that like?
A: It was truly an amazing moment. I couldn’t compare the feeling to anything else. But honestly, I am really humbled about it all. This championship was just one step towards that state podium. Celebrating can come after I have a state medal hanging around my neck.
Q: You beat two of the top seeds in your bracket to win that title. What was that like?
A: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad bit intimidated coming into this tournament. I mean, I went from being an honorable mention at 113 in the district to the third seed at 108. My name had nothing really built around it in the high school community, but I definitely wasn’t gonna let seedings, records or accolades dictate my performance.
Q: Was it more special to win your first after going through the broken arm last season?
A: I think that breaking my arm last season put a huge chip on my shoulder for this year. Last year I think I did have a real chance to make it to states before I broke my arm, and to have that dream get stripped from you for something as dumb as snowboarding was a real heartbreak. But now it’s definitely nice to see that chip on my shoulder fading due to all the sacrifices I made.
Q: Is there anything you’re taking away from sectionals to apply to district competition?
A: There’s so many things I learned just from wrestling at sectionals. I paid real close attention to all my opponent’s matches, watched my videos over and over, and I think I’ve found a few really beneficial things I could work on these next couple days. Three days lie between me and my next match, so there’s no reason I can’t learn just a few more things to make my performance just that much better.
Q: Are there any sports you’re watching in the Olympics?
A: I’m not really much of a big TV watcher, even in the offseason, but I often do cardio at Planet Fitness and the Olympics are always playing. I’ve seen figure skating, snowboarding and skiing and it fascinates me to see these high-caliber athletes competing. As I’m running there, dripping sweat to make weight, it motivates me to watch these athletes winning gold medals.
Q: Any sports you’re waiting to see medals handed out in?
A: Ironically enough, the sport I enjoyed watching the most was snowboarding. Because I do have a tiny bit of a background in the sport and understand how difficult it is, I watched that U.S. teen [Chloe Kim] win a gold medal. Snowboarding is a really cool sport, but I just don’t think in my best interest to do it, especially with a couple gold medals of my own within reach.
Q: What countries are you rooting for in the Olympics, and in what sports?
A: I honestly wouldn’t say I’m rooting for any specific countries or athletes in any sport. I believe gold medals are earned by those who work the hardest. Of course it’s really nice to see that those gold medal athletes come from the U.S., considering it’s my home country, but the medals deserve to go to those who go the extra mile for it.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of wrestling?
A: I’m definitely a really big outdoor person. Have been my entire life. I love hiking, fishing, hunting, camping and so much more. After this season, I definitely plan to take some time to rest my mind and enjoy some of those hobbies. Too much of anything isn’t good for you, that’s why I like to make sure I don’t base my entire life around wrestling, but also the other things that make me happy too.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A: If I could have any job in the world I would probably choose to be a marine biologist. Fishing is probably my favorite hobby, so when I catch things I light up with so much wonder and curiosity about these marine creatures.
Q: Who inspires you the most in life?
A: This question is simply impossible to answer. But I guess the best thing I can say is that it’s not a single person, but a group of people. I’m inspired most by the people who are dream chasers. Those that have been told they can’t do something. Those who aren’t affected by the opinions or words of others. I’m surrounded by a lot of these people everyday. My parents, my brother and sister, my coaches, my wrestling teammates and so many more. These people are my biggest inspirations in life.
Q: Do you have a quote or saying that you live by?
A: My favorite saying by far is, “Hungry dogs run faster.” Well this dog has been hungry for 365 days and is still on the run.