With the wrestling season coming to a close, one thing we can be certain of along with the astounding talent level of the team, is the relentlessness of senior Jacob Hartman.
Ever since he was a freshman, when he was starting on varsity, Hartman always was one of the top wrestlers in the WPIAL, at 132 lbs. he posted a record of 10-4 before his freshman season was cut short by a concussion.
The following year brought even more success for Hartman as he racked up 33 more wins. He also won a section title, and placed seventh in the WPIAL.
Going into his junior year, Hartman joined the football team and moved up to wrestle at 152 lbs. where continued his impressive high school record with 17 more wins, until he injured his elbow, ending his season.
After spraining his UCL and suffering from ulnar nerve damage, Hartman was in a brace for nine weeks. Determined to return to wrestling, Hartman returned for his senior year, only to injure his elbow once again after starting his season 15-4.
“It was my senior year and I had goals that I couldn’t just let hang over my head for the rest of my life. Also watching my teammates on the mat every day at practice and in competition was just slowly eating away at me,” Hartman said.
After a visit to his doctor, he was given some good news.
“The doctor told me he didn’t believe any structural damage will occur if I give it a try so I was on the mat that day because of how excited I was to be back,” Hartman said.
Wrestling in extreme pain, Hartman noted how he felt unable to compete at the same level he did before.
“It was tough but more frustrating than anything. I had to tweak my style a lot because I wasn’t as strong or I’d get shots of pain or numbness in certain positions that I was used to being in,” Hartman said.
Despite that Hartman made it to the WPIAL tournament where he placed second, earning himself a spot in the state finals in Hershey, PA; an incredible accomplishment for someone who, just weeks before, was told he would never wrestle again in high school.
At states, Hartman lost his first two matches by a slim margin, officially ending his high school career.
“I believe [my injury] highly affected my skill level because of all the time being off the mat and not being able to practice. My timing, technique, and conditioning was not at its full potential in my opinion,” Hartman said.
Even with an impressive high school record of 78-11, and making the highest honors list every year of high school, Hartman has decided not to pursue a college wrestling scholarship as he is entering the Carpenters Union.
“Next year I will be joining the Carpenters Union and getting into a 4-year program where I will be paid to learn carpentry,” Hartman said.