Elijah Jacobs making most of final year with FSHS wrestling

photo by: Chris Duderstadt

Free State's Elijah Jacobs pushes John Redmond's shoulders toward the mat in the Firebirds' dual against Olathe Northwest on Thursday at FSHS.

Since the first day of his senior year, Free State’s Elijah Jacobs couldn’t wait until the start of the wrestling season.

Jacobs has been involved in other sports throughout his career, but wrestling remains his true passion. Jacobs wants to wrestle at the collegiate level, and he’s been committed to achieving that goal since joining the Firebirds.

This is the 10th year that Jacobs has been wrestling at a competitive level, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I just love the intensity,” Jacobs said. “You can push your limits, and keep going. It is being a part of a team that is really helpful with you. It is just a family thing.”

Jacobs, who is 9-1 on the season, is making the most of his final year on the mat at the high school level.

This season, Jacobs is the top-ranked wrestler in the 145-pound weight class in Class 6A via the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association. He is one of four Firebirds to be ranked in the latest poll, joining Lou Fincher (No. 2 in 126), Joey Eddis (No. 5 in 170) and Devin Beers (No. 4 in 182) in the latest poll.

As a team, Free State is ranked No. 9 in Class 6A. Jacobs has been a big part of that, embracing a key role for a talented team.

“He went from not being a qualifier at all to placing at state last year,” FSHS coach Mike Gillman said. “He’s got progressively better. He’s got a will to win, and he’s a fantastic kid. He’s a great person to have on the team.”

Placing at state last spring remains Jacobs’ favorite moment in his 10-year career as a wrestler. For Jacobs, the fifth-place finish in the 145-pound weight class proved that all his hard work was worth it.

“It was a big moment for me,” he said. “It showed that I am capable of doing something.”

Rather than be complacent, though, Jacobs worked even harder in the offseason to be better in his final campaign.

Jacobs has improved his foot work and learned how to finish off his shots. He’s worked on getting out of unfavorable situations, while also increasing his stamina to avoid being tired in the third period.

The improvements were on display during the Emporia Invitational on Dec. 15, as Jacobs netted first place in his weight class to propel Free State to a team title. He won by a major decision over Topeka High’s Matthew Cutshall in the championship match.

In the end, though, Jacobs only cares about winning that last match of the year to secure some hardware.

“I want to finish on the top of the podium,” Jacobs said.


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