The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Jake Howell ‘Makes Wrestling a Lot More Fun’

Quinn Rudnick
Senior Jake Howell tackles a Valor wrestler during a meet on Feb. 2. Howell won the match, but Creek lost 45-24.
Quinn Rudnick

For most people, not thinking leads to dumb decisions. But for senior Jake Howell, it leads to success.

Although Howell grew up wrestling, his love for the sport only started later on in his life. “I hated it up until eighth grade,” he said. “Then I really started to realize I was good at it.”

Even though he started wrestling competitively relatively late, Howell’s talent and dedication to wrestling quickly began to show. In his first year wrestling for Creek as a sophomore, he was immediately placed onto the varsity team.

“His technique has just gotten better and better and better, after every season,” wrestling coach Michael Luhring said. “It’s credit to his hard work and dedication.”

His passion isn’t the only reason Howell is very successful. Throughout the years, due to constant drills and practice, he has been able to let his body do the work for him.

“During [a match] it’s nothing but muscle memory. I just shut my brain off,” Howell said. “Thinking usually creates hesitation, hesitation creates failure.”

All of Howell’s preparations have been working for him; he ranked third in the state 5A class in his weight class as a junior and has multiple tournament wins. His success doesn’t end there. Over Feb. 15-17, Howell competed in the Colorado State Class 5A Championship, and this year he placed second, winning three fights.

“I did everything I could. Obviously not the performance I would want, but that happens,” Howell said. “[When] you compete in anything there has to be a winner and a loser.”

While second place wasn’t the result he wanted, it’s nothing to be ashamed of; he only lost three fights over the entire season, all of them to the same wrestler.

“Overall I had a good tournament. I’m not going to let one match define it,” Howell said. “Looking back there’s nothing that could change really.”

Instead of using his status as the second best wrestler in the state to separate himself from others, Howell uses it to fulfill his role as Senior Captain, by helping his teammates succeed and make the sport more enjoyable for them.

“He makes wrestling a lot more fun to them, but at same time, he does demand a lot from his teammates,” Luhring said. “He has a good ratio of toughness and making games and practices more enjoyable for others.”

Howell’s impact isn’t just noticed by his coaches, but players close to him have also noticed his dedication and intensity towards wrestling.

“Jake always has his foot on the pedal when it comes to wrestling,” senior Henderson Cabell said. “Seeing that drive that he had and the success [it] brought him has helped me become the wrestler I am today.”

Howell’s career in wrestling won’t stop at Creek though. He’s already committed to wrestling for the University of Iowa and looking forward to a new experience, and a new opportunity.

“I went to a camp up in Iowa, and I just loved it,” Howell said. “The coaches, everybody, they’re all great wrestlers that just seemed like a perfect fit.”

Those close to Howell can see that his future is bright. Not everyone has the skill to get second in the state and go to one of the best-known colleges for wrestling.

“I’ll be very excited to see how he evolves even more under a new roof over at Iowa,” Luhring said.

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About the Contributors
Andrei Machado
Andrei Machado, Assistant Sports Editor
 I’m Andrei, I am a freshman, and this is my first year at the USJ. I also play soccer for the school, and I’m mostly doing journalism because my brother did it.
Quinn Rudnick
Quinn Rudnick, Junior Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor
Hello, my name is Quinn Rudnick, and I am a junior at CCHS - and this is my third year on staff at the USJ. This year, I am the Junior Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor. I hold a strong passion for both journalism and photojournalism, and intend to pursue a career in political journalism. As a journalist, I strive to present information to the student body and beyond in a factual and digestible fashion. I write a lot about local and global politics, as well as local theatre and events around the school. You can find me at a lot of Creek sports games, fueling my passion for sports photography and reporting. Outside of the USJ, I follow Formula One racing, the Nuggets and the Avs, and I love snowboarding.

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