Hart becomes All-American at Senior Nationals
By Mac Banks
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. – Fort Mill High senior Jake Hart finished as runner-up at 152-pounds in the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va. falling to a future college wrestler.
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Hart fell in the finals 3-1 to No. 1 seed Jacori Teemer from New York. Teemer is a five-time state champion who is committed to wrestle in college at Arizona State next year. Teemer won his first state championship in eighth grade and then cruised through high school winning four more coming away with a career record of 202-5. Himself a 200-match winner, Hart came into the senior nationals as a seventh seed and said he didn’t feel any pressure about needing to perform well.
“I am happy with my performance,” he said.
Hart, who will be going to wrestle at Virginia Tech next year, said he felt like coming into the tournament and not feeling any certain expectation to perform benefited him in the long run.
“I think it definitely helped,” he said. “I am already committed to a college. I already won a state title. There was really nothing for me to lose.”
Temmer scored on Hart with a takedown with less than 10 seconds left in the first period in the finals. He would then get an escape point in the second period to get his three points in the match. Hart’s lone point came in the third period as well off of an escape.
“He was really strong,” Hart said. “The hardest part was trying to keep him in ties.”
Hart went undefeated in the tournament before meeting Teemer. In the opening round, he beat Noah Supsie from Pennsylvania by pin, then beat North Carolina’s Philip Daub 7-3 and Illinois’ Jack Tangen 6-3 before getting a pin against Lavinsky Collins from New Jersey to move onto the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, he beat Utah’s John Manning 7-1 and then Connecticut’s Ryan Luth 3-1 in the semifinals.
Despite the loss, Hart becomes Fort Mill’s 13th All-American in the wrestling program with a finish eighth or higher. He was looking to be the fourth national champion out of the program behind Max Simons, John Brotemarkle and A.J. Leitten, all of which won them as underclassmen, or at the middle and/or elementary school level.
“He moved further in the tournament than we had any senior go,” said Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock.
Fort Mill’s only other representation this year was Josh Cizmadia at 145-pounds, who went 2-2 in the tournament in the sophomore division.
Indian Land had nine representatives scattered throughout the tournament from the senior, junior, sophomore and middle school divisions. The Warriors had five of their wrestlers picking up wins with Marketith Drakeford doing the best by going 3-2 in the sophomore division at 145-pounds. Also getting wins were eighth grader Max Yegge (100), sophomore Xavier Dreese (138), junior Austin Ross (113) and senior Kyle Daley (152).
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM