By: Logan Jaquay
My senior season of wrestling was sure one to remember thanks to everyone here in the Eisenhower community. Without my wonderful family, coaches, practice partners, friends, fans, teachers, and staff and administration of Eisenhower, accomplishing my goals would have been impossible. I cannot thank all of these people enough for pushing me to be the best that I can be and all the support they gave me for one last run in Hershey.
As I cut my last little bit of weight and had my final practice ever in the Eisenhower wrestling room before heading to Hershey, the team and I had a light practice and played some games. Coach Black looked at me and said, “You know Logan, it’s kind of bittersweet for me as this was your last practice here.” I looked back at him and said, “Well I guess I didn’t think of that,” and jokingly said back, “It was kind of a sucky practice for my last one here at Eisenhower,” knowing that he has prepared me for four years for moments on the big stage in Hershey. As we finished practice, we had a brief discussion about the warnings that the PIAA gave out about the newly spreading Covid-19 virus. We really didn’t think much of it as we left practice, but, looking back at after two months of shutdown, we were so lucky for the opportunity to compete for state titles in Hershey.
The next day at school we were again briefed about the warnings the PIAA had released regarding Covid-19. Once again, not thinking anything of it, the staff and students of Eisenhower gave Cael and I one last good luck send off. Words cannot describe the amount of thanks I have for the students of Eisenhower as they wished me luck one last time.
Before getting in the van, which was a bit of a downgrade from the week before when we had a brand-new Lincoln that was totally loaded in the best features possible, my biggest fan, Gabe Walters, gave me a little snack bag for the trip to Hershey. I would like to personally thank Ms. Walters and Gabe for the snacks. Although I was unable to eat on the way down since I had a little bit of weight left to cut, I was able to eat the different snacks throughout the weekend, and the Girl Scout cookies were delicious.
Once we got to Hershey, my guys Easton Hedman and Cole Chapman, along with my brother, Gannon, kept me and Cael light and in good spirits the whole time. As we warmed up on Wednesday, I found a heads-up penny. I saved it, knowing it would bring me good luck throughout the weekend, especially since I found a heads-up penny on my pillow at the hotel my sophomore year at the hotel at states and came home with a state medal. I still have both of these pennies today.
After winning my first match, I was feeling good going into day two, only needing one win to medal. After winning my second match and making the semi-finals I was guaranteed a top six finish. At this point, my phone was blowing up with all the support from everyone back home. This really lifted my spirits and, after talking with Coach Black, I was ready to let it fly in the semis, and I had nothing to lose. Even though I lost a close match to a nationally ranked kid, I wasn’t done yet. I knew I had a ton of fight left in me from all the support from the Eisenhower community. Wining my next match set me up with another nationally ranked kid for the third and fourth place match. This last match was brutal. After losing most of the match, I fought back to tie it up, sending the match into overtime. After three overtimes, we were into the fourth and final overtime. Although I was unable to score and ultimately ended up losing the match, I knew I had given my “best effort” as coach Johnson had taught the team all season. Once again, the community of Eisenhower was so proud of what I had accomplished that it kept me in good spirits. Once again, I cannot thank everyone enough for all the support and words of encouragement that helped me reach my goal and coming home with a fourth place state medal.
A big shout out needs to go to my old coach, Andy Johnson, and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Warren City Police, who organized a police escort through Warren and back to Sugar Grove, where the Fire department had arranged a little parade to greet us as we returned home. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and was an awesome way to end my senior season. I want to thank Andy and everyone who helped make this possible.
As I sit here in this Covid-19 shut down writing this article, I realize how lucky I was to complete my senior season. It was one week after I returned from states that everything was shut down and school was canceled for the rest of the year. I cannot thank the PIAA and school board enough for allowing me to finish my season, despite the warnings and rumors that were circling about Covid-19. It would have been devastating not being able to finish the season at the state tournament.
Although everything is shut down right now and seniors are missing out on senior activities, I remain positive in this difficult time. The way I look at the whole situation is that there are worse things out there happening to people than missing out on a senior graduation or a senior prom. As my wresting coach Denny Johnson would say, “Control what you can control,” which he had preached to us every day in the wrestling room. We cannot control what is going on with everything being shut down due to Covid-19, but what we can control is our attitude. Instead of being upset about not being able to have a graduation and senior prom, I keep a positive attitude that I’m not dealing with this deadly virus firsthand as some people in the world are. Keeping this positive attitude and being fortunate, I have been working at my uncle’s race shop everyday doing what I love, besides not being able to wrestle.
To wrap up this article, I want to thank everyone again who supported me back in March, as I was able to accomplish my goal bringing home another state medal. Also, I encourage everyone to stay positive during these difficult times, by controlling what we can and not worrying about what we cannot.