Poteau's Jake Patterson - Athlete of the Month - Presented by Health and Wellness Center
In athletics, the pandemic has taught us that you can’t bank on competing tomorrow. But even before Covid-19 was on us, Jake Patterson has had to learn that lesson in wrestling the hard way. A talented three-sport athlete, Patterson is returning to the mat for his senior year for the first time in two years because of injuries.
“When I was younger, I told myself you’ve always got next year or the next match to get better. But with all these injuries I’ve discovered that next year is never guaranteed,” said Patterson.
Just because he hasn’t been able to wrestle doesn’t mean Jake hasn’t been busy. He plays cornerback and running back on the football team and is an outfielder on the Pirates baseball team. Outside of athletics, he is in the National Honor Society, president of the student council and in the science club. In describing himself, Patterson uses words such as perseverance, effort and preparation. And speaking of preparation for wrestling season, Jake, who wrestles at 195 pounds, says Covid has made it tougher.
“It’s made it harder to get ready when someone you’ve been wrestling one day is gone the next. The season has been so different with people in and out due to quarantining,” said Patterson.
His coach, Chris Ford, who himself missed some matches due to quarantine, is glad to have Patterson back on board this year.
“He’s a great athlete and a good kid. He’s a 4.0 student who’s a hard worker and hard-nosed.”
When it comes to people who have influenced his life, Patterson has a couple of good examples.
“I admire Tim Tebow because of the way he motivates people through his faith and he’s a good leader. As a leader I try to set the best example I can but you also need leaders who are vocal as well. The main motivator in my life is my dad, William, who is a Green Beret. Even though he’s gone a lot, the stuff he does is really hard and it’s impressive and I admire that,”
In his spare time Jake says he likes to hang out with friends. He plans to attend college upon graduation and possibly study something in the medical field.