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Rose Hill wrestler Jake Wilson is hoping to win a state title at 138 pounds this year.

Rose Hill wrestler Jake Wilson is hoping to win a state title at 138 pounds this year. Travis Heying/ The Wichita Eagle | Buy this photo

Getting to know Rose Hill’s Jake Wilson

Published Dec. 12 at 3:22 p.m. | Last updated Dec. 12 at 3:23 p.m.

Jake Wilson

Rose Hill wrestling

Wilson, a senior, is ranked second at 138 pounds in Class 4A. He finished third in 4A at 132 pounds as a junior, and was fourth in 4A at 126 as a sophomore. His goal is to go undefeated and win state.

Do you love everything about wrestling?

“Not everything. Especially with making weight and stuff, those nights where you can’t eat or drink a certain amount of water, that’s the hate part of it. It’s made me want to quit wrestling. But the feeling of winning, I can’t get away from that.”

Is losing weight before matches difficult?

“This year, I took a different approach to it. I stayed away from the losing weight part — 138 is around my natural weight. My freshman year was when I wrestled 112, and it was pretty difficult. I was weighing 128 some weeks. It really took a toll on me throughout the year. It’s brutal. Every week you have to lose like 10 pounds in a week. Then you make weight and eat all that food and then lose it again. Then your body is tired.”

How have you improved as a wrestler?

“Every year I feel like I’ve taken big steps. It’s the preparation aspect that has gotten more important as I got older. I’ve learned to practice harder and be dedicated. It’s improved my technique.

“I was a really successful wrestler in middle school. I lost like once in middle school. Coming into high school, I thought, ‘I can win by going out there and doing what I do. It’s natural talent.’ I went to state my freshman year and got pounded, beat down. Working with (coach Drew) Anderson a couple years, working hard and focusing on the small details, that’s what makes you better.”

How do you focus on technique?

“For me, it’s all in my head. I’ll sit in my room and watch wrestling videos, over and over again. The moves I want to learn, I watch, I watch. Every detail, I take in. I want to learn how I can do a move and how I can do it my own way. It’s really a thinking process. I learn by watching other people wrestle.”

What’s your relationship like with Anderson and assistant Tony Ponce?

“Coming into high school, me and Anderson bumped heads a lot. I didn’t want to listen to him. Then we saw eye to eye and we hang out. If I want to get in the (wrestling) room and practice, I text him that I want to work out. We’ll be in the room working out in 15 minutes. With Tony (we work out) often. He has a mat in his garage. Usually Sundays or whatever day we don’t have practice, I’ll tell him, ‘Hey, I need to get in a room and practice,’ and we’ll spar for an hour and a half or whatever.”