When Jacob Powers was a middle school student in Appleton, he played basketball and wrestled.
When it came time to decide which sport he was going to focus on when he enrolled at Camden Hills High in Rockport, it was a no-brainer.
“Wrestling has been in my family for a quite while,” Powers said.
Powers’ father and two of his uncles wrestled for the Windjammers at the old Camden-Rockport High School. His younger brother Coleman, a sophomore, competed at 119 pounds for the Windjammers this season.
“There is no other sport like it,” said Jacob Powers, winner of the Maine Sunday Telegram’s most valuable wrestler award. “It’s a team sport, but it’s individual, too.”
Powers went 33-0 this season to capture his second consecutive Class B state championship in the 160-pound division.
“He’s a really dedicated kid to the sport,” Camden Hills Coach Levi Rollins said. “Every morning, he came in at six o’clock and practiced and got in shape before school. Then he came to practice every day after school and put his best effort in.”
During the course of the season, Powers also won outstanding wrestler of the meet awards at the Redskin Invitational meet in Sanford, the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championship meet and the Maine All-Star tournament.
“He’s just a powerful, quick, strong, strong kid,” said Rollins, who has coached the Windjammers for the past four seasons. “I’ve never had somebody on our team as strong as he is. He loves to lift weights and he’s really athletic.”
Powers went 3-2 last weekend while finishing fourth in his weight class at the New England high school championships in New Haven, Conn.
In the finals of the Redskin Invitational in January, Powers pulled out a 4-3 win in overtime against New England champion Nate Lawrence from Timberlane High in Plaistow, N.H.
“We were on different sides of the bracket, so I didn’t get to wrestle him at the New Englands,” Powers said.
Connecticut Class S state champion Dillon Carter of Nathan Hale-Ray High in Moodus eked out a 3-2 win against Powers in four overtimes in the semifinals of the championship round at the New Englands.
Wrestling isn’t the only sport Powers has competed in at Camden Hills.
Last fall, he rushed for more than 1,600 yards and scored 19 touchdowns to help the Windjammers post a 4-5 record in their second season of varsity football.
Last spring, Powers qualified for the Class B state track and field meet in the 200-meter run.
Powers intends to continue his wrestling career at Division I Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.
“The coach wants me to wrestle,” he said. “I’m going to see if I can get the spot at 165.”
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org