After spending a number of years training in the sport of jiu-jitsu, Jacob Solkamans found a natural fit in the Orange Lutheran wrestling program. The OLu senior attended a Lancer wrestling camp as a freshman, and it was there that he discovered his high school athletics home.
“It’s a hard sport, but it’s good to know that you can go through something that hard,” says Solkamans. “I enjoy that, and I love the team. There’s a strong bond.”
The three-year varsity wrestler is competing in the 170-pound weight class this season with the goal of representing the Lancers at the CIF state meet. As a co-captain on the squad, Solkamans is committed to pushing his teammates to be their best on the mat, as well as off of it, in both integrity and compete level.
“Jacob is a young man of unbreakable character with a high moral standard,” says OLu head wrestling coach, Joe List. “He has this athletic ability that is really fun to coach, and his work ethic is something that is to be modeled. I know the school and the wrestling program have become better by having Jacob in it. I have big expectations for this young man. Whatever he chooses to do…he will excel and shepherd those around him to be better.”
To see success in wrestling, where the athletes are pushed both mentally and physically, Solkamans has learned that diligence and commitment are key.
“For me, I feel like I have learned about hard work and about staying diligent,” says Solkamans. “You can’t do wrestling unless you’re a hard worker, unless you’re pushing yourself. It’s just so difficult of a sport that you have to have those [attributes].
Solkamans still contributes to the jiu-jitsu community by working with local youth summer programs. He has also taken a strong interest in weightlifting, which has helped him see improvement in his wrestling technique.
The 17-year old would like the opportunity to wrestle in college and has an interest in studying kinesiology. His father, an OLu alumnus, provides him the motivation to keep up with the demands of the sport. And when challenges arise, Solkamans knows his faith will serve as a steadying force.
“I feel like whenever there are those hard moments in practice, you can always just ask God for help,” says Solkamans. “You’ll struggle through it. It’s not easy, but you will get through it. Afterwards, I can just remember that God helped me through this. He gave me the strength to get through this hard sport.”