Smarts a benefit for Buffalo Grove’s Jake Siebert

SHARE Smarts a benefit for Buffalo Grove’s Jake Siebert

Jake Siebert’s intellect serves him well — most of the time.

He’s one of the top students at Buffalo Grove, and he plans to study biomedical engineering in college.

“I like the idea of building something and being able to impact someone’s life using math and science,” he said.

On the wrestling mat, Siebert’s smarts can be a definite advantage. But occasionally, they can hurt him. His cerebral, patient style frustrates opponents into making mistakes, but he would also benefit from being more instinctive.

“He’s one of the smartest kids in the whole school,” Bison coach Dave Durlacher said. “[In wrestling], he’s more of a chess player; he waits for the other guy to make the move first and then he counters. He spends a lot of time with his thought process, but at times, he would benefit from just going out and wrestling. He’s got some great shots that he can execute.”

Siebert displayed a more attacking style Saturday, and it led to a 4-0 record and a first-place performance at 152 pounds at Buffalo Grove’s 37th annual Rex Lewis Tournament. The tournament featured 11 teams from three states (Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana).

“I really started to open up my offense and take shots,” said Siebert, who ran his record to 10-2. “Coach has been pushing me to be more aggressive; it was definitely a conscious decision.”

In the championship match, Siebert, the No. 3 seed, emerged with a 3-2 victory over St. Patrick’s Bobby Jurewicz.

“I kept my feet moving and controlled the top,” Siebert said. “I didn’t give him a chance to score.”

Senior Chase Ori (126 pounds) was Buffalo Grove’s other individual champion. He won all three of his matches after a first-round bye.

“It was exciting to watch [Siebert] on Saturday,” Ori said. “He definitely deserved the win.”

As a junior, Siebert benefited from working against Brian Egan in practice. Egan is a two-time state qualifier who is now wrestling at Augustana College.

“He not only improved my technique, but his experience really taught me a lot,” Siebert said.

In addition to wrestling, Siebert also is a fixture on the gymnastics team. This spring will mark his third varsity season. He said gymnastics have helped him develop as a wrestler.

“It helps a lot with strength and body awareness, knowing what you can and can’t do and how to stay in control,” he said.

Siebert said he’s fascinated by the combination of wrestling’s physical and mental demands.

“I like that it’s a physical sport but it’s not just brute strength,” he said. “It requires you to be fast, technical, have endurance and be smart.”

Speaking of smarts, whenever a teammate needs help with a homework assignment, they know who to turn to.

“He takes school very seriously and he’s always willing to tutor someone when they need help,” Ori said.

Durlacher said Siebert’s homework assignment for winter break is to continue looking for opportunities to be aggressive on the mat, which will help him dictate matches.

“He’s one of the most coachable kids we have and this is the year we want him to go on offense and be more of a complete wrestler,” Durlacher said. “We’ll keep throwing things at him, and he’ll continue to get better.”

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