Have you ever wondered about the strength and dedication it takes to wrestle? Take a look at Jacob Fritz for an example of a hard-working student athlete.
Fritz is a 19-year-old wrestler from Regina. He started wrestling at Sheldon Williams Collegiate, trained on the side at Cattown Wrestling Club in Regina and did judo for two years at the YMCA in Regina.
The wrestler made his way onto the Huskies team at the University of Saskatchewan — where he studies kinesiology. You can either find him at the gym doing power cleans, hanging with his friends or studying to excel in his program.
Fritz started wrestling because he always enjoyed wrestling and roughhousing with his friends. Feeling he was on the smaller side in grade nine, he decided that wrestling would be a better fit for him compared to some other sports like football.
Funnily enough, one of the reasons he did not join football was because of the chance of injury. Little did he know that, during his wrestling career, he would fracture his elbow, and this year, his orbital bone. Because of this, he was not able to go to the Canada West Championship this season, which is one of his personal goals.
It’s a large competition that includes all of the western Canadian universities, and it qualifies wrestlers for nationals. At this championship, the women’s team won while the men’s team took a close second.
They were able to prepare for the Canada West championships by competing almost every weekend in October and travelling to the United States frequently to better themselves for the competition they faced.
Fritz says his favourite part about wrestling is the effort that needs to be put into it.
“It demands 100 per cent of your focus and attention, which can be meditative. If you aren’t 100 [per cent] on your competition, you’re not going to be successful,” Fritz said.
He also likes that wrestling is a way of pushing himself to be better every day. On being a part of the Huskies, Fritz says that the program has found a good balance of striving for excellence in both sport and academia.
“[They have] fostered an environment that will force you to grow and challenge you. At the same time, they care about the well-being of every athlete, and as a student, they provide a lot of opportunities and help you excel.”
His greatest achievements in wrestling so far happened in his grade 11 and 12 years at Sheldon Williams Collegiate where he received the Sportsmanship Award for Regina and the Most Dedicated to the Sport Award the following year. Alongside these accomplishments, Fritz says that wrestling has allowed him to seek greatness in other aspects of his life.
“Wrestling gave me more confidence but also showed me that there is a direct relationship between how much you to put into something and how much you get out of it, and that carried over into my school and relationships. As soon as I started wrestling, my marks went up. I made a lot of friends through wrestling as well that I will have for the rest of my life,” Fritz said.
If you are looking to join, Fritz wants you to know that you need to be ready to work hard. He says that “it is very difficult physically and requires quite a bit of perseverance mentally as well.” He practices five or six days a week, putting in around 10 hours on the mat and three hours of strength and conditioning workouts with a trainer — plus two hours extra of cardio.
Hope N.S. Jeffery
Photo: Jacob Fritz / Supplied