Southmoreland wrestler brings home national crown
TribLIVE Sports Videos
During his freshman wrestling season at Southmoreland, Jake Beistel racked up 34 wins and earned a trip to the PIAA Class AA championships. It was a fine season for the young wrestler, but it wasn't enough for Beistel.
After finishing his stellar first year on the mat with the Scotties, Beistel continued to train in preparation for the 24th annual National High School Coaches Association's national championships held April 3-7 in Virginia Beach. Beistel competed in the freshman division and squared off against some of the top ninth-graders in the country.
But Beistel did more than compete. He won the heavyweight bracket to claim a national title. Beistel went 4-0, which included two pins and a 4-3 decision over New York's Edwin Rubio in the title bout.
“I expected to do well, and I definitely wanted to place,” Beistel said. “I was nervous, but I was confident, and I had a pretty good tournament.”
Beistel didn't earn a medal at the state championships in March, but he acknowledged that the experience of competing at Giant Center in Hershey certainly helped him prepare for the national tournament.
“Before I wrestled, (Southmoreland coach Ryan Shaw) reminded me that I had already been on the biggest stage in Pennsylvania, and that helped me calm down a bit,” Beistel said.
Competing in the PIAA championships helped Beistel succeed at the NHSCA national championships, but winning a national title also could prove to be a big asset for Beistel when he returns to the mat for the Scotties during his sophomore season.
“It will definitely give me a big confidence boost going into next year,” Beistel said.
But Beistel isn't done wrestling this season. Beistel competes for the Young Guns, a tournament team based at Franklin Regional. He will compete with the Young Guns at a tournament in Virginia Beach next month before taking part in a tournament with the team at Disney World in June.
Beistel also plays center and middle linebacker for the Southmoreland football team and has been keeping up with his offseason workouts and weight training to gear up for next season.
But Beistel is more than just a wrestler and a football player. He also enjoys working with young children and has dedicated much of his time to raising funds for the Autistic Support Programs at Southmoreland Elementary School and the Southmoreland Primary Center.
During the high school wrestling season, Beistel had sponsors who contributed donations for each of his victories. His success on the mat allowed Beistel to raise more than $5,000, which will be used to purchase items for the kids involved in the Autistic Support Programs.
“I thought it would be a nice way to give back to the community, and I like working with little kids,” Beistel said.
Beistel noted that he enjoys working with young wrestlers in the district, and he became involved in the Autistic Support Programs after his younger brother, Caden, started working with a project that helps children with autism to function in social environments.
Beistel's dedication to his athletics as well as his worthy cause certainly don't go unnoticed.
“He is really what a coach looks for,” Shaw said. “Jake is a hard-nosed kid, and he wants to be successful. He does it all.”
Southmoreland athletic director Charles Swink had similar thoughts.
“He's the kind of kid that every coach, administrator and teacher would like to have,” Swink said. “He represents his family and his school very well, and he is just a good all-around kid.”
Beistel is proud to represent his school and community.
“It's great to know that I can represent the school,” Beistel said. “It means a lot for me to represent a great school like Southmoreland.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Locke makes bid for final rotation spot, Tabata cut
- Eagle egg breaks, parents abandon nest
- Rogue Catholics in Society of St. Pius X to reopen West End church
- Players respect coach, refuse to blame Johnston
- Couple taken into custody after 8-hour standoff in Hempfield
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin
- Penguins coach Johnston’s mother dies
- Pa. woman charged with forging docs to claim she was an attorney
- Cal U women win Division II national title with 86-69 win
- MLB commissioner: Pirates’ success starts in the front office
- Lombardi leads IUP to brink of men’s basketball national title