Jake loves baseball! It is his #1 interest and sport. He is currently playing for three teams. In addition to baseball, he has been on the James Madison basketball team for two seasons. He played Ultimate Frisbee for two seasons also, in seventh and eighth grade. At his school he has lettered in baseball, basketball and Ultimate Frisbee. His academic performance at James Madison has been outstanding. Out of six trimesters in which awards were given out, he has been recognized on the Roll of Scholars for four of them (3.67-4.00 GPA) and the A Honor Roll twice (3.34-3.66 GPA).
Q. You are quite the baseball player! Tell is a little bit about your baseball career thus far?
A. I’ve been surrounded with baseball from an early age but specifically I’ve been playing it since I was four. My mom most likely told you already that I play for Mesa American Little League ever since that first year at age four. I have played ten seasons of Little League spring ball. From the Tee Ball Knights to the Juniors Red Bulls, I’ve played every position. I have made the All Stars team four years. On the other hand, I play for my club baseball team called the Grinders, which I have been playing on for four seasons, spring and winter. I start at Center field and occasionally play Shortstop and Second base when my coaches need me too. I have broken/fractured two bones and torn one ligament. In one incident, I broke my tibia and tore my meniscus, at a baseball game while stepping on first base wrong when running out a ground ball. The recovery was very very long, as I love baseball. It killed me to watch my teammates play and not me. I couldn’t wait to recover and get back to playing again. When I was on the 13 and under team, we won a runner up ring in the winter tournament. Last season, on 14u, we won the gold ring for winning the tournament, which also happened to be the winter tournament. On the other other hand, I play for my charter high school, James Madison Preparatory. One of the cool parts of having the school be 7th-12th grades is that you get to participate in Varsity sports/theatre in junior high. So when I first came, I was surprised to see myself on the lineup card as starting left fielder as a seventh grader, it was an amazing feeling that led to an unforgettable season. In eighth grade, I played Pitcher, Second base, Left field, Right field, one game at Shortstop and one game at Catcher. This year, I have played Shortstop, Pitcher, and Catcher. That’s just a few things I’ve been involved in baseball-wise. I tried to keep it short, honestly. Feel free to edit it into whatever you think is important.
Q. You are also involved in basketball and ultimate Frisbee. Tell us what ultimate Frisbee is all about?
A. Ultimate Frisbee is underrated sadly but is actually really fun. I hadn’t heard of it before arriving at James Madison. The object of the game to move the Frisbee up the field into the end zone by passing it from player to player. There are no umpires or referees so a huge part of the game is just holding integrity and calling travels and other such violations. A few rules include, no taking steps when holding the Frisbee unless you catch it on the run, and then in that instance you would be allowed two to three steps to stop. Another would be a system called Stall Counts, in which you basically count to 10 loudly when guarding the player with the Frisbee and if they don’t release it by stall 10, then your team gets the Frisbee. The flow of the game is more like soccer but you can run routes kind of like football. It is a great sport to play for athletes that want to stay conditioned, because there is TONS of running.
Q. Off the field and court you are also involved in theatre. What plays have you been a part of?
A. In the eighth grade at James Madison, we act in a play that is chosen each year. Last year, my class and I acted in Treasure Island. The lectures about theatre at the beginning of the term were interesting and very useful for the next play I was a part of. I think the best part of the class, Drama, was the putting together Treasure Island under a crunched amount of time and it turned out amazing just like every other play and musical that are produced at James Madison. I played Black Eyed Pete. This year, the fall play was Shaun of the Dead, a hilarious zombie movie. The play was revolutionary, for a lack of better words. A zombie apocalypse themed play. I played a zombie, a kid with a basketball, a warehouse worker, and a SWAT team policeman. The makeup was absolutely insane, because it looked so authentic.
Q. In your busy schedule you still manage to keep your academics a number one priority, with a high GPA and Honor Roll. How do you do it all?
A. I always take advantage of time in class and in study hall to do homework and study for upcoming tests. If I can’t make study hall some days due to baseball, I do my homework at home after practice and if I can’t finish it at night due to more baseball, I wake up early in the morning to go to school and do it and get help from teachers at their office hours. It is hard keeping my homework up but I do get it done because I have been brought up with the fact that school is the number one priority, not just to get it done but to get good grades and hopefully a scholarship if I stick with my work. But in the end, my successfulness has been because my parents taught me to work now and play later in elementary school, where my dad taught PE.
Q. Tell us about some of the academic awards you have received?
A. I have received a few ‘A Honor Roll’ awards and multiple ‘Roll of Scholars’ awards. Obviously, this isn’t my goal, just to get awards. Although they are pretty awesome to receive. In sixth grade when I went to Booker T. Washington, I received an ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement’ award. It’s a great feeling when you get your effort and hard work recognized.
Q. What do the rest of your high school years look like for you? What else are you looking to add to your growing list of accomplishments?
A. I’m looking to continue starting for the baseball team, to get better at basketball and eventually become a starter by senior year, to hopefully be on the track team next year because I won’t be in Little League anymore so that will free up a little bit of my time. A few other accomplishments I would like to do would be, continue getting good grades, A’s and B’s, to act in three more fall plays and maybe even a musical.
Q. If you could have one super hero power for a day what would it be?
A. This is actually a pretty difficult question to answer because there would be repercussions to really any power. I would do super speed but that would be cheating because I want to be faster without the power, just after a lot of hard work. In the end, I would choose Wall crawling because I could help people similarly to Spider-Man. He’s always been my favorite super hero for a reason.