A Keller senior is setting the stage to make a sizable run in the wrestling postseason.
Jacob Cook has been a consistent wrestler for the Indians and now in his senior season, he’s lost just one match to Texas competition.
At 132 pounds the last two years, Cook is now stronger and more experienced. Last season, Cook was sixth at the regional tournament after taking second place at the district meet.
Through last weekend’s tournament at The Colony, Cook has forged a 32-2 record. Cook finished second at the tournament, falling to an opponent from Arlington in the finals after having to go to overtime.
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The other loss for Cook came to a wrestler from Harrah, Okla., during the Grapevine Duals over the holiday break. Harrah won the event stacked with top teams from several states.
The difference this year for Cook is having higher expectations.
“This year, I set my goal to win state,” Cook said. “Every day I push myself as hard as I can to achieve that and we’ll how it turns out.”
With an additional year of off-season training and growth, Cook said he’s stronger this season.
Staying at 132 hasn’t been a difficult task, even though Cook has grown since competing at the weight for two years now. He said although he’s put on more muscle, his rigorous workouts and smarter diet have helped him stay on weight.
Confidence is not lacking, either, for Cook, who explained his wrestling mindset.
“It’s just me versus another guy my same weight,” he said. “Confidence has never been a problem.”
Cook was a constant in the weight room and was a frequent fixture at “open mat” opportunities, also competing with the Lone Star wrestling club during the summer.
The difference, Cook said, was putting more into his workouts.
“I refocused myself and found I can achieve something great,” he said.
On the mat, Cook said the strongest part of his wrestling is on scoring takedowns while on his feet.
“I feel like I can take anyone down,” he said.
“But when I’m on bottom, I can get out from anybody. I can improve more when I’m on top, though.”
Being able to register more falls and scoring from the bottom are indications Cook has made the most improvement from the top and bottom positions.
Having moved to Texas from Georgia, Cook started wrestling in the third grade and has been supported along the way by his father, Tim, who is the assistant wrestling coach at Keller.
The years in the sport have been building toward this chance to fulfill Cook’s goal – a state tournament berth and a state title.
“The state tournament is always in the back of my head,” he admitted. “But I have to focus on what’s ahead for this Saturday. I focus on every match I step out for.”
With the district meet arriving in just a few weeks, Cook doesn’t seem to mind the hard work along the way.
“I’m having fun wrestling, and I just happen to be winning, too.”