Cleveland Heights High Wrestler Continues to Surprise
Javon Jackson has grown into a team leader for the Tigers
In Javon Jackson's first season with the Cleveland Heights High wrestling team, coach Willie Newton was concerned. Jackson sometimes became discouraged with the requirements of the team, lost several matches and even quit.
That’s all changed, though, and for the past two years, Newton said Jackson has become the team's leader and a source of inspiration for teammates.
Jackson, 18, said his mother wanted him to pick up wrestling so that he’d stay out of trouble. At first, Jackson said he didn’t like the sport. But then he achieved something many thought was impossible.
“One of my favorite moments was last year when I made districts,” Jackson, who wrestles at 140 pounds, said. “Everyone thought I wouldn’t be able to make it. “
This is Jackson’s fourth year wrestling for the Tigers and his eighth overall.
“Without a doubt, he’s the most valuable person on the team,” said Newton, a former wrestler for the Tigers. “He definitely exemplifies what we look for here.”
In his free time, Jackson’s hobbies include working out and conditioning. He also enjoys working on cars, and takes automotive classes at Heights High. He wants to make it his profession by either attending Ohio Technical College or business school to learn how to run his own car shop.
Jackson also works as a student assistant in the sports administration office at Heights High, running papers, handling mail and helping out with other tasks.
“I always need to find a time to work and a time to have fun,” Jackson said. “But, most people who go far don’t have a lot of time for fun.”
And going far this year is one of his priorities. Jackson said his main objective is to make it to the state tournament. To do that, he needs to first make it to sectionals and then to districts, performing as one of the top four in his weight class. With a record so far this season of 10-5, that prospect looks good. Jackson continues to work hard and maintain a determined, competitive spirit.
“The competition keeps me going,” Jackson said. “I want to be one of the greats.”