Valor Christian senior Jake Welch is a wrestler who plays golf. Or just maybe he is a golfer who wrestles in the winter. After all, he is an honors student who is going to Colorado School of Mines to …
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Valor Christian senior Jake Welch is a wrestler who plays golf.
Or just maybe he is a golfer who wrestles in the winter. After all, he is an honors student who is going to Colorado School of Mines to play golf.
“It would depend on the season and I like them both,” said Welch, whose dad, Tim, is the Eagles' wrestling coach and whose older brothers Torey and Colby wrestled for the school.
“I chose to do golf in college. I like golf a little bit more, it is a little easier. I am probably better at wrestling, I would say, but I think I like golf a little more, so I would say I am a golfer.”
Welch, a third-place finisher in 4A at the 2017 state wrestling tournament, is off to a good start this season on the mat and has set high goals as Valor moves into the 5A state bracket this year.
“I would say my work ethic has improved the most,” said Welch. “I obviously want to be a state champ and I come in every day with a goal in mind and putting in the work that it takes to do that. It obviously just isn't going to come to you. You have to work towards that.”
Welch was third in the 170-pound bracket at last season's 4A state wrestling tournament and finished with a 35-5 record.
In the 2018 golf season, Welch won the Class 5A Central Region state-qualifying tournament with a 4-under-par 68 and tied for 29th in the state meet with rounds of 80 and 77.
On The Mat rankings have Welch as the No. 1 wrestler in 5A at 182 pounds this season. He is 12-1 this season.
“He works his tail off, probably more than anybody in the room. And he's only a part-time wrestler because he plays golf from April to October. He's figured out how to maximize his time on the mat.”
Valor Christian wrestling coach
Q&A with Jake Welch
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Tiger Woods. Obviously he has had a little bit of a rough point, but what he's done in the golf world, everyone knows him. It's awesome that someone can be that dominant in a sport.
What or who motivates you most to excel in sports?
Probably my family, my dad and my brothers. My brothers were super competitive growing up. You always had to be better than them. One goal coming to Valor was to do better than they did. But they are always there to support me.
What would be a perfect performance in wrestling?
I would count it on how I controlled the match. If you go out there, work your moves, you can control the whole match and the other kid doesn't really have any chance to score on you. As soon as you go out and score so many points, he has a mindset of: `Oh I can't score. I'm done.' That would be a perfect performance.
What would be a perfect performance in golf?
I don't think any golf round is ever perfect. Whether you play the best round you've ever played, you still look back and go: `I could have improved there and I missed that shot.'
What is your favorite class in school and why?
Math. My dad has been a math teacher until a couple years ago and I'm just naturally good at it and I don't really have to try real hard and things just come easy.
What do you like to do away from sports and school?
I like to hang out with all my friends and I'm pretty close to all my teammates. After practice we will go get lunch or play video games.
What is the hardest facet of wrestling?
Last year I was probably really good at top and pretty good at bottom. No one really turned me. On my feet I was not very good. Then this season, feet is one of my better positions. I'd rather be on my feet than on top now.
What has been your most memorable moment in high school athletics?
It would be in wrestling, and last year I was ranked third going into the state tournament and expected to do well. I lost my first match. So the most memorable part was losing that first match and coming back all the way up the back side of the bracket and taking third.
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