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  • #MondayMatness with Steve Krah: Unorthodox style proves successful for Lake Central’s Sues

    By Y2CJ41
    Published in 

    By STEVE KRAH
    stvkrh905@gmail.com

    Jake Sues does not wrestle in what many call a conventional way.
     

    But the 182-pound senior at Lake Central High School has used his unique style for mat success in his final two prep seasons.
     

    In 2020-21, Sues went 22-7 and placed eighth at the IHSAA State Finals after finishing first at the Crown Point Sectional, third at the Crown Point Regional and third at the East Chicago Semistate.
     

    Through Dec. 29-30 Al Smith Classic at Mishawaka, where Sues placed fifth, he is 19-5.
     

    “I’m awkward to wrestle,” says Sues. “Funky might be a better word to describe it. I’m very different from the standard wrestler.
     

    “Being funky kind of found me. Being weird is what worked so I rolled with it. I’ve always been kind of a defensive wrestler. I make other people uncomfortable.”
     

    Lake Central head coach Luke Triveline has watched Sues use his unorthodox approach and his long limbs to his advantage.
     

    “We have a coaching style, but we try to push individualism,” says Triveline, a 2003 LC graduate who is in his 14th season coaching in the Indians program and fifth as head coach.

     

    “He’s good at using his length and body top against kids. He’s not a super-aggressive kid. If he keeps it close, he knows when to push the pedal and look to score.”
     

    At 6-foot-3, Sues is taller than most of his opponents.
     

    “I like to put people super far away,” says Sues. “When they try to shoot, they have to go a far distance. People give pressure then I hit my moves from there.”
     

    By forcing his foe to the end of his reach, he can use a slide-by, collar tie, ankle pick, front head lock or other move.
     

    Sues, 18, came to the sport as a Hal E. Clark Middle School sixth grader. By freshmen year at Lake Central, he was 170 and over 6-foot. Sues qualified for semistate as a freshman, but his record was well below .500. As a sophomore, he did not get past regional.
     

    He grew too much after his sophomore year to stay at 170 and bumped up to 182.
     

    “He’s not very intimidating-looking in general. He’s not super muscular. He’s a pretty intelligent wrestler when it comes to keeping himself in matches against pretty tough kids.”
     

    Though looks may deceive, Sues is very strong.
     

    “He spends a lot of time in the weight room,” says Triveline. “You’re not going to push him around.
     

    “Putting on size looks cool, but it doesn’t necessarily make you a better athlete.”
     

    Triveline is the owner of Fitness Evolution Strength and Conditioning in Crown Point and trains Sues in the wrestling off-season.
     

    “We spend time working on him as an athlete,” says Triveline. “Being able to use strength in the joint angles that are conducive to wrestling and looking good with your shirt off are two different things.”
     

    Mental strength has also increased for Sues.
     

    “I can recall the specific moment where he changed,” says Triveline. “His first two years (of high school), he never stopped talking. He was always chirping and running his mouth.

    One day, I just snapped. I couldn’t handle it anymore.”
     

    There was a talk between the athlete and coach.
     

    “Ever since then, he has put his head on straight and does what we ask him,” says Triveline. 
     

    “Jake’s one of the favorite wrestlers I’ve ever coached. He comes from a good family. He’s a hard worker.”
     

    The son of Rob and Cindy Sues, Jake has an older brother Ryan and younger sister Sarah. Ryan is a 2020 LC graduate and Sarah is a current sophomore swimmer for the Indians.
     

    Though undecided about what college he will attend or if he’ll wrestle there, Sues does enjoy his current Graphic Arts course. The career center class meets the first half of each school day and is taught by Jereme Rainwater.
     

    “We do all the printing for the high school like magazines or posters,” says Sues. “It’s a lot of working with machines. I’m good with deadlines and I keep everybody on-task as much as I can.”
     

    Senior Michael DeGrado (220) has long been a regular workout partner for Sues.
     

    “He helps me with my front head locks and defense,” says Sues. “I have to make sure that every detail is perfect or it won’t work. He has the strength and he’s pretty technical, too.”
     

    With the Al Smith Classic and the calendar turning to January, Sues and all other IHSAA wrestlers now get a two-pound allowance.
     

    Weight control has not been an issue for him.
     

    “Coach Luke has a lot of catch phrases,” says Sues. “One is ‘You’ve got to fuel your Ferrari.’ I’m pretty good about watching what I eat for the most part. I like to pick healthier options (like sugar-free cookies). I definitely have a sweet tooth.”
     

    Heading into the IHSAA tournament series, Lake Central looks forward to a Duneland Athletic Conference dual Jan. 5 vs. LaPorte, the Lake County tournament Jan. 8 at Hanover Central, DAC dual Jan. 12 vs. Merrillville, DAC meet Jan. 15 at Merrillville and DAC dual Jan. 18 vs. Crown Point. Then comes the Crown Point Sectional Jan. 29, Crown Point Regional Feb. 5, East Chicago Semistate Feb. 12 and State Finals Feb. 18-19 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
     

    “We see a lot of good competition,” says Triveline. “That prepares yourself for the postseason. Season accolades are nice. We don’t train our kids to be Mishawaka champs although that would be nice.
     

    “We want kids fighting for state placement.”
     

    That includes “funky” Jake Sues.
     



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