Michigan and Penn State Share Wrestler of the Week Honor
Wolverines’ Parris and Nittany Lions’ Lee each earned pins in Big Ten dual action last weekend
Co-Wrestlers of the Week
Mason Parris, Michigan
Heavyweight – So. – Lawrenceburg, Ind. – Lawrenceburg – School of Engineering
Picked up a ranked victory in Michigan’s dual against Iowa last weekend
Pinned Iowa's third-ranked Tony Cassioppi at the 4:31 mark to improve to 23-0 on the season and hand the Hawkeye his first loss of the season
Earned three takedowns in the bout and now owns nine pins this season, including two in a row and five in Big Ten duals
Claims the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career
Last Michigan Wrestler of the Week: Adam Coon (Feb. 13, 2018)
Nick Lee, Penn State
141 pounds – Jr. – Evansville, Ind. – Homeschool – Health Policy and Administration
Defeated two top-10 opponents in Penn State's Big Ten road weekend, helping the Nittany Lions post two top-six road dual victories
Recorded a 14-1 major decision over No. 7 Tristan Moran of Wisconsin in Penn State's 29-10 victory in Madison
Pinned No. 5 Mitch McKee of Minnesota at the 1:56 mark in Penn State's 31-10 victory in Minneapolis to improve to 16-0 overall
Earns the first Wrestler of the Week Award of his career
Last Penn State Wrestler of the Week: Bo Nickal (Feb. 12, 2019)
2019-20 Wrestlers of the Week
Nov. 5: Luke Pletcher, Sr., OSU/Kendall Coleman, Fr., PUR
Nov. 12: Dylan Lydy, Sr., PUR
Nov. 19: Joey Gunther, Sr., ILL
Nov. 26: Trent Hillger, So., WIS
Dec. 3: Austin DeSanto, Jr., IOWA
Dec. 10: Brayton Lee, Fr., MINN/Dylan Lydy, Sr., PUR
Dec. 17: Graham Rooks, Fr., IND
Jan. 3: Alex Marinelli, Jr., IOWA/Seth Gross, Sr., WIS
Jan. 14: Tristan Moran, Sr., WIS
Jan. 21: Graham Rooks, Fr., IND
Jan. 28: Sammy Sasso, Fr., OSU
Feb. 4: Michael Kemerer, Sr., IOWA
Feb. 11: Mason Parris, So., MICH/Nick Lee, Jr., PSU
Wanting the best for Jacob, his mother placed him in an orphanage. He eventually came to live in Warsaw when he was adopted by Andy and Dawn Marie Bass and began attending the fifth grade at Jefferson Elementary in Warsaw. He received hearing aids and then implants.
“I’m thankful the Basses adopted me and brought me here,” says Jacob.
“I now live with the Linky family.”
Following grade school, Jacob went on to Edgewood Middle School in Warsaw and was introduced to wrestling.
“I knew nothing (about the sport),” says Jacob. “I played around.”
Drive and athletic prowess allow Jacob to excel on the high school mat.
“At times his feisty side comes out because of that past,” says Warsaw head coach Kris Hueber. “He’s channeled it well and we’ve been able to harness well most of the time.
“He has days where he is cranky and fired up, You know that he’s drawing from stuff that no one else has.”
After missing his freshmen season, Jacob made an impact with the Tigers as a 145-pound sophomore, advancing to the East Chicago Semistate.
“This year, I’d like to go all the way to State,” says Jacob, who spent the summer pumping iron and continues to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and protein while packing more muscle on a 5-foot-7, 160-pound frame.
“(Jacob) fell in love with the weight room,” says Hueber. “There is not much on him that is not muscular. He’s one of those guys with his energy level he needs to be active. As an athlete, he is a remarkably gifted human being. He’s able to do things no one else in the room can do. Between strength, balance and agility, he is uniquely gifted.”
Ask Jacob what his best quality is as a wrestler and says speed. His quickness and and strength come into play in the practice room with larger practice partners — 170-pound Brandon Estepp, 182-pound junior Mario Cortes and 195-pound senior Brock Hueber.
“I don’t like to wrestle light persons,” says Jacob. “It makes me work hard to wrestle the big guys.”
Warsaw opened the 2019-20 season Saturday with the Warsaw Invitational and Jacob went 5-0 with four pins.
Sign language and lip-reading help him navigate life as a teenager and athlete. When Jacob wrestles, Black circles the mat to maintain eye contact and relay information to him.
“She always looks where my head is,” says Jacob. “She always gets sweaty.”
Who gets sweatier during a match? “Me,” says Jacob, thrusting a thumb at his chest. “I’m a harder worker.”
Black has been around Jacob since he was in eighth grade.
“I feel privileged to be involved in his life,” says Black. “He’s an amazing person. He just is.”
Hueber has come to appreciate that Jacob has the ability to be both competitive and light-hearted.
“He’s ornery still, but in a good way,” says Hueber. “He has not been able to out-grow being a kid. I love that.”
While Jacob’s background and circumstance are different than his Tiger mates, Hueber says he’s “just one of the guys.”
“(They) don’t treat him differently in any way,” says Hueber. “They love being around him because of his charisma and personality. He’s a really great teammate.”
Hueber says working with Jacob has helped others recognize their influence.
“They might be able to goof off for two minutes and snap right back,” says Hueber. “If (Jacob) misses one line of communication, there’s a lot that he’s got to recover from.”
This means that workout partners need to be focused and attentive as well — not just for themselves but to also help Jacob. Hueber notes that Jacob has to concentrate and keep focused on his interpreter in class (his current favorite class in English and he is looking forward to Building Trades in the future) and practice.
“There are probably times when he’s looking for a break,” says Hueber.
“He’s on and he’s full-wired all day. That’s taxing mentally for sure.”
Brian Linky works in payment processing at PayProTec in Warsaw and Brenda Linky is the special needs coordinator for Warsaw Community Schools. The Linkys have two sons who played basketball at Warsaw — Zack (now 28 and living in Calfiornia) and Ben (now 22 and attending Indiana University).
Taking in Jacob means they have a teenager in the house again.
“He’s been nothing but polite,” says Brian Linky. “He’s hard-working around the house (mowing the lawn, making his bed, walking the dog and cooking his own meals). He has friends over. He’s very happy.”
As for the future, Jacob is considering joining the football team next year (he has never played the sport). He turns 19 in May.
A brother, Christian, lives in Virginia and communicates with Jacob and family in Africa through text.
“We’re going to save up so we can visit our parents in Africa,” says Jacob.
Right now, he is doing life as an Indiana teenager and wrestling is a big part of it.