Home / News / Matty Jens named Lake County male wrestler of the year

Matty Jens named Lake County male wrestler of the year


Grayslake Center senior Matty Jens stood at the podium and looked out at the assembly area on the floor of the State Farm Center.

Matty Jens, who was recognized as a second-time state champion, could see that he had a lot of support.

“My family was 1.5 meters away, in front of me,” he said. “Everyone was smiling and crying.”

But one person in particular was not there. Matty Jens’ father, Louis, who coached the Grayslake Wrestling Club for several years, died of a heart attack during a family vacation in Hawaii on June 23, 2019. Louis Jens was 44 years old.

“I was looking at my mom, trying not to cry at the podium, hoping my dad would be proud of me for winning two state championships,” Matty Jens said. “He’s the reason I’m there. I was doing it for him. The whole crew was there – my mom, my grandma, my brother, my two little sisters, my cousins ​​– and it was so special to experience that moment with my family. “I did it for my father.”

2023-24 News-Sun Boys Wrestler of the Year Matty Jens (41-1), 175-175. He ended his high school career on a high by defeating Rock Island’s Amare Overton by technical fall in the Class 2A state championship match. Pound weight class on February 17.

Matty Jens also won the 2A state title at 182 last year and has been an outstanding linebacker for the Grayslake Central football team. He thought about how much he had accomplished in the years since his father’s death.

“There are some important and special people in my life, but that’s the one I really miss,” he said. “It was pretty hard learning to wrestle without him coaching me since I was 13. It’s crazy to see how much I’ve grown since then and what he would think of me.”

Grayslake Central’s Matty Jens (left) celebrates after winning the championship match in the 175-pound weight class at the Class 2A Grayslake Central Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Troy Stolt / News-Sun)

Matty Jens’ older brother, Joey, who wrestled at Milliken, helped out.

“I got my ass whipped on the mat many times by my brother when I was younger, but he would tell me to keep wrestling,” Matty Jens said. “No one believed in me or pushed me more than my brother.”

Joey Jens won two state medals during his Grayslake Central career and finished second in 2A as a junior at 170 in 2020. Joey Jens noted that not only did Matty win the state championship at a young age, but he also went 35-0 and would surpass even their father. proud of.

“Me and my brother always looked up to my dad,” said Joey Jens. “He was our best friend. We were always doing something with him. No matter what we did, he always wanted us to be the best.

“He always joked about striving for perfection. “For my brother to do that as a junior and win a state championship with a perfect record showed his work ethic.”

According to his brother, Matty Jens forged his own path.

“He wouldn’t let what I accomplished affect him,” Joey Jens said. “Our father used to tell us to wrestle to the best of our ability. (Matty) was always accepting help, but he did it his way.

“He hates losing with a passion. I knew probably around middle school, around the time our father passed away, that his competitiveness had intensified so much that high school would be very easy for him.

Grayslake Central's Matty Jens and Fenwick's Patrick Gilboy wrestle in the 175-pound 1st-place match at the Class 2A Grayslake Central Sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, in Grayslake.  (Troy Stolt for News-Sun)
Grayslake Central’s Matty Jens (top) and Fenwick’s Patrick Gilboy wrestle in the 175-pound lightweight championship match at the Class 2A Grayslake Central Regional on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (Troy Stolt / News-Sun)

Grayslake Central coach Matthew Joseph said Matty Jens’ back-to-back state titles set a new standard for the program. Three other Rams wrestlers each won a state championship. Matty Jens is also the program’s first three-time state-ranked player. HE Lost 2A state championship game He was 182 in his second season, Joseph said.

“That fueled his fire to get one in third grade,” Joseph said. “It was locked. This was a pivotal point in his wrestling career. This defeat led him to lose only one match in his third and final years from the end of that year.”

Matty Jens finished his career with 148 wins, good for second in program history. Alex Cramer‘s 159. He hasn’t chosen a university yet.

“I’m proud of myself, but I still have a lot to do,” Matty Jens said.

Bobby Narang is a freelance reporter.


About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

[ad_1] Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super