Senior Spotlight: Jacob Herrmann, Waverly-Shell Rock

By Joshua Swafford for The Predicament


Senior Spotlight: Jacob Herrmann- Waverly-Shell Rock

When did you start wrestling? Who introduced you to the sport?

I started wrestling when I was in first grade. I was interested in WWE and my parents thought I would enjoy the sport of wrestling.

Do you have any family who wrestled before you? How did they do?

My uncle is the only family member of mine who wrestled. He wrestled for WSR and I would say he was an average wrestler.

Did you catch on to wrestling quickly or was it a gradual process?

At first, it was pretty solid growth. Then I started to lose interest in the sport. I took a break in the 5th and 6th grade. After having my coach encouraging me to go to all of the state wide and out of state tournaments is when wrestling got serious for me.

What club did you wrestle for growing up and how would you describe your experience with the club?

I wrestled for WAWC my whole life. Growing up with WAWC in my life has brought me many friends, connections, and goals. They pushed your effort no matter what age, but made it fun as well.

What are a couple memorable moments from youth/JH wrestling?

As a youth wrestlers, my friends and I attended almost every local tournament every season. It was much fun and if helped us grow friendship, which got us a lot closer and made us better at the sport.

Who were your wrestling heroes growing up?

Bryce Steiert was one of the most memorable and enjoyable wrestlers I watched while growing. I’ve always looked up to him and used him as motivation throughout my high school career.

How did you finish at state tournaments in youth?

The only year I had qualified for the State Tournament was when I was in 2nd grade. I went 0-2. Although I attended Super PeeWee State a few times and the best I placed was 5th.

How did you finish at the state tournaments you wrestled in at the HS level?

I was JV freshman and sophomore year, so I did not have much of an opportunity to qualify for state. Although, I placed 5th as a Junior and 2nd as a Senior.

Was there ever a point in your career where you noticed yourself jumping levels and making huge strides?

My junior and senior years are when I really noticed the change. I realized how fast I was progressing and I realized all it takes is to actually believe in yourself and to be disciplined.

Who were some of your toughest competitors in HS?

I can’t say I’ve had a single or a few tough competitors throughout high school, but I can say I’ve had tough schools. SouthEast Polk was definitely one of them, along with Fort Dodge, Don Bosco, New Hampton, and a few others.

Who did you have the best battles with?

I would say throughout my senior year of high school my best battles were fought against Ryker Kurimski, who is also a senior from Western Dubuque. As well as Carson Tenold, a freshman from Don Bosco.

You had a very dominant senior season. Went undefeated on the season and didn’t have a loss until you wrestled Cade Devos in the finals, who is widely regarded as one of, if not the best pound for pound wrestler in the state. And you gave him a great match in the finals. You were right in there until the end. Did you make a statement this year? Describe your senior season and how you felt about how it unraveled.

I made a statement,  but didn’t. I didn’t achieve the goal I wanted, but I was right there. I had faith, I did not fear him, and I tried my best. I am proud.

What are your wrestling goals now that you are moving on from high school?

To become a 4x National Champion at Wartburg College.

How would you describe your wrestling style? Who would you compare yourself to?

My style of wrestling is always pushing the pace and finishing everything in a match that comes to my mind. I can't compare myself to a current wrestler, but I can compare myself to one of my coaches, Mike Schwab. Every time I hand fought with him he just pushed the pace and wouldn’t let me off easy.

Describe the Waverly-Shell Rock wrestling team in one word:

 Burgeonor & greatness.

Do you have any regrets from wrestling or did you leave it all out there?

Freshman and sophomore year was a struggle for me with my mindset. I regret I could only have realized that all you gotta do is believe in yourself.

What other sports do you play and how have you done at them?

I played football and was an okay athlete, it just wasn’t my sport. I ran track, was quick and all, but again... not my sport. I also tried basketball back in 3rd grade, I got hit in the face with a ball, cried and stuck to wrestling.

What are some of your hobbies besides wrestling?

I enjoy fishing, hunting, and working.

What is your favorite HS wrestling memory?

Going on trips with all of my teammates to wrestle.

What is some of the best advice you ever received?

Always move and always handfight. If you’re not doing anything within three seconds of your tie, change it and go.

Do you have any advice for up and coming wrestlers?

Believe in yourself, progress, and never give up.

Who were some of the most influential coaches you worked with at the youth and HS level?

Bill Thompson was my first coach ever and I still look up and back on him till this day. Brett Behrends was my highschool coach for all four years and if it wasn’t for him pushing me in practice, I definitely would not be in the position I am today, mentally or physically. Rick Caldwell was also an influential coach. I don’t have many personal memories with him, but he was a great coach, a great teacher, great everything. He knows how to do it best and made sure we got all out of every practice and every summer.

Waverly-Shell Rock is one of the best and most consistently good Iowa wrestling programs of this millennium. How proud were you to be part of such a great squad? How much did that team state championship mean to you?

Before my Senior season started, I had confidence that we were gonna be State Champions. It took some time for me to believe that. When coaches say all you gotta do is believe, they are 100% correct. I am very proud that my friends and teammates won a state title before our highschool career came to an end.

What are your college plans? Is wrestling in your future whether it be competing or coaching?

I’m attending Wartburg this fall to wrestle.

What is the future outlook for W-SR wrestling?