Last week was a milestone for Mexico High School wrestler Jake Vitale. The senior ended the regular season Thursday night remaining undefeated with 44 wins.
Wrestling at 145 pounds, he also recorded his 150th and 151st wins of his career on Thursday. During his 44 wins he has pinned 26 opponents, had 2 tech falls, 5 major decisions and 4 decisions this season and faced several state-ranked opponents.
Vitale said the highlight of the season so far this year was winning at the Odessa tournament. "I had four pins in the tournament and beat state-ranked wrestlers."
In addition to his winning accomplishments, he was selected as Wrestler of the Week in the state last week by Missouri Wrestling.com in Class 2A.
Vitale's coach Gayle Adams has a lot of respect for his senior wrestler. "Jake has been a stable force in the lineup for the past four years," Adams said. Even before Adams coached him in high school, he coached Vitale when he was younger. "I have coached Jake since he was 6 years old, so I've seen him improve and strive for his goals," added Adams.
In two weeks the State Wrestling Tournament will be held and Adams said Vitale's final goal in his high school career is to win the state title in his weight class. But first he will have to compete in the Class 2A District Tournament this weekend.
Adams said Vitale is a leader and works with the young guys on their moves and he pushes them to work hard every day. "Jake has made Mexico wrestling proud as he strives to be the best. When he sets goals he doesn't settle for second and nothing gets in his way," said his coach.
Vitale has been wrestling for 13 years. He loves the sport and hopes to one day become a wrestling coach. He plans to attend Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and participate in wrestling.
In addition to wrestling Vitale is a member of the cross country team and track. He is also active in many clubs and organizations at MHS. Academically he is a member of the National Honor Society and on the Distinguished Honor Roll. He is a member of French Club (serving as president), Strength Club, Biology Club, DECA and FCA.
Vitale is the son of Mike and Rhonda Vitale.