Finishing a season 32-3 and ranking second in the state would be quite satisfying for most high school wrestlers, but for Sturgeon Bay-Sevastopol’s (SBS) Jeremy Jorns, it’s a small accomplishment on the proverbial road to redemption.
Jorns qualified for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 state tournament last year, and he admits that he let the grand stage in Madison get to him. Two losses by a combined score of 16-2 left him with a pair of goals: to return to the state tournament and to prove he belongs in a class with the state’s top wrestlers.
His quest will begin Saturday, Feb. 9, when he wrestles at 182 pounds in the Division 2 Valders Regional.
“The outcome [at the state meet in 2018] motivates me a lot,” said Jorns, who is second in state rankings behind River Valley’s Shane Liegel. “I know I can do better, and I want to show everyone around me that I can do better.”
Despite nursing a neck strain that forced him to miss some action late in the season, Jorns has been dominant, winning four invitationals and placing second in two others. His three losses have gone to Dodgeland’s Ryan Neu (top-ranked at 170 in Division 3), Edgar’s Brock Handrick (ranked third at 182 in Division 3) and Kewaunee’s Travis Reinke (fifth-ranked at 170 in Division 3). Jorns split two matches with Reinke, winning the first 1-0 but dropping the second 5-3.
“Jeremy is ready to go,” SBS coach Trevor Hasenjager said. “He has high goals, and we are doing everything we can to make sure he achieves them. He has wrestled some tough competition all year and should be ready. It’s going to be a tough road, but he is wrestling very well.”
Jorns said there is a lot of pressure on him going into the postseason, but he will use that pressure as motivation. He added that a change in mindset has served him well this season.
“I changed my mentality this year,” Jorns said. “I’ve worked on mental conditioning in order to prepare for the postseason. Everything has to go right. There can’t be any slip-ups, or things won’t play out how I want them to.”