By Elizabeth Bock
Photo by Luke Quezada
At only four foot ten, Sophomore Jackie Takarabe has enough energy for three people. She participates on four high school teams: cross country, soccer, wrestling, and track. In every sport she plays she makes new friends and brings a positive attitude to her teammates, inspiring them to try their best.
“I try to be as enthusiastic as possible because it doesn’t just push my teammates, it helps push me,” Takarabe said. “The more I believe in those around me, the more I can believe in myself.”
Takarabe is motivated by her family and friends to try her hardest. She looks up to her older brother, Jason, and her parents. When Takarabe was in fifth grade she began roughhousing with her brother and realized she enjoyed wrestling.
One day, despite what her brother might say, Takarabe claims that she pinned Jason down, with her Dad as a witness. Her brother’s athletic experience along with Takarabe’s unique tackling technique helped prepare her for the physical challenges of the high school wrestling squad.
During Takarabe’s freshman year she put effort into every workout, even during her taxing winter season. She played sweeper on the soccer team and ran through practices for two hours despite pain from a shoulder injury. Then she would move onto wrestling, working on strength training and moves for another three hours until she reached a bedtime at eight thirty. The hard work she displays in everything she pursues showcases her dedicated spirit.
Although she was tired most days, she never let exhaustion get her down. Nicknamed “Baby Takarabe” on the team, she is known for being a tiny teammate and an enthusiastic fighter.
“During wrestling matches you need to be cheering on your friends,” Takarabe said. “Although we may win or lose matches, we still score as a team.”
By encouraging others, Takarabe set a positive example for her teammates and brought them closer together. She refers to the wrestling team as a big, loud, and dysfunctional family.
Takarabe is one of three girls on the team and second on Varsity for her weight class. She is looking forward to competing in the winter and wants to see an improvement in her performance by achieving more pins than last season. In addition, she wants to help her teammates better themselves with the ultimate goal of reaching CIF.
“Jackie brings a positive attitude to everything she does,” sophomore classmate and friend Lindsey Calva said. “She is there not only to push herself but everyone else on the team.”