By Noah Miyamae
Assoc. Sports Editor
Senior Jason Takarabe has been his own biggest critic during his high school athletic career. Whether he is wrestling or playing football, Takarabe is always looking to improve himself. With this mindset, it is fitting that he would participate in an independent sport like wrestling.
“I wrestle because I thrive on the individualism of it,” Takarabe said. “No one else is out there with you and the only person who can take the blame is you.”
Takarabe’s passion for wrestling began in seventh grade, when he discovered both his physical and mental capacity for the sport. While other students took interest in team sports like soccer or baseball, he thrived as a lone wrestler.
Takarabe’s dedication is apparent in his rigorous daily workout routine. He often spends two hours working out after school and then goes to practice with his teammates. His hard work does not end during the offseason either; he plays football in the fall and was distinguished as a second team all-league running back in the most recent season.
His intense training regimen led to a back injury that bogged him down for the majority of his high school athletic career. Although the injury has become less prominent since the start of senior year, he has been competing through the pain ever since. Takarabe’s drive for athletic success has eclipsed his injury, as he has wrestled with pain on several occasions.
“Jason has persevered through a lot, including his back injury,” teammate junior Mason Lee said. “Along with his competitive attitude, he is the spirit of the team and makes practices and matches a better experience for many of us.”
For Takarabe, the road of athletics does not end with high school. He hopes to continue to play football in the future or rugby. Both are sports that require a similar level of physicality and strong-willed mentality.