With the 2021-22 school year all wrapped up, many former athletes are now preparing to take their athletic skills to the collegiate level. Metea Valley graduate Jake Paulline is one of those special athletes who will be playing at the Division I level, gearing up for the Valparaiso University football team next fall. Find out more in this Player Profile, presented by LifeStance Health.
Besides wearing the pads and cleats, he also pinned opponents to the ground on the Mustang wrestling squad ,and showed off his strength as a thrower on the track and field team.
“Every sport offered me something different. So with football there’s a lot of physical contact, power, aggression and stuff like that. For wrestling it’s the same thing except more hands on and one on one and then track and field with throwing was no contact at all which was a complete change for me when I first started it.”
Jake Paulline has been playing football the longest but staying involed in other sports like wrestling and track and field was pivital to keep him in shape all year round.
“Football has always been my thing. I’ve been doing that since I was four years old, so playing football has always been my dream. But I knew doing track and field with the shot and disk and wrestling my sophomore year, I thought all those together would help me become a better football player.”
Paulline wasn’t just competing in these other sports, he was thriving. After improving season after season, this spring the Mustang hurler qualified for state in the discus for the first time. He finished in 4th place at the St. Charles North sectional in discus and 6th in the shot put, setting new PR’s in both. But on the gridiron is where Paulline did his best work.
The future Beacon hardly ever left the field, played on both sides of the ball of the ball for the Mustangs. He lent his skills to the defensive line, while also anchoring the O-line, helping players like QB Logan Frederick throw touchdowns to pass catchers like John Flynn and future NIU Huskie Jalen Johnson. His all conference performance helped the Mustangs to their most wins since 2016.
“It really help get my start to doing that with some of the bigger names we were playing against, going against me. Showing up and playing both sides was a huge trust that I built up with the coaches for them putting me on both sides of the ball as this young kid in a varsity football game.”
Despite the four years flying by in a blink, the achievements from his senior year will always be ones to remember.
“It’s one of the greatest things I ever experienced especially after a huge win and like this season with all three back to back to back wins with two at home. It was a great feeling to have our stands packed everyone was there and then everyone rushing the field, and abunch of people I know who I have talked to about sports and how the team’s gonna do and everything. It was a great feeling to see all them happy and cheering for us the whole season.”
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Patrick Codo
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