LEWISTOWN - Good things happen to good people.
And with the way that the Lewistown High School media room was packed with well- wishers Tuesday afternoon, one can consider Lewistown wrestler Jake Schultz as one of those.
It was standing room only as the Panther senior added to his long and distinguished wrestling resume by signing a letter of intent to continue his career at Kent State University.
Sentinel photo by KENNY?VARNER
Lewistown wrestler Jake Schultz, second from left, is flanked by his father Chuck, mother Kerry and brother Jonah at his letter of intent signning ceremony Tuesday at Lewistown Area High School.
Schultz had a breakout season last year, making it all the way to the PIAA Class AAA Championships for the first time in his varsity career.
It would prove to be an emotional afternoon as Schultz presented a heartfelt speech thanking all who had helped him along the road of his wrestling career. Tears were shed from Schultz, his family and members of the audience.
First to speak in the press conference was Lewistown wrestling coach Kirby Martin.
"This is a very proud moment for me ... I have been here long enough to experience many of these and it never gets old. It's always exciting to coach kids that wrestle all year round, who show our junior high and elementary kids what the process is to become a Division 1 wrestler," Martin said. "(Jake) is going into a very good program. The kids there are very well prepared."
He was also impressed with the route the school is going as well.
"They are putting themselves on the map," he said of the Golden Flashes. "They have two returning all Americans. They keep adding outstanding wrestlers to their program every year. Jake is going to fit in quite well."
Martin went onto to talk about the senior grappler and what he has meant to the whole Panther wrestling program.
"Jake Schultz in his entire wrestling career has stood out," Martin said. " He eats, he breathes and he lives wrestling ... It's been very exciting to coach him."
Going into his senior year, Schultz opens his 2010-11 campaign ranked 16th all-time among Lewistown wrestlers with 72 victories. His career mark is 72-31, with a whole year to continue working his way up the all-time wins ladder.
He's been to the Class AAA Northeast Regional tournament three times. As a freshman, he was the fifth-place wrestler at 112 pounds in District 6, but advanced as an alternate when a higher-seeded wrestler was injured. A year later, he was third at 130 in the district event, but his season ended at the regional. Last year, he was third at 135 in the district meet and the regional runner-up, with both losses coming to Central Mountain's Jordan Rich.
When Schultz took the microphone, the senior spoke from the heart acknowledging former coaches, teammates, relatives and, most of all, his parents for being there and helping him reach the goal of signing with the Golden Flashes, a team Schultz had his eyes on from the moment he walked onto the mat.
"There are a lot of emotions flowing right now," Schultz said. "I am excited. I wanted to go to Kent State through all my four years of high school and its like a dream come true."
The time for the senior has flown by as he looked back at his high school career.
"I can remember my first freshman practice like it was yesterday," Schultz said. "It went by like a flash."
To summarize what kind of all-around student and athlete Schultz is, one of the crowd members asked him how he was doing in school. With a modest smile Schultz replied, "I made distinguished honor roll."
As the press conference wound down, it was obvious to mostly all who attended that nice guys don't always finish last.