GALESVILLE, Wis. (WXOW) - G-E-T/Mel Min wrestling co-op senior Jacob Summers was told he should never wrestle again. Now he can almost grasp a state championship.
"My hobby is wrestling. That's what I do, that's my life," said Summers.
Wrestling in a close match his sophomore year, Summers injured his spine. As if that wasn't bad enough, he got injured the next time he stepped on the mat. This time, dislocating his right shoulder twice which required surgery.
"I tried to come back and it was hurting a lot and I was telling myself I'm just gonna push through it, it'll be fine soon and then I ended up doing it to this shoulder. It really just broke me down and I had to think a lot," Summers added.
It took eight months to get his strength back.
Three days before his first match back, he injured his other shoulder in practice. Another surgery was needed.
"I had all this time to think about what my future would hold and I thought if I never went out for wrestling again it would kill me so I knew I had to come back and I had to keep trying," said Summers.
One day he's told to hang up the headgear and now he's competing for a state title. His story is inspiring his team.
"Jacob's not so much a vocal leader as he is by example," said head coach Pete Peterson.
"He's won some huge matches for us. He had lost to a kid earlier on this season that he beat in the sectional final for us to beat Medford and if he loses to that kid we might not win that dual. Not only does he beat him, but he also comes out and pins a really good wrestler and that's Jacob, he's gonna come out, swing hard go after a kid and give you his best effort," Peterson added.
It's his resurgence that embodies Titan wrestling.
"It just shows me what I can do. I was told I shouldn't wrestle again and here I am putting together a senior season, I'm 39-9. I'm going to state, I'm taking my team to state. I'm proving more and more to myself every day that I can get through this," said Summers.
(Photos in this story courtesy of Summers family)