I often get asked about D2 champs that could compete – and possibly even win – if they were in D1. Pearl River’s Jake Kurzhals falls into that category. His only losses this season came at Eastern States, as Kurzhals won titles at the O’Connell, Shoreline, Rockland and Division 2 tourneys. He made a big leap this year from contender to champ and did not have a loss to a Section 1 opponent. He has defeated his opponent in the finals, Nanuet’s Dylan Mateo, by one point during the regular season, but Kurzhals won more definitively with a 7-0 decision last weekend. He’s a major part of a core for the Pirates that should keep them in contention for a D2 team title once again next year.
Here are the responses that I received from Jake:
Weight Class: 126 in D2
How did you get started with wrestling? The school was passing out fliers for the Pealr River wrestling club in third grade. I’m not entirely sure why, but I just wanted to try it. So, I went home, had my parents sign me up and the rest is history.
What is it that you love about the sport? I love the high level of competition in the sport and the sense of pride you get when you win.
What is the most challenging part about it? Losing a match and cutting out dessert for the season.
What have been some of the keys to your success this season? I have believed that I can win every match I’m in and that I train too hard to let others beat me.
How would you describe yourself on the mat? On the mat, I’m a calculated and focused wrestler.
And off of it? Still focused, but I enjoy hanging out with friends.
Which is your favorite sports team? None listed.
Favorite movie? Three-way tie among Dodgeball, Anchorman, and Nacho Libre.
Favorite Food? Homemade chocolate cake.