Porter switching focus to Greco-Roman

Having a double major in college is not unusual. Having it in business management and Greco-Roman wr
Jesse Porter
Jesse Porter

Having a double major in college is not unusual.

Having it in business management and Greco-Roman wrestling, that takes a unique individual.

Shenendehowa senior Jesse Porter, a two-time state place finisher and multiple national age-level All-American, will be a full-time student in both disciplines when he goes to Northern Michigan University in late summer.

“The way I see it, it’s like I’m jumping over modified and going right to varsity,” Porter said of his accessibility to the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman training site. “It’s like my high school career. I came up to varsity in seventh grade, so I skipped modified and JV. This will be very comparable.

“Instead of going to a DI school and wrestling folkstyle for another four years, I can focus on just Greco.”

Porter’s father, Jesse, was a national-class Greco-Roman wrestler who qualified for the Olympic Trials. He has passed his knowledge of the sport on to his children.

“I was kind of born into it,” Porter said of his chosen sport. “My dad was very good in Greco. My sister [Alexis] wrestles, my whole family is a wrestling family.”

Porter was second at the FILA Cadet Nationals, and fifth in the 152-pound division at the Junior Greco-Nationals last year, after getting to the gold medal match in the Cadet Nationals in Fargo. He was a Schoolboy age group champion in Greco in 2011,

“It’s a hard sport, but I really like the sport, and I like Greco,” Porter said.

Porter had applied to the U.S. Military Academy, but was turned down on a medical issue.

“I applied to West Point, and got through the whole process and was going to be accepted,” he said. “I had gotten both a presidential and congressional recommendation. Then they said I wasn’t medically qualified because I’ve had asthma.

“But I can always say I was accepted at West Point.”

Part of Porter’s interest in going to West Point was its ROTC program. That is something he could also pursue at NMU.

Porter knows the time commitment he’s making.

“I’ll be taking classes like any other college student, and I’ll be training,” he said. “There will times when I’ll be away at a tournament, but I’ll be able to take on-line courses.”

To get into the NMU-USOTS program, athletes must be approved by the OTS staff, the sport’s national governing body and the university.

In addition to having run of the training facilities, Porter is also eligible for free or reduced room and board, and has access to sports medicine and sports science services, academic tutoring, and a waiver of out-of-state tuition fees by Northern Michigan. Athletes are responsible for tuition at the in-state rate, travel and other training expenses.

Porter has already trained at the Olympic Training Center and met NMU-USOTS head coach Ron Hermann and the rest of the national Greco-Roman coaching staff.

Hermann competed against the Adirondack Three-Style Wrestling Association when the local club was a national Greco-Roman power under Joe DeMeo in the 1980s.

The NMU-USOTS assistant coach is Aghasi Manukyan, a 1983 world champion when he represented Armenia.

Porter has no set timetable on his Olympic aspirations.

“Obviously, I want to be on an Olympic team as soon as I can,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll be ready for 2016, but, I’ll do anything I have to do to prepare for 2016. I’ll just have to see how the time line plays out.”

In a sport where attacking the legs is not permitted, Porter feels he is getting a leg up on his competition.

“I think I’m getting a jump on a lot of the others who will be wrestling in college four years, and only training part-time in Greco,” he said. “I’m hoping this leaps me years ahead.”

Categories: High School Sports

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