Jaeger on the Move

Freshman impacts multiple teams


Takashi Matsumoto

Freshmen Declan Jaeger taking on his Fordham Prep opponent.

He locked his opponent into a tight pin, watched the clock ticked down, and felt all eyes on him. As the seconds went by, WHAM–the sound of a hard slap the cushioned floor. It was over. Friends, family, and other spectators rose from the stands, cheering loudly. Freshman Declan Jaeger had won the wrestling match, and the NVOT wrestling team moved on to the championships.

Jaeger’s life has always been surrounded by sports. He started soccer when he was in kindergarten, basketball, and baseball in first grade, wrestling when he was in third grade, and recently, he even started to play golf.

Although he quit playing basketball and baseball years ago, Jaeger continued wrestling and soccer. This past fall season, he played left defense on the freshman boys soccer team. The impact he left on the boy’s freshman soccer team from his defense was tremendous.

According to freshman Tyler De Grandpre, Jaeger’s teammate on the freshman soccer team, “He [Declan]  was always working hard and made a big impact in helping our defensive line. He was a key factor to the defense.”

Freshman boys head coach Mustapha Elqariani stated that Jaeger “always gives out 100% effort and reacts well to setbacks. His presence on the team brings in positive energy that rubs off his teammates and positively affects the chemistry of the team.”

This positive energy was key in Jaeger’s development as a key member of the wrestling team. Eric Arakelian, a senior wrestler mentioned, “Declan is extremely dedicated to getting better during practice. He’s had a great impact on the team, and he is exceptionally outgoing and he is just great to be around.”

Jaeger’s diligence and a consistent effort drive his success. Wrestling head coach, Robert Ortiz, additionally stated, “Declan’s attitude during practice and matches is always focused and determined; he is willing to take on challenges and eager to overcome certain obstacles.”

With his determination to succeed, Jaeger brought his skills against the final matchup against Paramus. Jaeger did admit though, that he was a bit apprehensive while heading up to that final match. He stated, “I was very nervous. I just hoped that I would be able to wrestle well and do my best.”

But in the end, his hard work paid off, and with that last win, the wrestling team was able to move on to the county championships as one of the best teams in all of the county. (They ended with a 6-0 run in the Big North Conference division, and a 21-9 record overall). Although the team lost in the final rounds of the Big North championships, Jaeger committed to becoming even better for next season. He said, “I am looking to improve individually, and also help my team become successful in future years to come.”

Takashi Matsumoto
Declan Jaeger winning the match.

As the wrestling season came to a close, Jaeger is moving into spring season on the junior varsity golf team. He looks forward to finishing off freshman year with three successful sports seasons under his belt and a determination to improve throughout his high school career.