When Wade Jacobson was a junior, he brought his eighth-grade brother with him to wrestling practice at Edison High School. Brock Jacobson, a talented grappler, received encouragement from his older sibling and got an early look at what competing at the prep level is all about.
One year later, the brothers became teammates at Edison. They pushed each other to improve throughout the season. If Brock had a question, he went to his older brother.
"He’s always encouraged me," Brock said. "If I need help, I always ask him. He’s always there to help me. He’s my best partner."
On Feb. 5 during the National District wrestling tournament finals at Stuart High School, it was Brock’s turn to lead by example.
The 119-pounder captured what could be the first of many district championships during a decorated career, defeating Yorktown’s Cody Cummings by major decision, 10-0. Three matches later, in the 135-pound division, Wade won his first district title, beating Yorktown’s Nolan Paduda by decision, 3-2.
While one title adds hype to a promising prep career and the other adds style points to one that is winding down, both championships helped Edison win its fourth district crown in the last five tournaments under head coach Scott Racik. The Eagles finished with 170 points, 10 better than second-place Mount Vernon.
"Everything had to go perfectly in order for us to win this because Mount Vernon is a very good team --- well coached, tough as nails," Racik said. "I knew they were going to place 10 or 11 guys. I knew we were going to place fewer than that, so we had to hit everything right. … Most of the day, I thought this was Mount Vernon’s title. Just the way the numbers were going, it just looked like Mount Vernon was going to take it. In the third- and fourth-place matches, they lost a couple that I thought maybe they should have won and that made the difference."
Edison’s success during the finals started with the Jacobsons. Brock and Wade’s victories were the first of four for the Eagles.
"He always pushes me," Wade said of his younger brother. "Every time he wins, I try to get better."
Racik said the brothers have a good relationship and he doesn’t have to deal with any petty sibling arguments.
"They push each other in the room, they role model well for the other guys [and] they’re both extremely coachable," Racik said. "It’s a pleasure to have them."
Edison’s Jeremy Wagner followed Wade’s win by pinning Washington-Lee’s Dustin Reynolds in the 140-pound division.
"I’ve known both of [the Jacobson brothers] since I was 10," Wagner said. "I’ve wrestled with them my whole life. They’re great guys. They’re both really good, they work hard and the young one, Brock, is going to be something great."
Early in the finals, it was determined Edison’s chances of winning would depend on 189-pounder Camilo Rodriguez, who rose to the challenge. Rodriguez defended his district crown, beating Mount Vernon’s Francisco Cardona by an 8-2 decision.
"Last year we had all the snow, we didn’t have districts," Rodriguez said after Saturday’s win. "Whoever got first in the district duals finished first. It doesn’t feel like a championship. I have the medal, but I don’t feel like a champion. … Now I feel like a champion."
The Northern Region meet begins Feb. 10 at Fairfax High School.