Erskine senior Jake Peavey will graduate as the most accomplished athlete to come out of the program.

Peavey capped his stellar four-year career by becoming just the second state champion in school history. He also became the first Erskine wrestler to place in the New England championships, where he took fourth in the 285-pound class. Peavey finished his high school career with a 161-37 record and 116 pins—both school records.

For his outstanding performance, Jake Peavey is the Kennebec Journal Wrestler of the Year. Cony’s Nic Mills was also considered.

Peavey got involved in the sport almost by chance.

“A teammate of mine on the football team talked me into going out as a freshman,” he said. “It was a very different sport than anything else I had ever done and I wasn’t too keen on it at first. But, after the first few days of practice, I fell in love with it.”

Peavey, who weighed 230 pounds as a freshman, started as a back-up heavyweight, but took over as the starter midway through the season.

“That year, I just wanted to learn,” he said. “There were no huge expectations on me to win. But I hated to lose.”

Peavey went 13-18 in his freshman campaign. Things began to change as a sophomore.

“As soon as I started beating guys who I thought were better than me, my expectations changed,” Peavey said.

Peavey placed second at the Class B state tournament as a sophomore. He finished second again at the state meet as a junior, losing a close match in the finals.

Peavey won his state championship in dramatic fashion, pinning defending state champion Zeb Leavitt of Cheverus in the finals.

“When I won, I knew I had achieved my personal goal, but the state title meant so much more,” he said. “It was for my coaches, my teammates, my family, and my community. They all played a huge role and it felt like they all won with me.”

This season Peavey, who now weighed in at 280 pounds, stepped up his attack dramatically.

“Coach (Patrick) Vigue told me when I go full-bore, no one can stop me,” he said.

Only one of his 59 victories went a full six minutes, and that was a 4-1 decision over Vermont state champion Calvin Hayford in the New England tournament consolation semifinals.

“I’ve trained all season to get into top condition,” Peavey said. “In the third period he was dogging it and I still felt strong.”

Peavey also shines off the mat. He is senior class president and is also a member of Erskine’s National Honor Society.

Peavey is quick to give a lot of credit for his development to Erskine coaches Vigue and Rick Hussey.

“They got a chubby 230-pound freshman and gave him a chance to believe he could do some pretty cool things,” Peavey said.

Peavey plans to continue his wrestling career at the college level. He is most interested in attending either Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts or the University of Southern Maine.

“He’s only wrestled four years, so he is relatively inexperienced,” Vigue said. “He has a ton of potential. With the right coaching and the right people to push him, the sky’s the limit.”

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