By Greg Klein
---- — When he learned that there would be a newspaper story on his winning the Center State Conference Wrestling Tournament, Cooperstown senior Jacob Miller thought of his teammates.
“You’re going to write something about Mikey (Boyle) and Kevin (Segit) too, right? Those guys were awesome this weekend,” Miller said.
Miller’s co-captains did have an “awesome” weekend, each winning first place at the Section Three Class D Tournament. Boyle finished first at 120 pounds and Segit placed first at 195. Miller settled for second place at 145 pounds, a week after winning the CSC at the same weight.
“Just mention them too,” Miller said again.
According to his wrestling coach, Micaiah Abts, the concern for his teammates is characteristic of Miller.
“My hope is that my son grows up to be similar to him,” Abts said.
“Jacob is a great kid. He has done a great job working with our younger wrestlers and a great job making sure this is a team.”
On Jan. 12, it was Miller who had the best tournament for the Redskins. He won the CSC Tournament, beating Ilion’s Bryan Bennett, to avenge a loss from the semifinals of the CNY Tournament on Jan 12.
Bennett won, 14-12, in the first match. In the rematch two weeks later in the finals, Miller won, 6-4, in overtime.
“I knew when we went back to neutral to start the overtime, that I could take him down,” Miller said. “I thought all along that I was
better than him from (standing position).”
Miller, 18, is the son of Milford Central School Principal Michael Miller and Lori Miller. He has applied to the U.S. Military Academy. His recommendation came from Congressman Richard Hanna. Miller said he is expecting to find out in March if he is accepted. If not, he said he will look to find a school with an strong ROTC, so that he can go to officer training after college.
“I am anxious to find out,” he said. “I would mean a lot to me to be able to go through West Point.”
Miller was a co-captain of the football and wrestling teams as a senior, and said he expects to be co-captain of the track team in the
Last week, we was named a Center State Conference football second team All Star Team as a strong safety.
“I am extremely proud of all that Jacob has accomplished, both on the field but more importantly with his outstanding academic record,” Cooperstown football coach Mark Segina said. “He is such an active and accomplished student athlete and it never ceases to impress me just how hard he works and how well he does at anything he sets his mind to accomplishing.”
Despite his success in football and wrestling, Miller said he thinks his best sport is track. In 2010, he made the state tournament as part of the 3200 relay team with Jeremiah Ford, Caleb Edmonds and Will Reis. The foursome holds the school record in the 3200 relay, which they set twice that season.
In 2011, Miller, Ford, Reis and Alec Silvera set the school record in the 1600 relay. They won the Section Three title that year and finished fifth in the state.
“I think his success in track helped him in wrestling,” Abts said. “A lot of guys when they get their first success in wrestling get nervous. Jacob didn’t because it was like he had already been to the top before.”
Going into the Section Three Division II Tournament, which is Saturday at Onondaga Community College, Miller had a wrestling record of 22-5.
Two of his losses were forfeits during the Clyde Cole Tournament because of a knee injury. He has not been pinned this season.
“It has been a long time since he was pinned,” Abts said. “I think it happened once last season at the beginning of the year. Twice last
season he wrestled Anthony Finocchiaro of Canastota, who I think is wrestling at Brown now. He was the type of kid who just could score on anybody at will until he was ready to pin you. He beat Jacob, but when he went to pin him, he found that he couldn’t pin him.”
Finocchiaro finished second in the state last season at 138 pounds.
In addition to sports, Miller is captain of the Quiz Team, and he seems as excited about that team’s success as by the success by Cooperstown’s sports teams.
“We’re pretty competitive,” he said. “We’ve qualified for nationals again. We’re going to Washington, D.C., again at the end of May, beginning of June.”
Miller said he also plays Irish Flute in a Celtic Rock Bank and tried drama for the first time this year, performing in the school musical.
Despite all his success, however, he is waiting eagerly for news from the military academy. “Looking at colleges is probably the No. 1 thing right now,” he said. “Hearing that I got accepted to West Point would be amazing.”