The bright lights don’t dispel the confidence of Jacori Teemer.
The Long Beach wrestler will be a junior next season and is already one of the most accomplished high school wrestlers in Long Island history. He’s the first Long Islander ever to win state titles in the 8th, 9th and 10th grades, which he won at 99, 106 and 126 pounds, respectively.
He added perhaps his biggest accomplishment to his already impressive resume last weekend in Fargo, North Dakota, at the 2016 ASICS/Vaughan Cadet Freestyle National Championships, one of the premier wrestling events in the country.
He defeated Mason Phillips of Washington, 12-10, to capture a national championship at 132 pounds, further establishing his dominance on the mat.
“To win, he beat the second-, third- and fourth-place guys,” coach Ray Adams said. “He took the most difficult path to get there. He seeks out the best competition everywhere in the country.”
Teemer led 6-1 early against Phillips, but after Teemer attempted multiple doubles, Phillips rolled through each for two points, bringing the score to 6-5. Teemer said it was then just a matter of making adjustments and picking up points when he could.
Phillips had previously recorded a technical fall against everyone in the competition, Teemer said, making his victory even more impressive.
“I was shocked,” he said. “It was so surreal.”
Teemer is a tireless worker. He trains year-round to be in the best shape possible for both the high school season and other competitions. To prepare for Fargo, Teemer trained at Vougars Honors Wrestling with former world champion Vougar Oroudjov and his son, Vito Arujau, a three-time state champion from Syosset.
The training was clearly beneficial. It helped him acclimate to wrestling at 132 pounds, one class above where he competed as a sophomore. Phillips wrestled at 138 this past season, so the drop in weight still left him with significant mass, and it’s something Teemer recognized right away. Still, he wasn’t intimidated.
“I was ranked No. 1 at the tournament,” he said. “I saw Phillips and thought, ‘now I just have to prove I’m No. 1.’ ”
To qualify for the tournament, wrestlers must win either a freestyle state championship or a regional tournament. Teemer had no trouble meeting the qualifications. In fact, he did something Adams called New York’s “triple crown” of wrestling.
Leading up to nationals, Teemer won a high school state championship as well as state titles in freestyle and Greco-Roman, a feat not accomplished very often.
But his success should come as no surprise. He hasn’t lost a high school match in which he made weight in two years. The weight class doesn’t matter. You won’t find someone more prepared than Teemer.
This determination is leading Teemer to one more milestone. In April, he lost in the finals of the NHSCA National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which he said he wants to win next year. Teemer said that loss motivated him to succeed in Fargo.
“At the Virginia Beach nationals, I lost in the finals,” he said. “It was the worst feeling. So I knew I had to win this one.”