ALVERTON (KDKA) — Jake Beistel is a born wrestler.
“When I was around 10, I went up to my mom and asked her if I could wrestle. She said sure,” said Beistel, a freshman at Southmoreland Area High School. “Nobody in my family has ever wrestled before. I’m the first one in my family to wrestle.”
At 15-years-old, he is already one of the top wrestlers in the state.
“The sky is the limit for him,” said Ryan Shaw, Southmoreland’s wrestling coach.
And while Jake is turning heads for what he’s doing in wrestling, what he’s doing from wrestling may be even more impressive.
“I just wanted to give back to the local community,” he says.
Without pressure or motivation from parents, teachers or assignments, Jake took it upon himself to raise money for the Southmoreland School District’s autism program.
“I was either going to do it with veterans or with autism, and I talked to my grandfather who is a veteran of Vietnam, and he said that any real veteran would what me to do it for the kids,” Beistel said.
So, for every match he wrestles in and every match he wins, more money is raised.
But this isn’t the first time Jake took it upon himself to make a difference in his community. Last year, the teen raised money in memory of one of his former wrestling opponents who was hit by a car and killed.
“I raised over, I think it was like $500 last year to donate to the Learning Support Program in Latrobe,” said Beistel.
That’s just the kind of kid Jake is.
“He’s definitely different. He works hard. He’s the real deal,” said Dakota Datz, the Southmoreland wrestling team’s senior captain.
“He’s a great wrestler, but more importantly he’s a great kid, just for what he’s doing,” Shaw added. “He’s helped with Toys for Tots. He’s just a role model for this school. He’s a coach’s dream.”
“I always try to help people out – that’s how I was raised – to help people out,” adds Beistel. “That’s what I always try to do.”