Jared Head is a senior on the Washington High wrestling team. He finished second in Class 2A last year at 160 pounds (43-6 record) and has been a part of all three of the Panthers' 2A dual-team state championships. This year, he’s ranked No. 1 in the state at 160 pounds with a 32-1 record and a tournament championship at Granite City.

Journal Star sports reporter Stan Morris asked Head five questions:

1. What would it mean to wrap up your senior year knowing nothing but dual-team state championships at Washington?

“It would be awesome to win four state titles in a row, as we would be the first public school in 2A to four-peat. However, the goal is not to win that fourth title; it is to get keep getting better everyday in the practice room and if we do that I believe that we will win.”

2. When did you first get into wrestling, and why?

“I got into wrestling when I was eight years old. I got interested in it when I was much younger because my dad was a wrestler in high school. So, I always grew up wrestling with him and then he asked me if I wanted to try actually wrestling for a team. Since that day, I haven’t looked back and have fallen in love with the sport.”

3. You’re headed to Old Dominion next year on a scholarship. What other schools did you consider and what made you chose Old Dominion?

“Some of the other schools that recruited me were University of Illinois, Rutgers University, Princeton, Buffalo, George Mason University. Old Dominion really stuck out to me for three big reasons. One reason was the coaching staff and the wrestlers all have the like mindset of becoming the best that they can be, which is the exact mindset I’ve grown accustomed to at Washington. The second reason is they have a phenomenal nursing program, which is what I plan to study during college. Lastly, the campus is amazing and it is nothing like the state of Illinois.”

4. So far what has been the highlight of your wrestling career, both individually and as a team, and why?

“Individually, the highlight of my career would definitely be making it to the state finals last year. The kid I beat in the semifinals had beaten me many times growing up as a kid, so it felt good to finally come out on top when it truly mattered most. As a team, I would say winning team state my freshman year was definitely the best moment of my life. It was a crazy moment for me being a freshman surrounded by all these amazing wrestlers who just accepted me as one of their own, and it was my true first experience of the wonderful brotherhood we have at Washington.”

5. How tough is it to maintain weight during the wrestling season and what is your diet like?

“For me, making weight is not a very difficult thing because I am not cutting much weight this year. However, my diet still stays pretty clean because what you put into your body is what you get out of it. So I mostly eat a lot of rice and chicken, and eggs, and potatoes. As far as what I drink it is either water or some type of juice.”

Bonus Question: Who is the toughest wrestler you have faced?

“Most definitely Isaiah Martinez, a 4-time NCAA finalist and 2-time NCAA champ for the University of Illinois. I have not wrestled him in real competition, but I have wrestled him plenty of times in live matches during RTC practices at the U of I.”