Jake Sieminski signs to make SOU commitment official

Scott Swanson

Jacob Sieminski signed a letter of intent Tuesday, May 4, to wrestle at Southern Oregon University.

As a crowd of family, teammates, friends and coaches watched, Sieminski committed to the Raiders, following in the footsteps of his former teammates, Travis Thorpe, and his cousin, Marissa Kurtz.

SOU Coach Joel Gibson and assistant Tucker VanMatre were also present.

Coach Steve Thorpe introduced Sieminski, noting that Thorpe had stood next to Clint Sieminski, Jacob’s father, “when he signed his letter to compete in college and now I’ve got his son signing his letter to compete in college.”

“I don’t know if we’re talking if we’re generational in our program or that just counts as me getting older,” he joked.

Thorpe described Jacob Sieminski as “arguably one of the best wrestlers ever to wrestle here at Sweet Home,” noting that he’s won three high school state championships and multiple Oregon Wrestling Association awards.

The senior established a 168-21 overall record (20-0 during the shortened COVID 2020 season), winning three state and two regional championships, the Reser’s Tournament of Champions, four Linn County titles, and the 2023 freestyle state championships, and finishing as runner-up in Greco in a finals match in which he was head-butted by his opponent at the outset.

He is also a recipient of the OSAA 4A State Championships Outstanding Wrestler award, and was named Outstanding Wrestler twice in the Linn County Championships, the regional championships, and the Perry Burlison Invitational.

Earlier this year he was also named OSAA/Army National Guard Most Valuable Teammate.

Thorpe recalled how he’s known Sieminski since he was “a little tiny kid” and has traveled all over the Pacific Northwest with him.

“You know, I’m not just saying, ‘Hey, here’s a wrestler I’m sending somewhere.’ This is one of mine. This is somebody that I love.”

Sieminski said he visited both SOU and Eastern Oregon before deciding to accept the Raiders’ offer.

“I went down on a visit during football season earlier this year and the minute I got down there, I just really liked the environment,” he said.

“I liked the people down there. It was a big plus that my cousin Marissa Kurtz already went there and now her younger brother’s gone there too. And then my past teammate Travis Thorpe’s done that too.”

Thorpe will be a junior wrestling for the Raiders next year, who finished second in the Cascade Conference earlier this year, and Kurtz just finished her junior season for the SOU women, who won the national championship in March under first-year Head Coach Gabrielle Weyhrich.

Sieminski said Eastern Oregon, where Husky alum Paige Chafin is wrestling, was “a cool environment – I liked a lot of the people there, but it was just too far from home.”

Sieminski said he eventually plans to be an electrician, but he will major in outdoor recreation at SOU.

Gibson called Sieminski “a great wrestler” who will be “a huge asset” for SOU.

“We’ve had a lot of Sweet Home wrestlers come through the SOU program,” said Gibson, who noted that he roomed in college “in a garage” with Sweet Home assistant Tomas Rosa. “Jake is obviously one of the best that’s ever come through a very storied program and I’ve heard nothing but good things about him.

“Of course, I’ve watched him wrestle, but talking to people and just seeing what type of person he is, he’s what we are looking for.”

Thorpe said he’s “very excited” for Sieminski’s prospects at SOU.

“It’s a place I’ve trusted Marissa, his cousein, and it’s where I trust my son to be,” he said. “He gets to turn the next page and start a brand new chapter.”