Jaekus Hines, a three-time state qualifier and a defending state wrestling champion will become a Mountaineer. On Monday, the Osceola County senior and team captain signed a scholarship offer for Appalachian State University.
In making the announcement, Hines said that, “The App State coaches were in constant contact with me during the recruiting process. They are building a really good program there and have a solid wrestling tradition. I just felt it was the best place for me to continue by wrestling career.”
The Mountaineers were ranked 30th in the latest college wrestling poll.
“App State is getting a great kid and a great wrestler,” Osceola Head Coach Jim Bird said. “I know their coaches and it is a hard-nosed program that demands a lot of their athletes and Jaekus will certainly fit into that type of environment.”
“Jaekus is an extremely hard worker, who always goes 100 percent regardless of the opponent. He wasn’t intimidated as a freshman here and I think that will carry over next year when he gets to college,” Osceola assistant coach Desten McCauley added. “For as good as he is and for as hard as he works he’s never satisfied with the status quo. He is always striving to get better. I really think the sky is the limit for him.”
Hines is currently finishing his senior season and will compete in the Class 3A, Region 2 Tournament this weekend. He will be favored to win the 138-pound weight class and move on to the state meet next weekend.
His record this season is 34-1, with his lone loss coming against another state champion in a Holiday Tournament. In addition to his state championship last year, Hines is a four-time district champion, four-time OBC champion and has won regionals three times.
Jaekus becomes the second member of the Hines family that will be wrestling at the Division-1 level. Hines brother, Malyke, won three state championships at Osceola High School before signing with national power Lehigh in 2019, where he is currently a sophomore.