Pack mentality: Hatters’ Camacho to wrestle at N.C. State
Another one of Danbury High School’s top wrestlers will be heading to North Carolina State University.
Soon-to-be Hatter senior Jakob Camacho announced Thursday afternoon that he will head to Raleigh in the fall of 2018 and wrestle for the Wolfpack. Camacho — who at the end of a magnificent high school season last winter as a junior was the seventh-ranked 120-pound high school wrestler in the country, according to FloWrestling.com — had plenty of options, including Cornell, Princeton, Penn State, Ohio State and Virginia.
In the end, his heart led him to N.C. State.
“Going through the recruiting process was definitely hard, but N.C. State, there is just something about it that makes it home for me,” Camacho said Thursday in a phone interview. “I know the coaching staff is going to help me achieve my goals on and off the mat. It’s going to be strict, as a Division I program should be, but I’m ready for it. I just want to take the opportunity and run with it.”
Former Hatter great Kevin Jack is a two-time All-American for the Wolfpack and will soon be starting his senior year in Raleigh. Jack, who took third at the NCAA championships in the 141-pound class in March, graduated from Danbury High School in 2014, when Camacho was an eighth-grader. Both products of the Danbury Youth Wrestling Association, their names are two of the most prominent in the Hatter record book.
“Just knowing what Kevin had done in high school, and knowing what he’s done in college, it’s exceptional,” Camacho said. “I look up to him.”
Camacho already ranks among the all-time Danbury greats, and he still has another year to go. His career record of 135-10 includes a 44-2 record this past season. In his first three high school seasons, Camacho has won three straight FCIAC titles; reached three straight Class LL state finals and won two titles; reached three straight State Open finals and won two titles; and placed in the top three in New England three straight years, winning a championship this past season. This past season, he also won the Eastern States Classic in Upstate New York, and received the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award for his performance.
Camacho helped lead Danbury to its first New England title since 1990, making it the first Connecticut team to win that title since Windham in 1992. That capped an unstoppable Hatter run through the postseason championship meets which included their 13th State Open title since 2001, their second straight and 19th overall Class LL state title, and their 30th FCIAC crown in the last 31 years.
Camacho wrestles year-round and trains at Iowa Style Wrestling in Somers, N.Y., outside of the high school season. Last October, before the high school season even started, Camacho placed fourth and earned All-America honors at the Super 32 national tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
This is all setting the stage for what promises to be an exciting senior year for Camacho.
“My mind-set going into senior year is to, in one word, dominate. I really want to prove why I could get to where I am and prove why I can be the best,” he said. “Going into senior year, I want to have fun and I want to have a year to remember. In order for that to happen, I need to prove, to not only myself but everyone else, that I’m in contention to win a national title. It’s going to be a great senior year. I can’t wait.”