Over the years Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne has seen its share of top players. One of those from the past, Mike Padilla is watching his son Jacob Padilla carrying on the family tradition and leaving his own legacy on the Warriors athletic program.
The younger Padilla recently won the Ohio Division I heavyweight division finishing the season with a perfect 42-0 mark.
What’s it been like for Jacob to follow in his father’s footsteps?
“They are big shoes to fill,” said Padilla. “He’s coached me for eight years in football and my entire life in wrestling. So, he’s pointed me in the right direction.”
Like his father, Jacob also plays for Warriors head football coach Jay Minton. Has dad passed on any tales of what it was like during his career?
“He hasn’t told me any stories, but said it was pretty crazy,” explained Padilla. “He said the coaches were pretty crazy back then.”
In winning a state championship in wrestling the younger Padilla has one up his dad but said it took awhile before it all set in.
“It didn’t kick in that I won state until about two weeks later,” he said. “I was happy to beat my dad as he got third at 285-pounds his senior year. So, it was a good feeling to pass him.”
While wrestling is a passion for the Padilla family, the goal is to look at playing football at the college level.
“Last summer I went to a lot of camps,” he said. “This year I’m looking to attend five or six camps and will be going to the Indianapolis mega camp and some others. Offensive line play is basically wrestling. It’s body control and while there are not really any moves, wrestling as a heavyweight is basically offensive line play as it’s just two big guys pushing each other.”
Last week coaches from all college levels made an early visit to Wayne to watch many of the Warriors underclassmen go through agility type drills. How did things go for Padilla?
“Not a lot of coaches have been talking with me or reaching out,” he said. “It was nice to show the coaches what I’ve got.”
As for his senior year and beyond Padilla has several dreams and goals heading into his final season at Wayne.
“I want to be the best leader I can be,” he said. “As a team, we’re the underdog, so we want to prove everybody wrong. To earn a scholarship to play football in college would mean the world to me as I’ve been playing the game all my life. I want to study education and my dream would be to move to Florida.”