Clarkston High School is known around the Metro Detroit area as being one of the top high school’s for its academics and most importantly for sports. Football at Clarkston High is like no other, with rich tradition and pride. Clarkston has ruled the Oakland Athletic Association over the last decade. Winning two State Championship’s in back to back seasons in 2013 and 2014, Clarkston has made it clear that they are the Champions of the OAA Conference. In 2015 Clarkston ended its football season with a 7-3 record, losing in the State playoffs to the 2015 Division 1 State Champs Romeo Bulldogs. Although coming up short in the playoffs, Clarkston battled through many injuries throughout the season but that didn’t stop student athlete Jake Blaska, he stepped up and made all the difference.
Jake Blaska, 5’9” 170 lbs. Clarkston High School, Junior WR, is ready to show off his incredible hand skills that will have all college coaches asking, “Who is Jake Blaska?”
Not everyone has the passion or the desire to play football. It takes heart and discipline to play a sport this physical. With the fear of always knowing that one play can be your last, the thrill of making plays and helping your teammates on each play brings out the excitement for players. Football develops characters among student athletes who do need the guidance or just need the feeling of being a part of a team. I asked Blaska how has football made you the person you are today? “Football teaches a lot of life lessons, but the biggest thing I have learned is discipline and that has helped me be a more respectful and determined person on and off the field. Developing the motto of “we before me” is something that I have to thank my coaches and teammates for believing that I can become the best player I can possibly be”, said Blaska.
Blaska is what you call a gritty football player. He is a player who is willing to do all of the small things and is not afraid of creating a little havoc on the field. Clarkston runs the ball heavy in their offense so Blaska always has an opportunity to block down the field to spring his running back to the outside for the chance of scoring a touchdown. But blocking isn’t something that receivers would like to do all the time. Blaska is an all-around football player. This football season Blaska expects to be catching the football more since earning his coaches respect by doing all of the things that average receivers would not do. Having this opportunity Blaska said, “I want to take this summer and keep working on my speed and explosiveness which will add more versatility to my game. The strongest area of my game is my hands. I am very consistent with catching the football. I shouldn’t drop any passes this season”. Blaska is showing great confidence in his play. I asked Blaska what NFL player would he compare his game to? “I can compare myself to Julian Edelman. I’m not the fastest player on the field, but I can create space to get open. I do not drop the football period”, said Blaska.
Clarkston’s season opener only months away. Their season begins at the University of Michigan playing against a scrappy Lapeer football team that went 20-2 in the last two seasons. I asked Blaska what his personal were and team goals for the 2016 season? “My goal for my team for the upcoming season is for us to win the Division 1 State Championship. I want to get that sour taste out my mouth about coming up short last season. My personal goal, I want to be one of the reasons why my team makes it to the championship and also winning the championship”, said Blaska.
Some student athletes are blessed with God given ability and talent that makes playing sports easy. But for student athletes like Blaska, he has to train and work hard 100% of the time to be successful. It creates passion and determination to be the best you can. “I believe the key to success is consistency and persistence. You can always do more to get the results you need”, said Blaska.
In today’s world nowadays it is very difficult to have true role models. Young student athletes tend to depend on social media and current sports figures to be their role model but Blaska views are very different than most. “My life role model is God. I strive every day to be a better person and Christian. I’m very strong in my faith and I know that God has a plan for me”, said Blaska.
Every day we search to find what our purpose is in life. Being a true competitor doesn’t just have to be on the football field but in life we have to show that competition is necessary. Jake Blaska is a true competitor and if you aren’t careful he might just take your spot.
Chasing Dreams Inc.
June 12, 2016