Jordan Earnest has developed into one of Ohio’s most reliable wrestlers this season, but his accession did not come naturally. Earnest’s strong work ethic that originates from his high school days have helped him improve with every bout.
Entering this season, Earnest was ranked the 105th best heavyweight wrestler, according to WrestleStat. Now, he is ranked No. 36, a huge improvement that sums up his stellar season. Earnest was unranked in the Mid-American Conference for his weight class at the start of the season.
Now, he ranks third.
“Each thing builds on top of one another,” Earnest said. “You start winning more and more and people gradually start noticing. It’s always a fun time.”
His sudden improvement did not happen by magic. Earnest works hard every day to become the best wrestler he can be. He is motivated by the lure of going to the National Championship as a redshirt freshman.
“I know I am that close,” Earnest said. “I just have to finish the season out the right way.”
Earnest’s improvement stems from his high school years when he was a constant member at BattleZone, a fitness complex in his hometown in Wadsworth. At the gym, he quickly learned ways to improve as a wrestler, and he trained with college-level wrestlers and trainers.
“It definitely helped me a lot,” Earnest said. “I spent two days in there a week. It was two extra workouts for me each week.”
The competition he faced each week at BattleZone helped him prepare for the tough opponents he would come to face at the collegiate level. BattleZone, however, wasn’t the only great experience Earnest had in high school.
Earnest was a part of the Ohio national team that won a freestyle championship. That experience helped him learn how to train for tough competition. Earnest has made the most of that experience, and he still uses what he learned in the past today.
“I took that experience and used it to think how I was one of the only freshman to be able to do this,” Earnest said. “There was not a lot of freshman who did something like this. I felt a lot better about my training because of it.”
Earnest has a special skill when it comes to pinning his opponents. He had the most pins on the team last season, and he has four pins so far this season. It is something he prides himself on, and he always looks to pin his opponent.
“Whenever I go out there and there is an opportunity to pin, I look for the pin,” Earnest said. “That’s my gameplan going out. If I can get to that, it's amazing.”
He believes pinning is one of the best accomplishments you can get in wrestling. And with his pinning ability, he knows he has to strive for the best to help his team.
Earnest has become one of Ohio’s best wrestlers this season. His favorite part of the season was in his dual with Kent State. In the dual, also called the “Grudge Match,“ Earnest pinned his opponent Spencer Berthold in 3:46. It was one of Earnest’s best performances of the season, and that memory has stayed with him all year.
“It was a great experience,” Earnest said. “Getting up and jumping with the whole team. It was exciting to bring back the Grudge Match trophy.”
His goals for the rest of the season are simple, he wants to place high in the MAC Tournament and place at the National Tournament. While his goals are high, especially as a redshirt freshman, he knows he can accomplish them.
Earnest has faced tough competition his whole career, so he will be ready for whatever comes his way in the next few weeks.