By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Lafayette senior and three-time state wrestling medalist Jay Greiner will continue his athletic and academic career at the University of Chicago.
After verbally announcing his commitment in December, Greiner signed his national letter of intent at Lafayette High School Monday to make it official. Greiner says it’s the fulfillment of a dream he’s had for years.
"Chicago has been a dream of mine for a few years now," Greiner said. "I've been looking at them since eighth grade. To even have this opportunity is just incredible and I am truly blessed."
The top student in his class, Greiner plans to study either computer science or business economics. Greiner medaled second at state in both his freshman and sophomore year, and then took gold in 2022 as a junior behind a state record 61 wins last season.
He's now piled up 195 career wins, which right now is tied for 12th most in state history. He's also on the verge of breaking another state record, as he's amassed 27 consecutive pins. One more would be a record.
This year, he’s a perfect 32-0 with a large chunk of the season still to go. Lafayette head wrestling coach Josh Walters says Greiner is a role model in every way - not just because of his wrestling ability.
"I've spent the last four years with this young man and his father," Walters said. "We have grown to be very close. This young man, I couldn't say more. He is the nicest, the smartest, the most talented. I have no words on how great this individual is now and how great he will be in the future."
Greiner’s father, Jason, is an assistant on the Lafayette varsity team and has coached Jay throughout his whole life. Jay says he and everyone who's supported him through the years has played a major role in getting him to where he is now.
"My father, all through growing up," Jay said. "Not only being a role model, but a coach. Changing my life athletically. Life goes in steps, and that's what I've learned. It doesn't just happen. It takes time and it's been a long road. I love everyone who's helped me along the way."
Walters says the Greiner family trusted in God's plan when they were figuring out where Jay might go to college, and how could be successful as a wrestler and as a full-time student.
"God has meant to put (Jay) at the University of Chicago," Walters said. "I told (Jason), 'Have faith, that's where he's going to be.' When (Jay) came to Lafayette, I talked to him for a long time about where he was going to go (for college). He had like four places, and I go, 'I really think God has meant for him to be here.' I think God's plan has been lived by the Greiner family."
Greiner is also a two-time MEC Conference and city wrestling champion. With the city, conference, district and sectional meets still to come this seasob, Greiner says he's been taking every opportunity to savor his final year as a high school wrestler.
"I really didn't notice it was over until recently," he said. "I'm kind of trying to make the most of it. Working hard, even when I don't want to. Even when I don't feel like it, I want to make the most of it no matter what."
When Greiner is finished at Lafayette, Walters will not only remember his years with Jay fondly, but he will also be able to reap the rewards of a strong culture that Greiner helped establish in the North Side.
"Day in and day out, the kids see it every single day and they just want to be more like him," Walters said of Greiner. "He is great and anytime someone is looking up to someone so great, they just become better."
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