O-H Can-I-tan-O


Action shot of Canitano during a state tournament.

Aidan Riga, Contributing Writer

For some high school athletes, making it to states is a dream, something sought after by any competing athlete. For a select few it is an opportunity to make a name for yourself. Jake Canitano, a three time state placer in wrestling and Solon High School (SHS) senior, has made this dream a reality.

Canitano is a Ohio State University (OSU) Commit for wrestling. That alone is quite a large accomplishment for one athlete, but Canitano chooses to push further and try his limits by achieving more than he may have initially thought when he started his wrestling career. Trysten Zahoransky, teammate and current Junior at SHS commented on Canitano’s hard work and dedication to the sport.

“Jake has no mercy when it comes to matches,” Zahoransky said. “From the second it starts to the second it’s over he is dialed in and completely focused on the current match. He has this mindset of nothing else matters in those moments but that match, which ultimately is what brings out his continuous success.”

A select few influences have made an impact on Canitano’s athletic career, but SHS’s Varsity Wrestling Coach Augie Atienza is a huge influence on Canitano’s success on the mats.

“Coach Atienza was one of the main people in my wrestling career who really nourished my skills and pushed me to become the best athlete I could be by countless hours of offseason and in season training and lifting,” Canitano said. “At the end of my last season at Solon, I didn’t know how to properly thank him.”

With the end of a very eventful four years at SHS, Canitano has destroyed his competition at states by placing third, fifth and seventh, only missing one season due to his Pec injury, which in many eyes is a very impressive feat to accomplish.

“I really feel like I could have made it to States all four years, but my Sophomore year I was out for the season because my Pec injury  [Chest/ Pectoral Major], which ultimately didn’t end up negatively affecting my Junior or Senior year,” Canitano said. “If anything it caused me to work harder to regain my confidence on the mats.”

With four years to make an impact, Atienza has strategically worked with Canitano, pushing him to increase his level of play. Atienza had constructive yet enthusiastic words for Canitano’s upcoming college seasons.

“Don’t get me wrong, Jake is a phenomenal athlete, on top of being a good student, OSU didn’t think twice when offering him the scholarship,” “However, if Jake wants to continue his success in college and not be another mediocre college athlete, he needs to step up his training, in season and during the offseason so he can make the step up to the next level athlete.”

With his senior year coming to an end, Canitano plans on majoring in engineering and becoming more than just another college athlete, but take the next important step and become an elite athlete, almost complete dedication and extreme focus with outstanding time management. Afterall, he doesn’t want to miss out on his college experience.

“College is gonna be a whole new level of intense, but with hard work and dedication, the ultimate cliche, it can be rewarding and fun. I can’t wait to spend the next four years of my athletic and academic career at OSU and hopefully have the time of my life.”