Wellsboro's Jackson caps career with all-state honor
For the past few years the Wellsboro Green Hornets have been working to gain some respect at the district and state level.
The Green Hornets had struggled in district play in recent years, but all of that changed this year.
Wellsboro dominated in their first two district games, reaching the District 4, Class AA final, and earning a spot in the PIAA Tournament.
On Tuesday the Green Hornets got a little more respect at the state level as senior Jordan Jackson earned third-team All-State honors in Class AA.
"It's actually really surprising to me," Jackson said. "I worked hard all season. I am glad I got this achievement, I'm honored."
Wellsboro coach Todd Outman knows how rare it is to earn this recognition.
"It's obviously a great honor, I can't tell you the last guy to make the all-state team," he said. "For Jordan this isn't even his number one sport. Running and track is his true love and he's going to Bucknell on scholarship for that, this is his second love and to be one of the 18 best in the state is a big thing. It says a lot about Jordan and his overall athleticism."
For Jackson getting an honor like this in his 'other' sport shows a lot about the type of athlete he is.
"I think it shows how versatile of an athlete I am in all my sports," Jackson said.
And, getting some recognition for his school is something that Jackson is proud of.
"I love the Wellsboro program here, ever since I moved here in eighth grade I have loved it and have been proud of it," he said.
When he first came to Wellsboro he never imagined success like this.
"I would have never guessed I would be this successful in basketball or track or cross country," he said.
The honor means a lot for Outman because Jackson is a player that was one of the keys since he took over as coach.
"Jordan is part of the original program, if you will, of when I took over," he said. "He was a sophomore and started on the varsity as a sophomore. He's one of the individuals that built this program to where it is."
And, Outman knows that this honor says a lot about the entire Wellsboro team.
"Anytime one of your teammates receives these kind of accolades, and Jordan would be the first to tell you, that you only get to this kind of level with the people around you," Outman said. "It does show them if you do work together somebody will receiver great success. This year it happens to be Jordan and one day maybe it will be one of them."
Jackson knows his teammates were a key to him getting this honor.
"My teammates were a big help," he said. "Matt Reese has played with me since eighth grade and helped me be a better player and coach Outman has really pushed me."
Jackson hopes that this will help the younger players push for the same type of honors.
"I look to be a good role model, I always preach you have got to work hard to get what you want," he said. "Hopefully it helps them get the same success. Next year I don't think it's going to be a down year, I hope it's another good year again. Dylan Prough, Mike Pietropola, Joey Doganiero and Kieron (Smethers) are all returning as starters."
While Jackson thinks his younger teammates will keep Wellsboro on the state map, Outman knows that this year, and the play of Jackson, helped put the Green Hornets there.
"As far as the state recognition, we had kind of fell of the map," Outman said. "We hadn't done as well at districts and this year was the first time we made it to the state tournament in a long time. To get this kind of recognition when you haven't had that kind of success at the state level, it's pretty special."
While Jackson hopes this might motivate his younger teammates, he also thinks his younger sister, Jada, a freshman on the girls team might use this to push for the same success.
"My sister is a tremendous athlete and I think she looks up to me as an older brother and I hope she seeds what I've done and tries to outdo me," he said.
For the Wellsboro senior this is the perfect way to cap his senior season and to go into his final track season.
"I am really happy with the way things ended this year," he said. "We made states, made the district championship and I am really honored to get this.
"Positive awards further motivate me for track season. I want to end my career on a positive."
Jackson was one of four District 4 players to earn third-team All-State honors in Class AA.
Loyalsock's Kyle Datres, Lewisburg's Travis Conrad and East Juniata's Nick Lorenz also earned third-team honors. Loyalsock's Roger Wilson was a first-team pick in AA.
In Class A, St. John Neumann's Alize Johnson was a second-team pick.
In AAAA Williamsport's Jahad Thomas was a first-team pick, while Isaiah Washington was a second-team selection.
Shikellamy's Ernie Tyler was a third-team pick in Class AAA.