Former high school wrestler goes from girls’ trailblazer to tournament coach
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - No one appreciates the girls’ state wrestling tournament more than Cassy Jakoubek.
Hardcore wrestling fans may remember her as Cassy Herkelman. 10 years ago, she was chasing a dream as a freshman on the Cedar Falls wrestling team.
“It got me excited,” Jakoubek said, at the time. “I am going to be a girl who goes to state. I am going to do it.”
And, she did. Jakubek was the first girl to qualify for the boys’ state wrestling tournament. She won her first match by forfeit and lost her two others. But she had broken the barrier and drew much media attention.
“I looked forward to do it. I didn’t take it as anything special,” Jakoubek said, now, reflecting back on that time. “I signed up for the sport. That was my goal. I went out and did it.”
What goes around comes around: Jakoubek is in her first year as the head coach of the Cedar Falls girls’ wrestling program.
“I am glad I can give back to the sport that gave me a lot,” Jakoubek said. “Some of them [know about my career]. They know I wrestled but I don’t know that they realize the things I have accomplished in my wrestling career.”
After Jakoubek’s Cedar falls days, she was a two-time all-American wrestler at McKendree University. She is now married and expecting.
Jakoubek has come a long way in 10 years, and so have the opportunities for girl wrestlers in Iowa.
“When I was wrestling in high school, there were 20 girls registered on boys teams,” Jakoubek said. “And now, to have 470 girls at the state tournament. Never could have imagined.”
10 years ago who could have pictured this: 457 girls at their own state tourney. And, in part, they have Cassy Herkelman to thank.
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