jagger condomitti interview

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one had reached in life as by the obstacles that he had overcome.

-Booker T Washington

The definition of “adversity” is a state of serious difficulty or misfortune. Jagger Condomitti had seen some adversity in his young career. For those of you who don’t know this accomplished wrestler from Northampton, Pa. allow me to do the honors. Jagger is a two time Pa state finalist, winning a title in his senior campaign. His list of high school accolades include Fargo All American, NHSCA champion, and an Adidas National Wrestler of the Week. He’s accomplished, to say the least.

Condomitti career start put him on pace to be the all time wins leader at Northampton. And then Covid cut the number of matches he could wrestle his senior year. Still, he pressed on, same strong mindset.

Condomitti’s state tournament run was not without challenges. He injured his ankle wrestling in the early rounds. That didn’t stop him. Undeterred. He was winning that state title. Adversity, he overcame it. He won that gold medal on a takedown in the final 10 seconds, capping off an undefeated season. One goal down.

As his HS career transpired, Jagger developed himself into a top college recruit coming out of the Lehigh Valley. I mean who wouldn’t want a guy with club coaches like Jeff Buxton and John Trenge? An elite competitor. A PIAA state champ. The first day of recruiting. He stayed up as many athletes do. He got a text at midnight, mission accomplished. It was validation for all the hard work, extra workouts and sacrifices he had put in. Now the hard part, with schools like Michigan, Arizona State and NC State interested. Decisions, decisions.

Jagger narrowed the choice down to Pitt, Lehigh and Nebraska. He took his official visits there. He often wondered, “did I do enough?” He told me that the recruiting process was both humbling and validating. Grateful that programs of that magnitude would be interested in him in the first place while understanding his work made that possible.

Ultimately he chose Nebraska. Jagger acknowledged that long time Assistant Coach Bryan Snyder played a big part in his commitment. Snyder, an Easton graduate, had been a clinician at a camp Jagger attended as a youth wrestler. Having a familiar face, also from the Lehigh Valley, would be an asset as he would be hundreds of miles from home.

His first season in college, it was time to make some noise, announce his presence. Only it wouldn’t be that simple. He suffers a concussion at his first college open tournament. The first of what would turn out to be a series of incidents that almost led to giving up competition. He turned to support from family, friends and coaches.  Determined to return stronger than ever, and he did.

After being cleared to compete, he won numerous challenge matches in the room. He won the Hastings open tournament. Things were starting to come together. Then the unthinkable, another concussion. More adversity. This time it would be a 6 month layoff.

Clearly, concussions are nothing to be taken lightly. Hell, the NFL has very specific protocols and rules directly in place to limit these type of injuries.

The six months pass, Jagger did what he does. Dean’ List, Academic All-Big 10, Tom Osborne Citizenship recipient, and won the starting spot. Finally. He was where he knew he would be when he first stepped foot on campus in Lincoln.

Then, wouldn’t you know, days before Cliff Keen, a nightmare, the unthinkable. A third concussion. The neurologist recommends retiring from competition but Jagger was determined to overcome these setbacks. A determination that separates wrestlers from us mere mortals. And he did everything necessary to heal and ensure a successful return.

Finally, cleared again. Bad news for the 165lb weight class. He’s back  competing, wrestling, participating in the sport that he had been in since he was 5 years old. Still with the same goals he had to begin with. Eyes on the prize. The prize that is still out there for him to claim. Everything happens for a reason and for Jagger the comeback will be greater than the setback.

In our conversation, he seemed to recognize that being a top recruit coming out of high school doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the vigor of a big time college wrestling room. “There’s definitely a transition, that’s for sure.”

But it’s a transition that’s worth it. Put in the work, get the rewards. That’s what we love about this sport, you ask have you done enough and soon or later that question gets answered for you in unambiguous terms. And if the answer is no, you have the chance to do more, do better. And at a program like Nebraska, that could mean being challenged by an Olympic Champion.

“I couldn’t believe he knew my name, knew who I was,” Jaggers describes the first time he got to practice with perhaps the sports biggest star. “That was a crazy and humbling experience. He said ‘we’re going together today.’”

And as he works his way back into the Nebraska line up, it’ll take more moments like that, more intense practice sessions, and a continued tapping into that perservence that kept him from giving up all along. And as the medical profession recommends not sleeping with a concussion, we recommend you not sleep on Jagger. The best is yet to come.

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Based in Western PA. Right in the heart of WPIAL country, Todd brings an insider’s view from the country’s epicenter  of wrestling. He’s excited to build on the TKDWN tradition of starting with the story first. The athletes, the coaches, their families and supporters, there is no shortage of stories to tell. And Todd will bring his unique perspective to help us continue to deliver top notch content for the world’s greatest sport!

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