Athlete of the month

Warrenton senior has 100 wins, but his eyes are on the big one

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 2/21/24

Warrenton High School senior wrestler Jacob Ruff hopes to lead the Warriors to a team and individual state MSHSAA championship.

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Athlete of the month

Warrenton senior has 100 wins, but his eyes are on the big one


Warrenton High School senior Jacob Ruff has been one of the Warriors most consistent athletes on the wrestling mat.

Ruff recently scored his 100th victory, doing so in a home match on his senior night against Lift for Life Academy and Wright City.

Win No. 100 came when he pinned Wright City wrestler Quincy Rice in less than a minute.

Now Ruff, a two-time state medalist and the state runner-up as a junior, has his eyes on finishing his high school career as a state champion.

What was it like when you got your 100th win?

“It was cool. I enjoyed seeing my teammates supporting me. That was cool, too.”

How would you describe the work it took to get to 100 wins?

“It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of time and sacrifice.”

What are some of the things that you did to reach the point where you are?

“I just train a lot, wrestle in the off season. Just wrestle, basically.”

What does training look like?

“Just working on different techniques and stuff.”

What kind of technique do you work on?

“Slight little details in your attacks, like keeping your head up on your shots and stuff like that.”

What do you enjoy the most about wrestling?

“You get what you earn. There’s no politics. You either win or you lose. You can blame anyone else.”

Was getting to 100 wins one of your career goals?

“Not really. I wasn't really paying attention to that. Every match is like its own accomplishment.”

What were some of your career goals?

“I want to be a state champion and be the best I can be at the collegiate level.”

Do you think you have a chance to become a state champion?

“Yeah, I definitely have a good shot.”

What makes you think that?

“Well, it’s my mindset. I’m not going to think someone’s better than me. I’m just going to go out there and give it 100 and whatever happens, happens.”

Are you planning to wrestle in college?

“Yeah, that’s the plan.”

Have you picked a college yet?

“No, not yet.”

Which ones are you looking at?

“There’s multiple different ones. I’m just kind of talking to coaches and then after high school season, I’m going to decide what’s the best option.”

Do you have a dream school?

“Not necessarily. Like I said, I want to be the best I can be. So obviously, D1, any D1 one school would be a dream school, but I’m ok with going to a lower level, too. It’s just whatever happens, happens.”

Do you think you and your team teammates have a shot to have a good postseason and finish high at state?

“Yeah, we do. We were ranked four in class three. We’ve got a 106 pounder who’s doing really well. We’re just a well-rounded team. So I feel like we should do well.”

What has wrestling taught you about yourself?

"I can just push through. I can just keep going even when I don’t want, even when my body doesn’t want to. I can just keep pushing and keep working hard.”

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at