Coach Jameson’s Story

Every day, students, including myself, sit in Mr. Sean Jameson’s class absorbing as much of his vast knowledge that they can manage, but do they know his origins? A 2006 Elder graduate, Mr. Jameson has had his fair share of triumphs in and after his Elder career. The now physics (primarily physics), mathematics, and software use teacher was a natural born wrestler. He began in the fourth grade with his first of four years in Elder’s youth wrestling program. After eigh th grade, he entered Elder as a freshman, where signing up for wrestling wasn’t a question. Freshman year, he made it on the JV team. Not only did he make the team, he started – and finished seco nd in the GCL. It’s safe to say, freshman year for Coach Jameson was a promising one, and only foreshadowed his future success. As a sophomore, he again was on the JV squad. Again he started, and finished first in the GCL. A champion already, in his junior year he became a Varsity starter. His junior season made GCL’s seem minuscule when he battled his way through Ohio, finishing eigh th in the State tournament. Every opponent then young Sean faced as a junior, were all seniors. Senior year was the ultimate feat for Mr. Jameson. He was Varsity captain, and on track to big success. He conquered his way up through Ohio yet again, this time all the way to the State Championship Match. He was facing David Crowley of Wadsworth HS, who Coach had already defeated 3-1, a few weeks earlier at the Delaware Hayes Invitational. Crowley did go on to wrestle for Ashland University and later transferred to Ohio State to wrestle. “It was a highly defensive match. Neither of us could score on each other,” Mr. Jameson told me as I asked about the battle. Coach explained that whoever scores first has a big advantage in the case of overtime. He had won the coin toss to begin, and in his words: “Since I won the coin flip in the second period I took bottom first and scored an escape for 1 point. He took bottom in the 3rd period and scored an escape as well. With time winding down in the 3rd period we were tied 1-1 but my coaches and I were confident that my advantage in double overtime would give me the win.” He continued to explain, “Out of desperation my opponent tried a very risky throw near the out of bounds line. I defended the throw and probably would have gotten a 2-point takedown had we not fallen out of bounds. However, during the fall my elbow dislocated and the back of my right hand extended up behind my right shoulder. My arm snapped back into place immediately, but the injury was too severe. The trainer let me continue to wrestle but the refs stopped the match after about 20 seconds when they realized my right arm was limp.” Upon breaking his arm, the match was forfeited due to injury default. Even though this had to have been devastating, as any injury is to any athlete, Jameson had made it to the State final round. And at the point of his injury, he was arguably the best high school wrestler in the state of Ohio. Mr. Oberjohann was coaching Mr. Jameson in his state match along with coach McCoy. “To see one of your varsity wrestlers work his whole high school career for something and have it end like it did, is heartbreaking,” he said regarding that final match. Anyone and everyone, though, who has ever wrestled knows that just making it to the state tournament ­ alone, is the ultimate feat for anyone, not to mention make it to the final round. And with that final round, we can all deduct that, given Mr. Jameson had seemingly easily defeated this guy not long before, and that he was ahead in the final match, that he obviously would have been officially given the first place medal, instead of losing it by default. After High school, Mr. Jameson had his mind made up for years before of what he wanted to do. Even as a junior, College coaches showed interest in him and would approach his Elder coaches and ask if Sean was interested in wrestling for a division one college, but Sean had already told his coaches he was set on engineering and going to either Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). So, with his goals set, as a senior he had applied to RHIT (which he highly recommends to students interested in engineering) and also MIT, an elite school that accepts only 9.7% of the over 17,900 who apply every year. “I applied to MIT thinking that I would never get in,” Coach Jameson told me. MIT’s rules do not allow coaches to get students in for athletics, so the wrestling coach couldn’t help Mr. Jameson get accepted. He was accepted to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Then he received something in the mail. “When I got my acceptance letter to MIT I couldn’t turn it down, so I went.” Going into MIT, he originally wanted to be physics major “but after some research I decided Engineering was a more practical option,” he said. “Since I wasn’t sure what kind of Engineering to pick, I choose Mechanical Engineering.” He chose that because “it’s not as specialized, so it offers more opportunities after graduation.” Then after two years of college in Massachusetts, he stumbled on a teaching job in the summer before his junior year of college. The job was to teach woodshop and pre-engineering at a high end summer camp in Massachusetts. “I loved the job so much, I knew I wanted to become a teacher.” MIT is mostly an engineering school and is extremely expensive. So in the summer before his last year at MIT, he transferred to a less expensive school that offered an education degree. “Also, a factor that helped my decision was that MIT was making cuts to their sports programs. Just as I was debating on whether or not to transfer it was announced that they were dropping their NCAA Wrestling team. Since I still wanted to wrestle, it made sense to transfer.” So after his long journey from the Ohio Wrestling State Championship match, to the most elite Technology school in the nation, Mr. Jameson finished his education at Mount Saint Joseph right here on the west side of Cincinnati. After all this, I wondered if he had always wanted to be a teacher. He told me he “thought for years that I would be working as an engineer or possibly a programmer. However, at the end of the day those were only hobbies that I happened to be good at. I didn’t have any passion for engineering. Even though I could have made a considerably larger salary working in a technical field, I chose to work a job that would make happy. I consider myself very lucky to have found something I like to do (teaching) and someone who was willing to pay me to do it (Elder).” A true Panther, and one smart guy, Mr. Jameson will continue to enrich the young minds that go through Elder – just as he did, hopefully for many years to come.