Minnesota state champion gives up wrestling to pursue baseball career as a junior

After winning a state wrestling title as a sophomore, Jordan Joseph seemed destined for a Division I scholarship. While the St. Michael-Albertville (Minn.) High junior may still be in line for a free pass to college, it won't be for grappling, since he gave up the sport to pursue his baseball career this winter.

"People were kind of shocked," Joseph told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "It’s pretty much unheard of in wrestling to win a state championship and then not do it anymore. I had a lot of support in St. Michael, but some people in the wrestling community couldn’t understand it."

Joseph won the 170-pound division at the Class 3A state meet in 2013, leading his school to the team title as well. As a result, "I accomplished the highest wrestling goal that I had," he told BlizzardEliteBaseball.com — the academy where he trained this winter rather than wrestle. He plays for a pair of travel teams in the summer and is expected to start at shortstop for the Knights this spring.

This past fall, though, Joseph was a 5-foot-8, 185-pound linebacker for St. Michael's football team, which seems to make his decision to walk away from wrestling all the more strange. Yet, he has his reasons.

"My dream in life, ever since I was little, was to be a professional baseball player," he told the Star-Tribune. "I love everything about baseball. It was hard because I love wrestling, too. I started wrestling when I was 3 and baseball shortly after that. I grew up loving them both equally."

And who can blame a kid for chasing his dream, especially when he's already shown the ability to reach his lofty goals? Perhaps a parent who would prefer not to pay college tuition? Apparently not.

“Our son Jordan loves baseball,” his father Doug Joseph told Blizzard Elite Baseball. “We live in Minnesota (not sure why sometimes) and it's a challenge to play at a high level for many reasons. The Blizzard program has been an extended, trusted baseball family to Jordan. The baseball development, training and tournaments have been great but the extended family feel is what we will cherish forever.”

Besides, Jordan seems pretty confident in his baseball ability. "I can't get enough baseball," he told the Star-Tribune. "My next goal is to be a Division I player. I truly believe I can play at that level."


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