Athlete Spotlight: James Wood’s Wrestler Caleb Keefer | Winchester Star

James Wood High School age 17 senior

Sports: Wrestling. Weight class: 182 pounds

Parents: Matthew and Jessica Keefer.

Hometown: Mercersburg, Pennsylvania (moved to Winchester when he was 1)

What do you like about wrestling? : I love that it’s a really challenging and intense sport. It is a very difficult conditioning. It’s tiring all year round. I like the bond you create with the people on the team.

Most Memorable Wrestling Moment: My sophomore year I weighed about 155 pounds and wrestled 170 in college because they needed someone. I was just getting beat all year. My teammates just helped me improve and kept me in shape all year. It made me a lot better at wrestling. It just taught me a lesson that life is hard, and you have to keep going.

Most embarrassing moment of wrestling: Two years ago there was a tournament at James Wood. I went to do the takedown on the guy, and he basically picked me up and turned me around and ended up pinning me down. It was quite embarrassing.

Hardest moment of the fight: Probably right now. I’m just trying to get back to it after a long season of football, being beaten a bit. It’s a lot, trying to get back into wrestling shape and getting my body used to wrestling.

Three people you can dine with, dead or alive: Sean Taylor; he was a security for [the Washington Football Team]. He was the reason I started watching [the WFT]. He was an incredible safety and one of the best to ever do it. He sadly passed away at his Miami home in 2007. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback] Tom Brady; he’s one of the best to ever do it, and I would just like to get a glimpse of how his career went and how he enjoyed it all. And my grandfather Doug who died when I was 4 years old. I would like him to see where I come from and how much I have grown over the past 13 years.

Biggest athletic influence: Sean Taylor. Growing up, playing football, I just thought about hitting as hard as I could like him.

Favorite teacher: My trainer, Todd Wilson [a James Wood assistant football coach]. He was also my history teacher last year. Last year was a tough year with COVID. He helped me out and pushed me into football. We were quarantined just before the start of the season and he continued to monitor me. It meant a lot.

Favorite Athlete: (Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle) Aaron Donald

Favorite Sports Team: Washington Football Team

Favorite movie: “Forrest Gump”

Favorite TV show: “Breaking Bad”

Favorite song: “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band

Favorite food: Chicken wings

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Brussels sprouts from the Golden Corral

Plans after high school: I plan to attend four-year college and try to continue playing football. I would like to study exercise science or biology. My goal is to eventually become a physiotherapist. I just love that physical therapists can help people get back to doing what they love to do. Injuries hurt. I just like helping people in general.

— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki

Robert J. King