Devils’ Jaramillo has essence of a true champion
There wasn’t a loud scream from B.J. Jaramillo.There was no leap into the air, either, or an emotional falling to the knees. There wasn’t even a smile.When Jaramillo won his 4A state title in front of 19,620 spectators at the Pepsi Center Saturday night, the Eagle Valley senior merely shook his coaches’ hands – before each pulled him in for a long hug – and then embraced his father. When Jaramillo received his gold medal on the winner’s podium, the faces of the second- and third-place finishers carried more emotion than his.When asked what it felt like to win in the state finals afterward to two reporters in an exit hallway, Jaramillo looked unamused when he said, “It’s just another match.”
Huh? Another match? Did you not see the television cameras? Did you not hear your name announced as the state champion over the PA in, ahem, the Pepsi Center?”That’s just B.J.,” coach Ron Beard said. “I talked to him about that. I said, ‘Man, you don’t look exactly like a kid who just won a state title.'”Thing is, Jaramillo didn’t just have designs on winning the state title this year after he finished as the runner-up in 2004. He also had plans set beforehand for how he would react immediately after he won the title.The plan didn’t include any backflips or fist pumps. There wasn’t a long, drawn out salute in store for the home fans in the crowd, either.Jaramillo said he didn’t mean to shock anyone with his lack of emotion. The plan was actually designed to have the exact opposite effect. In victory, he said, he just wanted to be earnest and show his respect for his sport and his fellow competitors by not tooting his own horn. “I went into the match knowing if I did win, I wasn’t going to be like everyone else and jump up and down,” Jaramillo said. “I just wanted to set my own terms and be humble about it. I didn’t really want to rub it in anyone’s face. My dad’s always told me to be humble.”
It’s not that Jaramillo wasn’t elated to finally be crowned state champ. It was a dream come true. It’s a dream none of the other eight wrestlers on the Eagle Valley team got to realize this year – including the three other seniors on the team.He was still buzzing about it Tuesday night.It’s just that, Jaramillo said, he was so emotionally exhausted after the final match – a tight 4-3 win over Pueblo South’s Victor Sanchez that came down to the last second – that he didn’t have anything left in him to celebrate anyway. There was the plan not to celebrate excessively. There was also this.”I was kind of overwhelmed to a point where I couldn’t show my emotions just yet,” Jaramillo said. “It took a while to hit me.”
Or, is still taking a while.Added Beard, “He told me that he just pictured it for so long that it wasn’t really a surprise. It’s kind of like, act like you’ve been there before. He’s a calm, reserved guy.”Today, Jaramillo and his eight teammates on the state roster, along with Beard and his coaching staff, will be honored in an all-school assembly. Jaramillo will probably receive more attention than anyone, since he is the lone state champion this year. One thing is for sure – no one should expect the state champ to be reveling in the moment.He won’t hog the spotlight in front of his teammates, or gloat in personal glory.
Jaramillo didn’t win the state championship to draw attention to himself. He didn’t win it for recognition or fame.The lone objective was to be the best wrestler in 4A – something he’s dreamed about since his freshmen year of high school.Now that the dream has come true, it’s time to make plans for something else.And, of course, to continue to remain humble – the true mark of all great champions.Staff Writer Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at email@example.com.Vail, Colorado