Rising from the mat: Jack Maida’s journey

Maida’s unique wrestling serves as an inspiration

Rising from the mat: Jack Maida’s journey

Last spring, Jack Maida placed fifth at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships. His podium finish earned him a spot at the NCAA Championships. The 2.5 points he earned at NCAAs were the first for American since 2019. He’s been one of the Eagles’ top wrestlers in his two seasons with the team so far, something he’s been working towards for his whole life.

Maida has always been an athlete. As a kid, he tried out many sports, from soccer to basketball to football. It was when he tried wrestling at age 5 that he found his calling.

“I just had a natural love for the sport,” Maida said. “So, I stuck with it.”

He’s always been a very hardworking person when it comes to wrestling. He loves training and setting goals for himself. These benchmarks are great motivators. This dedication to the sport is why he was named team captain for this upcoming season according to the assistant coach, Joey Dance.

Right when he got to American, Maida stood out with his unique wrestling style. In wrestling, one of the main go-to takedowns is a leg attack. But Maida’s go-to takedown is to stomp on his opponents’ feet and then strike. Combined with his unique thinking, this makes him a hard opponent to go against.

“It’s a unique style that I haven’t worked with, but since being around Jack, you can see why it fits him,” assistant wrestling coach Joey Dance said.

Maida also has a unique dynamic with his teammates.

“He brings a really positive attitude to the team based off his motivation and mindset,” graduate student wrestler Will Jarrell said.

Maida balances his intense focus and motivation to get better with a lighthearted attitude, lifting up the energy of the team and cracking jokes.

This idea of balance is also what he considers his biggest challenge. Maida has a rigorous schedule, and as a result has less time available for leisure and finds scheduling courses a difficult task.

“We’re training sometimes multiple times a day,” Maida said. “Sometimes we get extra workouts in and it definitely takes up a lot of time.”

Outside of the gym, Maida loves to hike. He said that it’s a fun and refreshing activity and it gets him off campus..

“I decided to invest in a camera to really capture the views,” Maida said.

Maida has said that his biggest motivator for pursuing wrestling is his mom. She always pushed him to try and be the best and he credits her with the optimistic mindset that he has always carried with him.

“She put in all her effort in making sure that this was a possibility,” Maida said.

Maida has become more confident since he joined the Eagles. Getting to know the players and coaches has really made him learn how to use his confidence as a weapon, he said.

In the future, Maida wants to become a national champion, which is something that with his leading nature and work ethic seems possible to achieve. This ethic has led to him moving into a new weight class, already ranked #15 in the country. 

“He’s leading by example, and so I think he can definitely accomplish those goals,” Dance said. 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis and Daniel Carson.


Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle

Would you like to support our work? Donate here to The Eagle Innovation Fund.