During the winter months of 2017-2018, Jake Katzer made it his goal to cut his home’s utility cost to as little money as possible. While other people would probably go as far as lowering the heating by a couple of degrees and trying to keep their showers under the 20-minute mark, Jake and his brother Joel took it to the next level…
When visiting their house, it was important to bring a warm coat and maybe even a stocking hat, because they kept their house at a crisp 58 degrees. In an extreme attempt to save money, Jake and his brother had completely shut off the heat in the house, turning it down to the lowest degree possible to “keep the pipes from freezing.”
This might sound uncomfortable and even kind of absurd to some people. However, those who know Jake are not surprised at all by this extreme act of frugalness. At the time, he and his twin brother were so focused on lowering their bills that they were willing to wear a coat in their own home and sleep under 3 blankets. Yet, for them, it was a small sacrifice that they were more than willing to pay.
Jake prioritizes his goals above everything else, and often sacrifices his personal life to reach them. This trait is one of the more defining characteristics of his personality. When asked where this discipline and focus comes from, he answers: ”Honestly, I just don’t want to fail anybody.”
From academic excellence and aspirations of a career in medicine, to leading the Morningside Mustang defense on the football field, his no-nonsense approach, relentless attitude and unwavering morals have brought him success wherever his ventures lead him.
Growing up in rural Kansas, helping out at local farms during the summer, being a three sport athlete in middle and high school, and being held to high academic standards have formed him into the driven person he is today at age 22.
“Our parents always put a big emphasis on academics. From elementary school on, Joel and I were expected to get A grades in school. Our grades were always good but if they were not, we would not have been allowed to do sports or other activities until our grades were back up to standard.” Jake explains. “Over time, my brother and I took pride in our academic work ourselves and held each other accountable for good performance in the classroom.”
One of the more surprising things about Jake is that he can have just as much fun being fun-loving and spontaneous. The key is that he can flip the switch between fun and work in an instant and is very aware of when to use which side of his personality.
So, it is not uncommon to see Jake joke around with teammates in the Morningside cafeteria, then leave the table to do homework as soon as he feels that his lunchtime is over.
“It is so impressive that Jake is able to balance all the different aspects of his life!” says Madison Reed, one of Jake’s roommates. “He does a great job of being fun to be around and also being able to prioritize his studies when he needs to and not getting distracted easily.”
When it comes to athletic success, it becomes evident that this is another area of his life where Jake uses discipline and work ethic to excel.
The former Baldwin City, KS High School Wrestling and Football standout used his intelligence and discipline to form a college Football career at Morningside that includes being a two-year starter, receiving two times first team all-GPAC honors and being part of the 2018 National Champion team.
As the Middle Linebacker he is responsible for leading the defense. Under his lead, the Morningside Mustangs are well on their way to win another National Championship in 2019.
His playstyle is best described as disciplined and reliable. “ Jake really makes very little mistakes. He is constantly in the right spot and gets all of us lined up right on every snap. He is kind of the quarterback of our defense,” says his brother Joel Katzer.
When looking ahead at Jake’s future after his graduation from Morningside in May, one can see that all the hard work has set him up for success. He scored in the 99th percentile in this year’s MCAT, the placement test for medical schools, and just received acceptance into the University of Iowa Medical School. Jake is well on his way to fulfill his goal of becoming a medical doctor in rural America.