During the winter months of 2017-2018, Jake Katzer made it his goal to save as much money on the utilities of the rental that he and his twin brother lived in at the time. 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 I would visit them to hang out at their house, I had to remember to bring a warm coat and maybe even a stocking hat. That was because Jake and his brother had decided to completely shut off the heat in the house and only turn it on the lowest degree possible at times to keep the pipes from freezing.
This might sound uncomfortable and even kind of stupid to some people but makes total sense to those who know Jake well. He and his brother were so focused on lowering their bills that having to wear a coat in their own house and having to sleep under 3 blankets was a small sacrifice that they were more than willing to pay.
Jake’s ability to prioritize his goals and to sacrifice almost everything in order to reach them is what sticks out most about his personality. When asked where this discipline and focus comes from, he answers: ”Honestly, I just really don’t want to fail anybody.”
From academic excellence and aspirations to become a doctor to leading the Morningside Mustangs defense on the football field, his no- nonsense approach to working extremely hard and prioritizing the right things in his life have brought him success wherever his ventures lead him in college.
From a young age on, excellence was demanded and expected first by his parents and as he grew older, also by himself. Growing up in rural Kansas, helping out at local farms during the summer, being a 3 sport athlete in Middle- and High School and being held to high academic standards formed him into the driven person he is today at age 22.
One of the more surprising things about Jake is that he can just as much be 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 and then leaving to do homework as soon as he feels that his lunchtime is over.
When it comes to athletic success, it becomes evident that this 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 and 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. He rarely makes a wrong read and while his play is not flashy per se, he is always in the right spot and is a rock in the middle of the defense.
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 should have no problems getting into a nationally renowned Medical program to fulfill his goal of becoming a medical Doctor in rural America.
Jake Katzer’s life if very diverse and full of different facettes, but prioritizing his goals and focusing 100% on the task at hand has enabled him to find success in all of those aspects.