If you ask Woodinville football coach Wayne Maxwell about former lineman Jacob Hollister, the appreciation is clear.
“Jacob was a ball of energy!” Maxwell said. “He was able to make a lot of plays because of his motor and his huge heart. On top of his on-the-field success, Jacob was also a tremendous leader on the team. He could provide the positive energy and encouragement for his teammates and also lead by example by always doing the right thing ... if it wasn’t enough that he was an All-American kid, he also has a great personality. When we weren’t busy working we always had a lot of fun when Jacob was around.”
Upon graduating Woodinville in 2012, Hollister left the Northwest to enroll at the Colorado School of Mines. Now into his second year, when he’s not studying, he’s competing in the hammer throw for the school’s track and field team.
“I’m fortunate to do track in college,” Hollister said. “I was hoping to do something with my time. It would be tough going to school and have that be my only thing, coming off three different sports in high school [football, track and wrestling]. In high school, I liked discus a lot more. It was fun and lighter and easier to throw. My freshman year I did decently in shot put. This year I have the fifth best throw in school history — 14 meters and 6 centimeters. But it was when we got to outdoor season that I realized that hammer [throw] is my favorite event. I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”
Earlier this year, Hollister found out he qualified for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships. He promptly called back home to Woodinville.
“Mom, I made it to nationals!”
“Jake, you’re lying to me.”
“No Mom, honest,” he said. “I made it to nationals.”
“No Jake. Be honest with me.”
Simonetti Hollister eventually realized her son was telling the truth. And Jacob acknowledged that her suspicion was well founded.
“She had every right to be suspicious,” he said. “I do as many pranks as I can!”
When he traveled last month to nationals in Allendale, Michigan, he underperformed to his expectations.
“It didn’t go exactly how I wanted, but it was a great experience,” Hollister said. “It was my first really big meet. I warmed up very well, was very excited and ready to go. And then something happened between my warm-ups and competition throws. But overall I was very happy because not everybody can say that they got to nationals. It was well worth it. I was disappointed, but I was still happy. I made it there, when I wasn’t expecting to at the beginning of the year.”
Being just a sophomore, Hollister will have two more chances to qualify for nationals again. But sports aside, his primary focus is academics.
“I’m majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in computer science,” he said. “Right now I have two possible [career] routes. I can go into power and work for a mine and do electricity and power and help them run stuff like that. Or I can do software. Right now I don’t know which route I want to go.
“It’s exciting to be in a mine,” he added. “Just getting to see the equipment is pretty exciting. Some of the stuff here is 60 to 70 feet tall. Giant shovels and haul trucks. These massive machines. It’s humbling to be out there and see things so monstrous.”