Athlete Spotlight: James Wood High School football player Jacob Sortino

James Wood High School 17-year-old senior
jacobSport: Football. Positions: Kicker and punter
Guardians: Stacy Petrin (aunt) and Derek Petrin (uncle)
Hometown: Winchester (moved from Portsmouth prior to his junior year)
What do you love about football: The fellowship. I’ve played a lot of sports, but there’s just something about football that brings everybody together. It’s like a family. You need to have everything working together for the play to work right.
Most memorable moment in football: I got all-conference kicker [for the Metro Athletic Conference] my sophomore year at Portsmouth Christian. We didn’t kick much, so I was surprised, but it meant a lot.
Most embarrassing moment in football: Last year on a field goal [attempt], it was pouring rain, and I kicked it and slid backwards onto the ground. I think it was only my second game for James Wood. The team thought it was pretty funny.
Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: [Composer] Lin-Manuel Miranda; he’s a genius when it comes to music. He created “Hamilton,” which is a really big thing for my family, me and my sisters. We used to listen to that a lot. [New England Patriots kicker] Stephen Gostkowski; just because he’s a hoss, and the Patriots are my favorite team. And John John Florence; he’s just such a good surfer.
If you could use a time machine, where/when would you go: The 1970s would be cool to live. I’d like to experience the culture of that decade.
If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go: Either Jeffreys Bay (South Africa) or Hawaii. Just because the waves are spectacular in both of those places, and I like to surf.
Favorite teacher: My third-grade teacher, Mrs. [Joy] Fox. She was really loving and caring and cool with us. I had alopecia during that time and lost all my hair, so that was tough for me. She was always there for me.
Favorite athlete: Stephen Gostkowski
Favorite team: New England Patriots
Favorite movie: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
Favorite TV show: “Stranger Things”
Favorite song: “Young, Dumb and Broke” by Khalid
Favorite food: Chinese
Plans after high school: I want to play football in college. And I want to work as an architect or in industrial design. I like to be really creative. With architecture, I can travel and build anywhere. With industrial design, that is where you make things look good.
— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki