Athlete Spotlight: James Wood wrestler Caleb Keefer

61a67d2293c50James Wood High School 17-year-old senior
Sport: Wrestling. Weight class: 182 pounds
Parents: Matthew and Jessica Keefer.
Hometown: Mercersburg, Pa. (moved to Winchester at age 1)
What do you love about wrestling?: I just love that it’s a really challenging and intense sport. It’s very difficult conditioning. It’s strenuous all year long. I love the bond you make with the people on the team.
Most memorable moment in wrestling: My sophomore year, I weighed about 155 pounds, and I was wrestling 170 on varsity because they needed somebody. I was just getting beat all year long. My teammates just helped me get better and kept me up all year long. It made me a lot better at wrestling. It just taught me a lesson that life’s tough, and you’ve got to keep going.
Most embarrassing moment in wrestling: There was one tournament we had at James Wood two years ago. I went to do the takedown on the guy, and he basically picked me up and flipped me and ended up pinning me. That was pretty embarrassing.
Most difficult moment in wrestling: Probably right now. Just trying to get back into it after a long football season, being a little beat up. It’s a lot, trying to get back into wrestling shape and getting my body used to wrestling.
Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Sean Taylor; he used to be a safety for [the Washington Football Team]. He was the reason I started watching [the WFT]. He was an incredible safety and one of the best to ever do it. He sadly passed away in his Miami home in 2007. [Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback] Tom Brady; he’s one the best to ever do it, and I’d just like to get some insights on how his career has gone and how he’s enjoyed everything. And my grandfather Doug who passed away when I was 4 years old. I’d like for him to see where I’ve come, and how much I’ve grown in the past 13 years.
Biggest athletic influence: Sean Taylor. Growing up, playing football, I just thought about hitting as hard as you can like he did.
Favorite teacher: My coach, Todd Wilson [a James Wood assistant football coach]. He was also my history teacher last year. Last year was a tough year with COVID. He helped me get through it and pushed me in football. We got quarantined right before the season started, and he kept checking in on me. That just meant a lot.
Favorite athlete: (Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle) Aaron Donald
Favorite sports team: Washington Football Team
Favorite movie: “Forrest Gump”
Favorite TV show: “Breaking Bad”
Favorite song: “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller Band
Favorite food: Chicken wings
Worst thing you’ve eaten: Brussels sprouts from Golden Corral
Plans after high school: I’m planning on attending a four-year college and trying to continue playing football. I’d like to study exercise science or biology. My goal is to eventually become a physical therapist. I just like that physical therapists can help people get back into what they love doing. Injuries suck. I just like helping people in general.
— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki