Jake Wynia embodies a teammate
A senior offensive lineman spends a majority of his time as a Royal taking snaps off the field rather than on the field.
By Mallory Becker | Reporter
Jake Wynia, standing 6 foot 4, peered over the heads of his teammates on the sidelines. He clenched the face mask of the gold Bethel University helmet in his left hand and placed his right hand over his heart as Royal Stadium filled with voices singing the National Anthem. The clapping faded and Jake took his place beside the rest of the second string offensive lineman.
Series after series, Jake paced back and forth following the movement of the game up and down the football field. He cheered on his teammates high-fiving them when they succeeded and giving them a reassuring pat on the shoulder when they didn’t. Jake had done this for the past three seasons, patiently awaiting the games where he would get his turn.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter Wynia got his turn. “I was excited to go in but I didn’t think it would be for the rest of the game,” Jake said. “I saw Tom Delich get hurt and was honestly more worried about him.”
The Bethel Royals were up 31 to zero. Twelve minutes appeared on the scoreboard as Jake jogged out onto the torn up field strapping his helmet on as he went.
“It amazes me how he always has a positive attitude and is supportive of the team. He wants what’s best for the team whether that means he’s playing or not.” –Kalissa Palo
The referee’s blew their whistles. Wynia squatted down, his knuckles turning white beneath him, as he leaned forward waiting for Jaran Roste, the quarterback, to yell hut. As Jake lurched forward to block his opponent he missed. Realizing his mistake, Jake immediately pulled back and went to push out the outside linebacker ultimately helping the Royals gain yards on the play. “We didn’t have the best communication, but it was fun that the coaches trusted me enough to run plays like that for me” Wynia said.
The clock continued to tick its way down to zero and…. Royals win! After the game Jake’s girlfriend, Kalissa Palo, said “It amazes me how he always has a positive attitude and is supportive of the team. He wants what’s best for the team whether that means he’s playing or not.”
Look for Jake Wynia, 70, at the next Bethel Royals football game Saturday Sept. 29, at Carleton College.