WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – “You can’t teach speed,” said Warren JFK senior Jesse Likens. “It’s just something that God gives you, and when you have it, you got to take advantage of it.”
And Jesse Likens has done just that. The Warren JFK senior was a state qualifier in the 100 and 200-meter dash as just a sophomore.
“I was never always the fastest guy, but now I think I am for sure,” Likens said. “I think it’s because I’ve worked hard and gotten myself to this point. Confidence plays a major part in success and just something about believing that makes you better.”
That speed has also served him well on the football field. Likens is a four-year starter for the Eagles and plays on both sides of the ball. He’s helped lead Kennedy to the playoffs for four consecutive years, including a trip to the State Championship game this past Fall.
Likens is also at the top of his class. He’s a perfect 4.0 student and is just as competitive in the classroom.
“I think that sports and academics go hand in hand,” Likens said. “If you’re a competitive person, you’re not going to want to lose in academics. So, I definitely think I work hard. I don’t want anyone to beat me when it comes to school either.”
Likens will continue his football career at the Air Force Academy. He leaves for basic training in June
“I think it’ll teach me to become a man. That’s the best way to put it,” Likens said. “I’ll become a leader. I’ll become the best of the best, and I’ll have some stories to tell for sure.”