Kavi Jakes: Talented In Sports and In School

Jakes+bites+the+gold+after+his+team+finishes+first+at+the+city+cross+country+meet+in+2017.

Jakes bites the gold after his team finishes first at the city cross country meet in 2017.

Bram Mansbach, Writer

Kavi Jakes is seen by many as the ideal student-athlete. From ultimate frisbee, to cross country, and back to the classroom, he seems to excel in everything he tries. Some call his success luck, some just listen to him explain his work in class and watch in awe.

“He’s a very hard worker and he is diligent and he has a great work ethic,” said sophomore Kai Mehra.

He was not always with these classmates though. When he was a rising second grader at Mary Lin Elementary, he was encouraged to move up a grade.

“My report card came home it said ‘next grade’ and it had a three, so I was confused,” Jakes said. “And then an older fifth grader told me, ‘oh it looks like you’re skipping a grade.’ So they ultimately left the decision up to me.”

Jakes describes the beginning of entering a new grade a challenge.

“Two weeks or a month of third grade were tough,” Jakes said. “People could tell that I was a little bright so it annoyed some people, but eventually I made friends. Once people got to know me, I was proud that a skipped a grade.”

These days Jakes excels at his current level. Many have stories of Jakes’ smarts from in the class.

“Sometimes a teacher will say something and [Jakes’] will make a respectful comment to the teacher that they are wrong,” Mehra said. “But because he’s so smart, he’s almost always right, and the teacher just has to roll with it because they then realize they were wrong. There are even times that the teacher will even ask Kavi what he got on a question to make sure they are right. That’s the amount of respect teachers have for him.”

Academics is just one of Jake’s’ many skills. He is looking to make varsity ultimate after a successful season last year. Jakes became interested in the sport from a young age after watching his father play.

“My dad played ultimate at Duke and he did summer league, so when I was out at five watching my parents play, it was good to see,” Jakes said. “In sixth grade, I got into the intramural team at Inman playing on Thursdays, and my dad was definitely an encouraging guy.”

Since then he has not looked back. Last year he went through tryouts for Grady eventually becoming the only freshman on the varsity team.

“I’ve never been the fastest or tallest guy on the field, but I had the ultimate smarts and throws to get there,” Jakes said. “After sprints, they thought I wasn’t getting to varsity, but after they saw me play in a game I would throw so they thought ‘maybe we’ll give this guy a try.’”

As a result of being the only freshman, Jakes got his fair share of attention.
“I was the heralded freshman, being the one that all the girls, especially on the ultimate team, would cheer,” Jakes said.

Jakes even earned himself a nickname for his skills on the field.

“He seems to perfect his way to throw,” Mehra said. “I heard some people on the team even call him the ‘young god.’”

In the fall Jakes shines in another sport, cross country. This year was Jakes’ first year running on Varsity after just falling short last year. He ran a personal best this year of 18:06 and placed 69th at the state championship meet. He also had a crucial sprint finish at the end to give Grady an edge to place fifth in the state as a team.

“I was very proud of myself and the team for our season this year,” Jakes said. “At the beginning of the season, I thought I would be on the edge of making varsity, either seventh or eighth runner. Running as the sixth at state and finishing fourth on our team was a great feeling of accomplishment for me.”

Classmates and teammates alike only have positive words to share about Jakes.

“He’s a very, very hard worker,” sophomore Sam Toole said. “Some people work that hard and burn out, but not him. He’s always a nice guy. He’s a very likable kid. I’ve known him since he skipped a grade, and he has been the same hard worker since.”