KALISPELL – Kalispell Glacier running back Jake Rendina is picking up where he left off after a first-team selection in all states and conferences last season. He’s averaging 128.5 yards per game in 2021. But if he’s feeling pressure, it’s because everyone is, not just him.
“That’s not necessarily all for me, as a team there is a lot of pressure,” said Rendina. “I feel like as a younger team starting this season we didn’t know where we were going to end up. We know we can.”
Rendina’s stats show his growth as a player, but it’s his growth as a leader he’s most proud of.
“I didn’t realize I was a leader until this year, I played a joke on a freshman and saw the terror in his eyes. After that, I realized that what I said mattered. So I think the maturity came to me When I realized that freshmen see you as a leader whether you have stats or not, ”he said.
Rendina is preparing to be better on the pitch all year round, but not in a conventional way. He is one of the most powerful weightlifters in the world. As in, the fourth strongest in the world of all time, the strongest in the United States and the 16-17 national champion, and he says one absolutely helps the other.
“In terms of strength, speed, I think I’m better than ever at 235 pounds. I think I’m faster and just a better athlete than I’ve ever been,” said Rendina.
As for when he discovered his love for powerlifting, it seems like it’s always been in his DNA.
“In college, I started going to the gym, it kind of intensified, I got stronger and stronger. I became the strongest in my class, then I became the strongest in the class. class above me. And then I met Donny Tudahl, through a trainer and he said okay let’s meet up. So I had my first encounter in Battle Under The Big Sky, ”a Rendina said. “I think two years ago I ended up winning this. I was approved for nationals and we just said why not. I have the opportunity when I am still 17 years old and not in the adult category. So we went to the nationals and ended up winning and it was just a great time, a great experience. “
This season, Rendina has racked up 514 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last year as a junior, the Wolfpack star finished with 1,326 yards and 28 rushing points.
Even though her high school career is coming to an end, Rendina is hopeful her footballing journey has only just begun.
“I was lucky to have a few opportunities to play college football, you know where I end up, I don’t know which school I want to choose yet, but I fully intend to take one of these offers and to continue my football career, ”says Rendina.