Typically, when you think of the Wright Brothers, your mind wanders to the invention of the world’s first successful airplane flown in Kitty Hawk, N.C., more than a century ago. The four Wright brothers in Northeast Philadelphia’s Fox Chase section are something special, too. But they are known for their excellence in athletics and academics rather than with aircraft.
The eldest Wright brother, Jon, 22, graduated from George Washington High School in 2008 and will graduate from Penn State in December. Jon was a solid two-year varsity outfielder for Washington’s baseball team.
The second-oldest brother is Zach, 19. Zach graduated from Washington in 2011, and is attending Penn State Abington. Zach played two years of varsity lacrosse at Washington and was a part of the school’s first-ever lacrosse team.
The two younger brothers, Jake, 17, and Luke, 16, are in the midst of their own high school careers at Washington.
Luke, who will be a sophomore in the fall, was a manager for the baseball team this past spring. While Luke enjoyed the experience, he plans to try out for the team in 2013 and contributing on the field.
“It was cool knowing that I got to watch Jake play while being the manager,” Luke said. “It was good knowing I was also doing something good for the school and earning community service hours at the same time.”
And that brings us to Jake, the Wright brother who is recognized as the most talented athlete in the family.
“I’m proud of him,” Jon Wright said. “I love going to the games and watching Jake dominate in the (Public) league. And yes, he is the best athlete in the family.”
Jake has been playing football and baseball since he was 5 years old, and all of his hard work is paying off big time at Washington. Jake heads into his senior year as one of the most gifted athletes in the school.
Jake has been a varsity member of the football and baseball teams at Washington in his first three years. He has already raked in more hardware in only three years than most kids dream about in their lifetimes, all while achieving an impressive 3.88 grade-point average.
For the Eagles’ football team, Jake has been the kicker/punter for two Public League Championship teams, receiving first team All-Public honors as a kicker this past season. Jake enters his senior season hoping to help bring legendary football coach Ron Cohen his second straight title and third in four years.
“We’re usually strong every year, so we should have a good chance at defending our Pub league championship,” Jake said.
In baseball, Jake has been even better. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound teenager heads into his senior year having already bashed eight career home runs (eight more than his brother, Jon.) He is becoming widely respected as one of Philadelphia’s top high school sluggers.
Jake played first base during his first two years at Washington, but switched to outfield and pitcher this past year.
“I feel like I’m best and most comfortable at first base,” Jake said.
Either way, his dominance at the plate has been consistent. Jake received second team All-Public honors as a first baseman his sophomore season, and first-team All-Public recognition as an outfielder this past season.
However, while Jake has achieved more individual success on the baseball diamond, he has achieved more team success on the gridiron. Washington’s baseball team has been eliminated in the semifinals in each and every one of Jake’s three years on the team, something he hopes to change in 2013, especially with area rival (and 2011 & 2012 champions) Frankford graduating eight of nine starters.
“I feel like we have a good chance in getting to the championship,” Jake said about his upcoming senior season. “We have our whole squad coming back. I like our chances.”
Jake hopes to see his younger brother Luke convert from manager to teammate next season and help Washington get to that elusive championship game.
“He really likes baseball, and he’s trying out for the team next year,” Jake said. “He got along with the team very well, and it was great to have him around with me last season.”
Jake will enter his senior year at Washington with a ton of confidence and determination. Judiciously, his focus isn’t on the awards and the accolades that he likely will continue to receive. His goal is simple: get better each and every day.
“I hope to do the best I can,” he said. “Every year I want to improve on last year and do better than the year before.”
Post high school, Jake has aspirations of attending Temple University as an international business major. He hopes to play a sport at Temple — he just is not sure which one. ••EndFragment