Hawks’ Jager Kwiatkowski named MCCAA Wrestler of the Year and NJCAA All-American
HFC student athlete Jager Kwiatkowski finally achieved his lifelong goal of becoming an All-American after taking 8th place in the 141-lb. weight class at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCCA) Wrestling Championships in Council Bluffs, IA this past weekend. This occurred on the heels of being named the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA)’s Wrestler of the Year.
“It was a great weekend. Hard work really pays off. I’ve been dreaming of a moment like this for a long time. It’s a great feeling to have all the pressure taken off my shoulders. I’m proud of what I accomplished,” said Kwiatkowski, of Livonia.
Born in Wyandotte, Kwiatkowski, the middle of three, has been wrestling since he was 4. He was inspired by his older cousin, Ren Dickie, who wrestled for Melvindale High School.
During his freshman year at Livonia Franklin High School, Kwiatkowski achieved 30 wins and earned his varsity letter. His record in high school was 155-33. He competed in the state finals three times.
Becoming a Hawk
After graduating from high school, Kwiatkowski was unsure if he would continue wrestling, despite being recruited by five universities.
“I wasn’t sure if I still had it in me, to be honest,” he confessed. “I wasn’t sure what I would do after I graduated from high school, which happened during the pandemic.”
Then he met HFC wrestling coach Grant MacKenzie.
“Coach MacKenzie gave me a chance to wrestle with great opportunities. He’s easy to get along with. I like the way he runs the wrestling program. To me, he’s more than a coach; he’s a good role model. I feel I can go to him for a lot of things,” said Kwiatkowski. “When I first came to HFC, the coaching staff and the upperclassmen on the wrestling team were very welcoming. For me, it was the best option to continue wrestling.”
2-time MCCAA award-winner
Kwiatkowski, who is working on his associate degree in accounting, is attending HFC on a wrestling scholarship. In his first year, he was the MCCAA Freshman of the Year, as well as a national qualifier. He is the captain of the wrestling team. His overall record this season has been 26-11 (20-2 in the NJCAA).
“Jager is a competitor. He won Freshman of the Year in 2022 and Wrestler of the Year in 2023, making him a 2-time MCCAA champion,” said MacKenzie. "Jager accomplished his goal to land on the podium. He held himself to high standards and put forth the effort required to reach his goal. I’m proud of what he accomplished.”
Although several colleges and universities have been recruiting Kwiatkowski, he is unsure if he will continue wrestling once he’s done at HFC.
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity to wrestle at HFC, but I’ve been wrestling a long time. As much as I enjoy it, there’s a lot of wear and tear it takes on you both physically and mentally,” said Kwiatkowski. “If I can finish my wrestling career strong at HFC, it’s a good way to end. I’m ready to go into coaching. I really see myself succeeding well in that role. I help out where I can at my old high school with the wrestling team. I like seeing kids grow from freshmen to seniors and being a good role model for youth.”