As admirable as students athletes are, it isn’t often that they translate their success in school and sports beyond North’s hallways. Few reach out to participate in various activities, and even fewer excel at them all. Fencing captain Kyle Jacobson is not only a two-sport athlete, but a musician, filmmaker, improv-er, and charity work aficionado, continuously impressing with his dedication and ability in all he does.
Jacobson began fencing privately in 6th grade and has been sharpening his skills ever since, marking the transition onto the high school team by switching to a new sword, and with it a new type of fencing. His broad influence on the program was evident from the beginning of his high school career, as Jacobson started in the district tournament that year, contributing to a third place win for the team, and the next year helping secure both the district and state tournament, receiving a Most Improved Player award along the way. “To be new to the weapon my freshman year, and then throughout the last three seasons to be able to help my team stay as one of the best in the state has been pretty surreal,” Jacobson said.
The team has attained a great deal of success this year, having already won second place out of 42 teams at Cetrulo, a high-prestige, all-boys tournament. These successes can be attributed in part to Jacobson’s leadership and past experiences with the team. “Since I’m captain this year, it’s even better to be having so much success because I feel like I have a certain degree of responsibility,” Jacobson said. “Our team has a lot of new fencers so they need motivation. That’s what I needed when I was new to the team.”
Fencing coach Gail Kedoin has seen his progression as a player and leader as well. “He’s become more dynamic, he has more diversity in his game, and he has more confidence, plus he’s become a leader for the team as each year has progressed,” she said. “He just has a strong personality to get everyone’s attention to get everyone to work harder and to get everyone to work as a team.”
Jacobson’s team experience is not limited to fencing, however; he has also played soccer since the age of four, and he has played goalie at all three high school levels—freshman, JV and varsity. “Soccer gave me a lot of competitiveness and drive,” Jacobson said. “I played because I loved it, and worked on it that much harder.”
But his passions lie not only in athletics; as an accomplished guitar player, a great asset to North’s improv club, and a prospective film student, Jacobson is highly committed to the arts. Inspired by Wes Anderson and Ezra Koenig, Jacobson’s creativity is apparent in all he does, whether he’s practicing with his band or goofing around at improv practice. “It’s one of the only places where I don’t have to take myself seriously,” Jacobson said.
His ability to be goofy and friendly has proved helpful outside of comedy too. Jacobson’s outgoing personality makes giving back to the community an easy task for him, and he participates in three different community service programs: The Juvenile Conference Committee, in which he serves as a juror in juvenile court for the Mercer County justice system; a philanthropy group, the Jewish Community Youth Foundation; and Team Brotherly Love, a local charity that benefits Juvenile Diabetes research, for which he serves as Chief Community Officer. The charity was founded by his longtime friend, Jake Fine, in 2004 after Fine was diagnosed with type 1 juvenile diabetes. Jacobson has played a key role in helping expand and raise money with the organization ever since.
With so much to do, it’s surprising that Jacobson can handle it all, and his willingness and drive are impeccable. His management of all he does, and his performance in everything are truly deserving of praise, but to him every bit of work is worth it. “When I have all these things on my plate, it’s not so bad because I’m doing what I care about,” Jacobson said. “I guess it’s how they say it’s not work if you love it.”