SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- David Martin and Joanna DeFilippis present an oversized check for $1,000 to Jake Friedman, who won the Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week essay contest.

Friedman, a rising senior and a member of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School varsity baseball team, wrote about overcoming arm injuries that threatened his baseball career. 

After suffering an elbow injury freshman year, two local orthopedists told me that I should stop pitching. However, the injury also caused pain and numbness while doing homework, playing Frisbee, etc. As you can imagine, that was devastating news for me. My mother found a surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery who performed Ulnar Nerve Decompression and Transposition surgery. 

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At first all was looking good, but time and time again I’d hit a bump in the road.  I worked very hard going to Physical Therapy 3 times a week. I did play baseball last year, but never pitched. My arm was still not right. I thought my baseball career was over at 16. Luckily, I never gave up on myself.  I stayed positive and kept working towards getting back on the mound.

Friedman pitched well on the JV level this year to get a shot on the varsity. He won Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week for his performance vs. New Providence in early May. 

"Jake never gave up, he kept working to overcome his injury. That dedication to hard work is our motto here at Yeti MMA," said owner David Martin.

The Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Yeti MMA and its owner, David Martin. Located at 2507 Route 22 West in Scotch Plains (next to Bowcraft), the facility offers training in a variety of disciplines: boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, and strength training. Call (908) 858-5558 and mention the TAPintoSPF-Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week and get a 15% discount on a one-year membership. For more information, email info@yetimma.com.