February 25, 2021
"I know what I'm doing, but I don't know what I'm doing," Jenna Mellis said. "That's what I like about life. Surprises."
There are a lot of surprises when you are one of eight kids, and four of them are brothers. She's learned a lot from them.
"I learned that I have to be sarcastic with them," Jenna said. "I have to dish it back. If you can't handle the heat, then go somewhere else. I also learned that if you dish it, you have to take the hits."
They also taught her that no matter how hard the challenges are, it's worth it to push through until you get to the other side.
It's a lesson that has served her well as a Mule wrestler. She got into the sport after tagging along to practice with a friend.
Like so many beginners, Jenna had some wins and losses, but she made it to state that first season
"Wrestling is a really hard sport," Jenna said. "A lot of it is mental. You have to make weight, you have to cut weight. The coaches, Frankie (Mendez) and Crystal (Davis) were there for me. Wrestling is a really family oriented sport. If someone is down or grumpy, we all feel it. We all try to lift each other up."
Jenna is always picking up the lesson.
"After a match, always help your opponent up," she said. "No matter who wins or loses, always have that good sportsmanship about you. If they knock you down, that's okay. If an opponent has done me wrong, treat them with kindness and love. They don't know what to do with that."
Jenna attributes some of her positive energy to her mom and her transfer to Wahkiakum in fourth grade.
"I was originally from Longview, but Longview schools weren't working out for me," she said. "My mom transferred me and I just came out of my shell and blossomed. I was really shy, but I'm energetic and confident now."
Para-educator Shawnee Stevenson is Jenna's favorite member of the high school staff.
"She always has this kind nature to her, and no matter what, if she's having a bad day, she will put an effort to make someone else's day better," Jenna said,
Jenna is officially enlisted in the Army, where she will join the infantry, something she's been thinking about for some time.
"This year, I put my words into action," she said.
Jenna is the daughter of Carol and Mike Mellis.