by Jack DeGonia ‘19
Senior Chris Sanchez is the 3A/4A state wrestling champion in the 145 lb weight class, becoming the first Sherwood state champion since Steven Gamble (‘09) won it all his senior year in the 160 lb. weight class. The state tournament this year took place on March 1 and 2 at The Showplace Arena in Prince George’s County.
Sanchez, who finished second in last year’s tournament, humbly attributed his success this season to his teammates, his coaches, and to Athletic Director Jason Woodward. He opened this year’s tournament with a 45-second pin of Clarksburg’s Kyle Smith and a 17-2 technical fall over Michael Altamarino of Atholton. He then punched his ticket to a second straight finals appearance with a 1:19 pin of BCC’s Drew Guttentag. In the title match, Sanchez triumphed over Dayton Duncan of Kenwood High School in Baltimore County by a major decision of 16-5.
What makes Sanchez a state champion is that he “is very athletic and strong for his size … [making] him a great wrestler,” said Coach Pete Siarkas. This innate advantage, the skill that comes with wrestling for years, support of his teammates, help of his coaches, and participation in the state tournament in previous years–all contributed to Sanchez finishing his high school wrestling career as a state champion.
Junior Adam Pfeiffer placed sixth in the 182 lb. weight class, but was forced to injury default out of the 5th/6th place match against Lukas Layton of Stephen Decatur High School in Worcester County, due to a sprained LCL suffered in the first round. “Placing 6th at states is something I’m very proud of, even though I am disappointed I got hurt. I felt like I would have placed higher if I didn’t,” said Pfeiffer.
Siarkas said that he is proud of Sanchez, Pfeiffer, as well as seniors Paul Christenson (132 lb.), Sam Ewing (138 lb.), Jacob Grossman (160 lb.), Yusuf Higazi (170 lb), plus juniors Brandon Holda (113 lb.) and Armon Nettey (126 lb.) for their performance at states. He commented that the length of the season plays a factor for wrestling and all winter sports, but that wrestlers having to watch their weight while also wrestling tough teams for the entire month of February creates more of a challenge right before the state tournament.