Sherando’s Borst starting ‘new chapter’ off in strong fashion

John Borst

STEPHENS CITY — John Borst is a state champion, but you won’t find the Sherando junior slowing down any this season.

After winning the state title at 170 pounds last year, Borst didn’t waste any time in getting back to work.

“The next morning about 8, I finally had a big bowl of cereal, I had been waiting for that for a while, and then I went on a run,” Borst said of the day after winning the state title. “It kind of hit me hard — winning states doesn’t mean that your done, it’s opening up another book for you. It’s a new chapter.”

Borst started his new Sherando chapter over the weekend and went 10-0, as did Sherando as a team, in a two-day wrestling tournament in Hedgesville, West Virginia. He won nine of his matches by pin, only two coming later than the first period. The only match Borst didn’t win by pin he won by forfeit, which was also his 100th career victory.

For his strong opening weekend, Borst earned The Northern Virginia Daily’s Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

“He wrestled like he was in mid-season form,” Sherando coach Pepper Martin said. “…He has the aspiration of being a repeat state champion. In order to do that he needed to work harder than any of his competition that was coming back this year.”

Borst wrestled at 195 in several of his matches this weekend due to other teams trying to forfeit against him at 182 pounds.

He said that he doesn’t feel any different being a state champion, and he knows that he has to stay hungry. Borst said that wrestling at 182, after winning last year at 170, is like starting over.

“The wolf that’s at the bottom of the hill is always hungrier than the wolf that’s at the top,” Borst said. “Right now I’m starting back at the bottom. I’ve just got to climb my way back up.”

Borst said it feels good to say that he’s won 100 matches, but his main goal is to win 200 matches.

He said he started wrestling competitively when he was 4.

“I was not good. I was horrible,” Borst said of his early days. “I could not take a shot to save my life. It was just bad. All the way up into middle school I was not at a high level. I never was an elite middle school wrestler or anything, and then one day I just found what stuck and I blossomed.”

Borst said in his eighth grade year he was coached by Sherando varsity assistants Joel Elmquist and Brian Kibler and they helped him a lot.

“I stuck with it and I just bought into their program,” Borst said. “Those two men have shaped me, and coach Martin too, incredibly to be who I am now.”

Another person Borst has learned a lot from is his father, John Sr., who was varsity and JV wrestling coach at Millbrook for several years.

“I grew up with him, and he taught me everything there is,” Borst said. “…I couldn’t have done any better. He couldn’t have done any better. He is the biggest inspiration for me.”

Borst said he will really miss traveling around the country to tournaments with his dad once he graduates.

This past offseason Borst wrestled in the Fargo National Wrestling Championships in Fargo, North Dakota, and placed into the top 12.

On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, Borst wrestled for the first time competitively in the 182-pound weight class in the Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, North Carolina. He once again made it into the top 12, and now has a national ranking of No. 24 in the country at 182 pounds.

He said one of his goals is to make it into the top 15 nationally. Borst said the most important thing this season is just to continue improving.

“Most importantly I want to better myself,” Borst said. “Instead of getting 49 pins, I want to get above 50. Instead of getting 100 and some wins, I want to aim for 150 this year. I just want to better myself in every single way.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com