Sherando’s Borst wins title in James Wood tournament

WINCHESTER — Sherando High School wrestler John Borst picked up Wednesday where he left off last year by winning the championship in the 182-pound division, pinning four straight opponents for the medal.

Borst, a junior, took just 2:48 to pin James Wood’s Bailey Eichelberger, a junior. But that was his lengthiest bout. He won by forfeit over Brian Storey of Liberty, then pinned Handley’s Jimmy Vitola of Handley in 3:27.

Borst won the annual Willie Walters/Jaye Copp Holiday Invitational at James Wood High School as a sophomore in this same Donald H. Shirley Gymnasium.

Of course he has not wasted time on the mats since then. He was the 2014-15 VHSL Group 4A state champion in a lower weight class. He has yet to lose a match — with the exception of the Beast of the East national tournament.

He is 24-2 on the current season, and 118-17 overall. His 49th pin was a school record.

“The thing that John has learned is the same thing that Aaron Black (James Wood), Lio (Quezada, Handley) and some of the Clarke County wrestlers have found — that when you’re on top you’re the hunted,” said Sherando coach Pepper Martin.

Quezada defeated Sherando sophomore Jacob Stevens by a 3-2 decision in the 132-pound finals. Stevens then was runner-up in the division for the Warriors.

In the 18-team bracket format, Patrick Henry (200 points), Handley (182), Sherando (163.5), Riverbend (142) and host James Wood (117) finished one-through-five for the tournament.

Along with Stevens, Sherando’s 126 pounder, Mike Duffy, lost to defending state champ Bayne Gordon of Clarke County. Duffy was the a second No. 2 medalist for Martin.

Borst, whose head was taped after occurring a scratch, called it a “halo” and he was certainly a good man to don it.

“I think turning from the hunter to the hunted has been the biggest thing I’ve learned since I’ve been wrestling. Everybody’s out to get you. You have to train like you’re behind,” Borst said.

He said winning the Walters/Copp was special, “because (James Wood) is our county rival and you see everybody here from all the local schools. It’s a holiday tournament. It’s fun.”

Other Sherando wrestlers who placed over the two days were Curtis Guthridge (third), freshman Timmy Dieter (fourth), Kendall Helsley (fourth) and Anthny Damico. Guthridge wrestled at 145, Dieter was the 113-pound man, Helsley wrestled at 170, and Damico competed at 120.