Male Athlete of the Week: Sherando’s Guthridge enjoying strong senior season
STEPHENS CITY – Last year Curtis Guthridge came up a point short of winning a conference wrestling title, but on Saturday he got some redemption.
Guthridge won the Conference 21 West 145-pound title, for his first conference title. It’s just another accomplishment for Guthridge in what has been a stellar season for the Sherando senior.
“Some tournaments in the past he would get fourth, fifth, and then last year he started to move his way up as far as his places in tournaments and basically got some thirds and fourths,” Sherando coach Pepper Martin said. “… So this year he’s been in a number of tournaments and won a couple of tournaments. He has improved.”
Guthridge lost in the 125-pound conference final to Woodgrove’s Derek Shockey by a point. This year, wrestling at 145 pounds, he went 5-0 to win the Conference 21 West title.
“It feels good – finally,” Guthridge said. “I know last year it sucked losing by one point to Shockey, just knowing how close I was.”
Guthridge had two pins, a tech fall and two close decisions to go undefeated in the conference tournament. His strong tourney helped earn him The Northern Virginia Daily’s Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Feb. 1-7.
Guthridge has been around the sport for quite some time, as he had three older brothers who wrestled at Sherando.
He said his oldest brother J.R. wrestled for a year, and then his brother Travis wrestled for two years.
Then came his brother Jacob Guthridge (a 2014 graduate), who wrestled on the varsity team for four years. Jacob Guthridge is currently second all-time in wins at Sherando. He finished fourth, second and fifth at the state tournament. Jacob and Curtis were teammates in Curtis’ freshman and sophomore seasons. Curtis said Jacob was always pushing him to be better, and he still does.
“He pushes me a lot,” Curtis Guthridge said of Jacob. “When he’s here, he’s always going to morning practice with me, pushing me, helping me keep my weight down, coming to my matches, texting me, making sure I’m eating healthy.”
Curtis Guthridge said Jacob has been a great influence on him, which will make this weekend even more special for him. Curtis Guthridge has 157 career wins, just one victory behind Jacob’s 158. Curtis will have a good chance at passing his brother in this weekend’s Region 4A West tournament at John Champe High School.
“It will feel good,” Curtis Guthridge said with a smile. “It will be nice to have a little bragging rights against him.”
Curtis Guthridge finished sixth in regionals in both his freshman and sophomore seasons at Sherando. Then last year he finished fourth at the Region 4A North tournament at 126 pounds to qualify for the state tournament for the first time.
Unfortunately for him, he had to wrestle the No. 1 seed, and eventual state champion, Hanover’s Jeffrey Gregory, and lost. Due to the weather the tournament was condensed into a one-day event and Guthridge didn’t get to wrestle any other matches to try to place higher.
In the offseason, he said he wrestled in numerous tournaments, including the Super 32 qualifier held at Skyline High School. He said he beat the top seed in the tournament, but wasn’t able to qualify for the Super 32 tournament.
He also was able to move up three weight classes to 145 and hasn’t missed a beat for the Warriors.
“He grew, plus he basically ended up working his way into that weight class by working in the weight room,” Martin said. “He got physically stronger. You could see a definite change in his physique. He got thicker, he filled out.”
This season Guthridge is 48-4 with 26 pins. He has the most wins on the team, topping teammate John Borst by one victory.
“It feels good to be ahead of John a little bit,” Curtis Guthridge said. “I have more losses than him, I think two more, but it just feels good to be out in front this time. I know last year we were neck-and-neck with the (school) pin record. He ended up beating me and he broke the record. It just feels good to be ahead of him in something.”
Curtis Guthridge said he and Borst push each other to help each other get better.
With only a few weeks left in his senior season, Curtis Guthridge said he has high hopes for regionals and states.
“I want to win regionals and I want to at least place top three in the state,” he said.
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org