Borst wins third straight 4A wrestling title

Sherando assistant coach Joel Elmquist gives a bear hug to John Borst while head coach Pepper Martin, left, looks on after Borst won the Group 4 A state wrestling title in the 195 pound class Saturday in Salem. Borst pinned Dennis Whitehead, King's Fork, to win the title. Rich Cooley/Daily


SALEM – Sherando High School senior John Borst has had no shortage of accomplishments on the wrestling mat over the last year.

He won two national tournaments and placed second in another before his final high school season even began and in December he won the prestigious Beast of the East tournament. Borst, the most decorated wrestler in Sherando history, added another achievement to his list on Saturday at the Virginia High School League Group 4A state tournament at the Salem Civic Center.

Borst blitzed the 195-pound field en route to his third straight VHSL state title, becoming the first three-time winner in Sherando history and the first to accomplish the feat from a Frederick County school.

He said shortly after his championship bout that he hopes future Sherando wrestlers aim to surpass his accomplishments.

“I’m fine with being considered to be the greatest to be at Sherando but I don’t wanna be considered to be the greatest forever,” said Borst, who ended his senior season with a record of 62-1 and a career mark of 211-18.I want the younger generations to kind of step up. I’m trying to lead by example so generations see what happens and they know that if you work hard good things come your way.”

Sherando's John Borst controls Dennis Whitehead, of King's Fork, in the Group 4A 195 pound state championship match Saturday in Salem. Borst won the match with a pin. Rich Cooley/Daily

Borst, the school’s all-time leader in pins (164), decked King’s Fork junior Dennis Whitehead in 1:50 to capture the 195-pound crown to cap a postseason run that saw Borst end each of his matches in the Conference 21 West, Region 4A West and state tournaments with a pin the first period. He accomplished the feat despite suffering a knee injury during practice prior to the conference meet (he said he will soon have an MRI to assess the damage).

“That was kind of my goal coming into the postseason is get on and off the mat as fast as you can,” Borst said. “… People are gonna question, ‘Oh, you didn’t have good competition,’ but you’re as good as you wanna be when it comes down to it. I feel like I accomplished something.”

Borst, ever so briefly, got caught in a bad position in the opening seconds of the championship match when he misjudged a slide-by and got caught with his back to Whitehead. The King’s Fork junior tried to wrap Borst up but Borst quickly muscled his way out of Whitehead’s grip and had him down on the mat moments later.

“Everyone thought I was about to be taken down and I was kind of thinking ‘Oh, that’d be embarrassing,'” Borst said. “But I did it with a smile on my face. It’s all fun to me. And although I almost got taken down I turned a bad situation into a good situation and kind of capitalized.”

Borst was one of five Sherando wrestlers to make the trip to the state tournament and one of two Warriors to earn a top-six medal on Saturday.

Sherando's John Borst raises his arm in victory after he won the Group 4 A state wrestling title Saturday in Salem. Rich Cooley/Daily

Sherando sophomore Timmy Dieter placed fourth in the 120-pound class after going 3-2 over the course of the tournament. He fell to Great Bridge’s Nicholas Rhodes, 3-2, in the consolation finals match for third place after giving up a takedown with 10 seconds remaining in the bout.

“I felt like I could’ve done better in my (consolation) finals match,” Dieter said.

“Basically he hit a slide-by or something right on the edge of the mat, scored two. I thought it was a questionable two and then we went out of bounds. I tried to stand up and he just broke me back down.”

Warriors junior 220-pounder Zack Kales went 2-2 in the tournament and was eliminated in the second round of consolations. Fellow junior Jacob Stevens (138) lost back-to-back matches after opening his first state tournament with a victory, while senior Jose Guevara (285) went two-and-out for Sherando.

“The three underclassmen,” Warriors head coach Pepper Martin said, “hopefully they’ll be able to gain some valuable feedback from this experience and carry it into next season and hopefully be up on that podium as well.”

Great Bridge (130 points) won the team title, followed by Fauquier (123.5) and Eastern View (121).

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com