By Jeanne Spath
When the Rappahannock Panthers took to the mat at the beginning of the season the least likely member of the team to place in the state tournament in Salem was newcomer C. J. Sidrow. On Saturday the RCHS freshman sat in the seat of honor as the sixth-best 103-pound wrestler in the Single A division of Virginia High School Wrestling.
According to his coach, Jamie Harris, it was heart and dedication that put him in that position. “This is the first year he has wrestled and he picked it up quickly,” Harris said. “To be in the top six is great!”
Sidrow fell to Northumberland’s Jordan Chinn at 5:10 in his first trip to the mats in state action.
In his second round, Sidrow fell to T. J. Mitchell of Rural Retreat in a 1:41 pin, dropping him into the consolation bracket where he pinned Matt Rouland of Mathews at 3:59 to advance.
A pin in 3:36 over J. J. Kelly’s Justin Peters kept him in the consolation bracket, securing his medaling position, however a 1:36 technical fall to Radford’s Sean Donnelly kept him from a going for third and fourth.
Sidrow faced Chilhowie’s Artie Davis in his final match, losing a hard-fought battle, 10-8.
Entering the sport as a freshman, Sidrow will have several more opportunities to make the trip to Salem and make his mark on the Rappahannock wrestling program.
With a final record for the season of 33-10, Harris said Sidrow “gained a lot of respect from other wrestlers and coaches this past season, and his hard work and dedication has helped the wrestling program continue to build on the successful 2009-2010 season. Next year he should be one of the favorites to capture the state title at the 103-pound weight class.”