Every Monday night for the rest of the high school year, our sports staff will name a Sentinel Athlete of the Week featuring one area athlete who stood out on the field.
This week we select Cedar Cliff wrestler J.J. Wilson. The sophomore lightweight came into Saturday’s District 3 Class 3A Section III Individual Wrestling Championship at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High as the No. 1 seed in the 113 bracket, and he showcased why he belonged right there at the top.
Cruising through his bouts, Wilson bested East Pennsboro’s Noah Pritchard in a nine second fall in the quarterfinals, downed Cumberland Valley’s Ben Monn in the semifinals with a 3:03 fall and defeated Carlisle’s Rafael Portilla in a 10-0 major decision for a title.
Q: What are your keys to success as a wrestler?
A: My major key this year was eating healthy and staying committed to a diet. Also this year I trained smarter, for lack of a better term. I spread out my workouts and made meals more frequent.
Q: What hobbies do you have outside of your sport?
A: I hate to brag, but I am pretty darn good at corn hole and ping pong (laughs).
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A: Currently I’m undecided on what I’d like to do out of college. But, I do like coaching the sport of wrestling, so potentially a Division I head coach so I can continue with the sport that has shaped my life.
Q: Who inspires you the most in life?
A: My mom inspires me the most in life just because she tells me how she regrets herself not pursuing her full potential — and I can relate that to both life and wrestling. She strives for me to go above my potential in the classroom and on the mat.
Q: Wrestlers, for the most part, usually stick to a strict diet. Is this true for you? What is the healthiest and most unhealthy food that you eat during the season?
A: I do stick to the same meal every day during the week. On weekends I will sometimes grab a smoothie from Juice & Java. The healthiest food I eat is a chicken salad — no dressing or anything — for lunch daily. The most unhealthy food I eat daily would have to be caramel creams. They have definitely been my cheat food this year.