Throughout the 2017-18 high school sports season, we will name a weekly Sentinel Athlete of the Week every Monday night highlighting the on-field performances of some of the area’s best high school competitors.
This week’s athlete is Cedar Cliff wrestler Michael Cassidy. In the Districts 3 Class 3A semifinal match against Dallastown on Thursday with the Colts down 35-32, it was all up to Cassidy to keep the Colts alive.
In the 145-pound match, he notched the 9-7 win over Sam Druck to tie it 35-35 and the Colts ultimately won the match on Criteria H — most first points scored — 36-35. Then in the championship match against Cumberland Valley, Cassidy got a win at 138 over Jake McKenzie to help Cedar Cliff notch the title 32-31 over the Eagles.
Q: Take us back to the semifinals on Thursday. It was all up to you to keep the Colts alive. What were you feeling before and after that match?
A: Before the match, I was pretty nervous because it was all down to me and at that time I thought I had to get a major decision because my coach [Rob Rapsey] came up and talked to me. At that time he talked about a major decision, so I was pretty nervous. After the first period coach told me that I only needed a major and that kind of calmed me down. I just tried to wrestle my best and I got the win for us.
Q: You also helped the Colts win the title in the final on Saturday. Is the excitement still there?
A: Yeah, and I’m pretty excited that I now have my medal.
Q: Anything the team is working on now to prepare for states?
A: We’re just working out our conditioning and just wrestling all six minutes.
Q: Anything you’re working on?
A: In the finals, I never really used to use the elbow pass a lot, and I just really wanted to develop my ground game. Just trying to get some new tricks up my sleeves and just stick with what I know.
Q: Are there any teams the Colts are looking to face in states?
A: It doesn’t really matter to us. We’re just going to wrestle the team hard and everything. It doesn’t matter who it is. We’re just going to wrestle them the same — a hard six minutes.
Q: Thoughts on the Super Bowl?
A: I’m just glad that Tom Brady lost. I hate that dude. [laughs]
Q: Are there any sports you’ll be watching in the Olympics?
A: No, I don’t really watch any of that stuff.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of wrestling?
A: No, just wrestling, honestly. That’s all we do here.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?
A: Oh, that’s hard. I don’t know, anywhere that [allows me] to travel, I guess.
Q: Who inspires you the most in life?
A: My parents. They just make me work my best and my hardest.
Q: Do you have a quote or saying that you live by?
A: “For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother forever.” — Band of Brothers