Sendrowski looking to get back on top of podium
By Pat McDonald
The dream of every high school wrestler is to win a state championship.
Scarborough’s Jeremy Sendrowski was able to accomplish that goal in his first year of varsity wrestling. The past two state tournaments have ended with Sendrowski on the podium, but with a bronze and silver medal around his neck.
With just over a month to go in his high school wrestling career, the Scarborough standout is looking to finish where he started — on top.
“As a senior, I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder. I have some unfinished business from the last two years,” said Sendrowski.
While the last two seasons haven’t ended the way he would have liked, Sendrowski had two of the state’s best standing in his way with Gardiner’s Peter Del Gallo handing him a loss in the semifinals as a sophomore and Noble’s Austin Shorey beating him in the 145-pound finals last year.
“I mean facing Del Gallo and Shorey, I could have dodged them if I wanted to, but I wanted to really make myself better,” said Sendrowski. “Facing the tougher kids really makes you better, losing you know you never lose, you only win or you learn. Whenever I lose a match, I just learn from it. I have some bad matches sometimes, but you know there’s a lot of things that I work on, my coaches are always there for me and I always have to improve on stuff after every match.”
Scarborough coach Deron Sharp believes Sendrowski’s willingness to work hard and his drive to improve every time he steps on the mat has helped make him the wrestler he is today.
“We have a constant theme of always getting better. I think that’s the mentality that he’s embraced and that’s one of the reasons why he’s been able to be so successful,” said Sharp. “Wins are great, losses are upsetting but when we get to the practice room the next day, it’s ‘what do I need to work on? What’s my goal for today?’”
Sharp, who is in his third season with the Red Storm, is happy to have Sendrowski on his team as he tries to build up the Scarborough program.
“He’s a role model in the room,” said Sharp. “He’s a wrestler that since I’ve gotten here, everyone has been able to look up to him and say, ‘this is what I should be doing, this is what I shouldn’t be doing,’ and things like his work ethic and attitude are addicting. He’s quite the leader, and that’s why he’s a team captain and that’s why he’s doing well.”
There’s no doubt that part of Sendrowski’s drive to be a great wrestler comes from spending his early years in Pennsylvania.
“Watching as a kid, the atmosphere in Pennsylvania is just insane. I remember one of the meets at Nazareth, Jordan Oliver was still on Easton and they turn off all the lights, the smoke machine would come out, all the Nazareth wrestlers would walk around, it was just insane,” said Sendrowski, who moved to Maine in the fifth grade.
Sendrowski, whose older brother (Aaron Chamberlain) won over 100 matches at powerhouse Northampton, had the chance to wrestle with some of the best wrestlers Pennsylvania has to offer while he was growing up.
“Our practice room was two full mats, it was like a college room,” said Sendrowski, who stays in touch with some PA wrestlers. “Definitely seeing all my friends back in Pennsylvania, over the last two years I think six of them have committed to Ivy League schools, kids I used to hang out with. Sammy Sasso, we used to be really good friends and hung out all the time, we still keep in touch. Seeing all their success is wonderful.”
The senior has tried to bring some of that PA style to the mats in Maine.
“People have their own types of style, but obviously I grew up on that stuff with leg riding, wrestling on top,” said Sendrowski.
Sendrowski has also thought about what kind of wrestler he would be if he had stayed in the Keystone State.
“I always think about how good I could have been if I stayed down there. That’s always in the back of my mind, but then again it was my choice to move up here, and it was my choice of how hard I wanted to work,” Sendrowski said.
The former state champion believes he could have been more dedicated over the past few years.
“Looking back on it now, I definitely could have worked harder,” Sendrowski said. “I kind of regret some of that stuff but (my) advice to other kids is it’s going to suck during practice, I know it sucks, I hate going to practice, but embrace the grind. Every second is going to pay off.”
The senior is happy to give advice to younger wrestlers and is enjoying his role as a leader for the Red Storm.
“We’re definitely a growing program, but we’re getting a lot better. Being a leader, you know I like it, kids kind of look up to me,” Sendrowski said. “I really push the kids in the room sometimes. I’m not that vocal, but when I’m working with the kids I make sure I’m pushing them as hard I can — make sure they get better. Being a leader is just nice because everybody looks up to you and you get to show them your style of wrestling and you get to give them tips.”
One tip he would give any Maine wrestler is to get out of state and find tough camps to go to and better competition.
“Definitely outside of the state experience is the best experience you can have,” said Sendrowski, who has attended the grueling camp held by former Minnesota coach J Robinson at Edinboro University in PA. “I mean J-Rob, it wasn’t fun, but I would definitely recommend it to any wrestler. It made me 100 times better. Mentally, I’m not the best, but J-Rob definitely helped it. If you’re not too confident about yourself, I mean just go to camps, get out of state — a couple wins out of state can boost your confidence a ton.”
Sendrowski is certainly looking to close out his high school career with a second gold, but he also has his sights set on the college mats.
“I’m pretty much committed to (the University of Southern Maine),” said Sendrowski, who has built a close bond with USM coach Mike Morin. “I’ve been with their coaches since I moved up here and going to Bulgaria with them really helps. They are a bunch of great guys.”
The senior has been impressed with the type of wrestlers Morin has filled the USM room with — which includes a lot of the wrestlers Sendrowski faced during his high school career.
“The room is insane, I mean you have Del Gallo, Shorey ... they used to beat on me all the time so they’re only going to make me better. That team is just going to be a great environment for me and I think all the Maine kids going there will be great,” said Sendrowski.
— Pat McDonald is the Sports Editor of the Journal Tribune in Biddeford. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Jason Gendron