Chandler Sambets is a man in transition.
The Bishop England senior has gone from the football field to the wrestling mat and soon it will be time to focus on the baseball diamond. The season and sport may change, but there is one constant: academics.
He's got a 4.5 weighted GPA and plans to major in engineering at Clemson or The Citadel, which has a reputation for its demanding and disciplined military lifestyle.
Even if Sambets opts for Clemson, he'll still experience the military lifestyle with an Army ROTC scholarship.
"Either way, it will be an experience," said Sambets, who will take part in this weekend's individual state wrestling championships at the Anderson Civic Center. "Either way, I'll get to experience a military lifestyle."
In high school, he has experienced a successful athletic career. He played on the Bishop England football team that won Division II-AA state titles in 2011 and '12. He's a member of the baseball team that came up short in the state championship game against Chesnee last spring and begins the 2014 season as the No. 1 Class AA team in the state.
And then there's wrestling. He's No. 2 in the state in the 220-pound division behind D.Q. Nash of Aynor.
"This is my first year at 220 pounds," Sambets said. "The last two years, I competed at 195. One of the big differences is keeping my weight up, my strength up and not having to watch what I eat.
"Winning a state championship is great. I had no idea that I would win one when I was a freshman. I have two team championships and that's awesome. I wouldn't mind getting an individual state championship. And, I think it would be great to win a baseball championship. We came so close last year and it still hurts."
Bishop England coach Paul Spence spoke of the high character of his wrestlers.
"I'm blessed with a lot of the kids," he said. "The parents send a good quality product. All I have to do is shine them up a little bit."
Still Sambets stands out.
Sambets joined the wrestling team late because of his football commitment. Spence said some of the younger wrestlers didn't know Sambets that well but voted him captain just a couple weeks later because of his hard work and leadership.
"That says a lot about his work ethic and reputation," Spence said. "He's a leader and he will follow up on things. If there's a problem, he will come and talk to me. "If he doesn't have an answer, he will find it."
Two local wrestlers are trying to win their second state titles - Bernard Harmon of Timberland and Josh McDermott of Academic Magnet.
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