Feature: Blood, sweat and cheers

James Blood ’23 praised as a top-performing wrestler in SHS history


Cover photo by Jason Gendron Photography

The world that is high school sports will chew you up and spit you out. You are competing among those who practice the same drills, go to the same competitions, and want to win just as much as the next. In order to rise above your peers, you must have motivation that can’t be taught; and that is exactly what James Blood possesses. 

Wrestling Career

Blood has demanded greatness from the start, beginning wrestling at just four years old. He stated that, at the start, wrestling was something his parents put him in to help as a very energetic child. 

Since his start, Blood has gone on to be ranked third in New England, Class A South Champion, and a NHSCA Junior National Finalist. He has also gone on to earn his 100th career win, leading a current SHS career record of 100-11. Pictured, Coach Nate Smith (left) with Blood after his 100th win. Photo by Jason Gendron Photography via @SanfordWrestling Instagram.

Coach Nate Smith stated, “Had it not been for COVID he probably would have broken Sanford High School’s career win record,” noting he’s one of the best wrestlers to ever come through Sanford High School.


It was the 2021-2022 wrestling season. Blood had fought hard, earning himself a spot at The National Duals, the national competition for wrestling in Virginia Beach, VA. Wrestling in the 113 weight class, Blood went 5-1, his only loss being in the final match.

“Placing second wasn’t the plan, I went down looking to win it,” said Blood. “Coming up short was rough. But it was still such an awesome moment in my life.”

What’s next?

For Blood, deciding to wrestle in college was a no-brainer. Blood has been in contact with schools such as the University of Southern Maine, Bucknell, Campbell, and American University, among other Division III schools; one of which he plans to attend and later hopefully transfer to a bigger wrestling school. 

After graduating college, he plans to coach his own travel wrestling team – and fitting sometime after that, he has hopes to be a pilot.

Beyond the record books, Blood will leave a lasting impression on SHS wrestling.

“Wrestling is James Blood,” said Smith. “It wraps him up and he is most at home on the mat.”

“Wrestling is James Blood.”

Nate Smith, Varsity Wrestling Coach

“[Blood] is smart and caring enough to take all that he knows in the wrestling room and do great things away from the sport!” Smith adds.

This weekend, the Spartans travel to Cony for a dual meet. Sanford High School’s Partner Bank Gymnasium will be home to the MPA Wrestling State Championship on Feb. 18. You can follow Sanford Wrestling on Instagram and Facebook.

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