Athlete of Week: Mat time pays off big for Armstrong

socwrest-armstrong2As a 6-foot, 260-pound offensive lineman at Socastee High, speed is not an asset normally attributed to sophomore C.J. Armstrong. But given his rapid transition to the sport of wrestling, the heavyweight just might be the fastest kid on the Braves’ mat.

After picking up the sport just two years ago as an eighth-grader at Forestbrook Middle, Armstrong has gone from beginner to contender in a relative blink of an eye. Armstrong and his coaches credit his work ethic for his rapid rise up the ranks, which is why last week’s snow-out of the North Brunswick (NC) Duals left him wanting more.

“It’s disappointing because we were prepared to go to North Brunswick,” said Armstrong, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after going 6-0 at the Seahawk Duals in Hilton Head the previous week. “I like being able to wrestle because I learn something new every time I go out on the mat.”

That learning curve has been a short one for Armstrong, who is enjoying a breakthrough season this year in building a 24-5 overall record with 17 pins and only one forfeit, putting him in the top three on the team in total points scored. It all seemed to click earlier this season at Socastee’s HOSA Duals tournament.

“Last year I was still trying to learn all the moves but this year I’ve gotten a lot better thanks to all my teammates and coaches,” Armstrong said. “I was starting to get a little out of my comfort zone (before the HOSA Duals), but I started hitting moves I haven’t hit before and it started to come more natural to me. It’s been working ever since.”

His latest triumph came last week in Socastee’s region match with rival Conway. His second round win by pin marked another milestone for Armstrong, who celebrated his 16th birthday along with his team’s victory over the Tigers to help the Braves’ chances of winning the region title. They face Carolina Forest next week in a crucial region matchup.

Armstrong also credits former Socastee heavyweight Kyle Burton for helping him turn the corner in a short period of time. After a stellar high school career, Burton returned to Socastee as an assistant coach and took Armstrong on as a pet project. All those hours on the mat grappling with someone his own size and superior skills eventually paid off.

“Experience is the best teacher and the best way to get better by wrestling against stiff competition,” Armstrong said. “It pushes me harder and lets me know what I need to work on. I’ve been lucky to have Kyle and my coaches and other teammates work with me to get better, and I want to keep working hard to help my team.”

Armstrong will take another weekend off from the mat next week when Socastee hosts a Tough Time club wrestling event, but he will be on hand to help out. Just as Burton took his time to teach his replacement, Armstrong and his teammates will volunteer to help the next generation of Braves carry on the program’s tradition – another item on his to-do list.

“We will be mostly involved in concessions and cleaning up, stuff like that, but we also get the chance to talk to them and encourage them,” said Armstrong, who will then turn his attention to putting a strong finish on his big season.

“If we continue to get better and we continue to work hard, there’s no doubt we can win region. I just want to basically go out and do the best I can for me and my team, my coaches and Socastee. I just want to try me best and if I make some noise, I make some noise.”

So far Armstrong’s progress is coming through loud and clear, and his time on the mat could translate into better skills on the gridiron.

“We expect great things from C.J. this year on the mat,” said Socastee wrestling coach Jeffrey Gibbons, “and I am looking forward to watching him next fall use is new skill set on the gridiron for the Braves.”

Photo courtesy of Socastee Athletics

Comments

comments

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16Martin Melchor scored two goals and had an assist while [more]

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meet

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meetPalmetto Aquatics (PALM) hosted the 2017 Thanksgiving Invite Meet on [more]

Coastal repeats as SBC champ, awaits NCAA foe

Coastal repeats as SBC champ, awaits NCAA foeThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team defeated #2 Texas State in [more]

Local hoops season tips off with two girls tourneys

Local hoops season tips off with two girls tourneysWinter might still be a month away, but the high [more]

Gamecocks net fifth place in Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Gamecocks net fifth place in Puerto Rico Tip-OffSouth Carolina men's basketball coach Frank Martin claimed his 100th [more]

Cuthbertson's career-high 31 points lead Chants' win

Cuthbertson's career-high 31 points lead Chants' winZac Cuthbertson torched the nets for 31 points in leading [more]

Chants handle Vandals, score first Sun Belt win

Chants handle Vandals, score first Sun Belt winIdaho scored on the opening possession of the game but [more]

Saints open season with wins, reach tourney final

Saints open season with wins, reach tourney finalThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team opened [more]

CCU men fall to Vermont; Lady Chants blast UNCW

CCU men fall to Vermont; Lady Chants blast UNCWZac Cuthbertson scored a game-high 23 points and had another [more]

Lady Chants spike Wolves, reach Sun Belt title game

Lady Chants spike Wolves, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team is making its second straight [more]

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season

Chiefs stumble at Stags, suffer first loss of season North Myrtle Beach's record-setting season came to an end Friday [more]

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoops

Chants land in Bahamas with hot hand for hoopsFour players reached double digits for Coastal Carolina in the [more]

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in Conway

Gamecocks bounce back, blow out UTEP in ConwaySouth Carolina's debut in the Puerto Rico Classic at the [more]

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teams

Beach Ball Classic lineup has big names, top teamsThe 2017 Beach Ball Classic announced its schedule for the [more]

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face Clemson

Coastal shuts out Mercer, advances to face ClemsonFrantzdy Pierrot teamed up with Martin Melchor to give the [more]

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victory

Chants go west in quest for first Sun Belt victoryThe Coastal Carolina football team (1-9, 0-6 Sun Belt) will [more]

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-Off

Redbirds top Gamecocks in opener of PR Tip-OffThe South Carolina men's basketball team has home court of [more]

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point losses

CCU men, women suffer narrow six-point lossesJaylen Shaw scored 17 points, but it was not enough [more]

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seed

CCU nets honors, enters SBC tourney as top seedThe Sun Belt Conference announced its final weekly volleyball awards [more]

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tilt

Chants win Sun Belt title, face Mercer in NCAA tiltCoastal Carolina men's soccer team gathered in the athletics field [more]

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strong

Golf: SJ's White inks deal; CF's Spencer closes strongSt. James High golfer Jordan White made her first hole-in-one [more]

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-Off

Gamecocks invade Strand to compete in PR Tip-OffFresh off its first Final Four appearance, South Carolina travels [more]

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dip

Riptides Racing swimmers dive in for rare double dipRiptides Racing team had a busy weekend with two squads [more]

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championships

Youth Soccer: BUFC, Coast claim four championshipsSixteen Coast  FA teams entered the Adidas Clash in Greensboro, [more]

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seed

CCU volleyball captures Sun Belt title, No. 1 seedThe Coastal Carolina volleyball team clinched the number one overall [more]

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16

Coastal upsets Clemson, marches on to Sweet 16Martin Melchor scored two goals and had an assist while [more]

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meet

CAC swimmers dominate podium at regional meetPalmetto Aquatics (PALM) hosted the 2017 Thanksgiving Invite Meet on [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach