Sanford's Sam Anderson celebrates with head coach Brent Coleman (left) and assistant coach Paul Rivard after winning his second straight state title. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

Sanford’s Sam Anderson celebrates with head coach Brent Coleman (left) and assistant coach Paul Rivard after winning his second straight state title. JASON GENDRON PHOTOGRAPHY

SANFORD — When Sanford senior Sam Anderson heard the final buzzer sound and knew he had just won his second straight state championship, there was no big celebration. He simply wanted to enjoy his final moment on a mat inside Sanford’s Veterans Memorial Gym.
Anderson, who took down Marshwood’s Dylan Strong by an 11-5 decision to win the 170-pound title, went down to a knee and put his hand on the mat that has been his home for the past four years.
“I was soaking it in, my last time to be able to compete (in Sanford),” said Anderson. “Last year I flexed in front of the camera. I told myself I’m not going to flex or anything like that, I’m just going to touch the mat and just feel at peace with everything. Feeling like I left Sanford a champion. I came into Sanford wanting to be a champion and I left a champion. It’s just huge for me.”
Sanford coach Brent Coleman was thrilled to see Anderson go back-to-back and put an exclamation point on his career at Memorial.
“(It’s) surreal. He’s had quite a journey in the past four years and to see him not only win a state title, but back-to-back state titles, he deserves it,” said Coleman, who sees Anderson as a role model for every Sanford wrestler. “The kid works his butt off in the room, in the classroom, he’s got that grind that you wish you could inject in all your wrestlers. He worked hard and he deserved it.”
Anderson entered the Sanford wrestling room wanting to make his mark. He has certainly done that as he now has two state titles and the school’s all-time wins record.
“When I came in I was always asking myself what’s next? What hasn’t someone from Sanford done? What can I do to be the best? If there’s a Mount Rushmore for Sanford I was striving to be one of those faces,” said Anderson. 
Probably the most important thing all of those accomplishments have done for Anderson is make him a person younger wrestlers will look up to for years to come.
“It’s huge to be that role model. To put myself up there as a role model and someone that represents (Sanford) is huge,” Anderson said. “I want to give back and want to coach. This won’t be the last that they hear of me. I want to be there, I want to be a part of it for a very long time.”
The senior, who had a pin and a major decision on his way to the title, will now set his sights on another All-State championship when he heads to Nokomis on Saturday.
“I’m looking to try to win the bracket and be the (top seed) at New Englands. Win next week at All-States and place at the New England Championships,” said Anderson, who is ready to end his high school career strong. “I’m prepared, I’m focused, I’m sharp — I have two more weeks.”
No matter what happens over the next two weeks, Anderson will cherish the memories he made on Saturday at Memorial.
“If you were to write a fairy tale book, it would be the happy ending. It would be the ending that I wanted it to be — everything that I could have dreamed of,” Anderson said.
— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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