Jeffrey Worster of Oxford Hills pinned Nicholas Lincoln of Nokomis to win the 220-pound division at the Class A state championships, then went on to finish second at the New England championships. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Jeffrey Worster has been a good – make that very good – wrestler since his freshman season at Oxford Hills.

As a senior, he went to a new level. Clearly the best in the state at 220 pounds, Worster (who goes by JJ) was just one takedown shy of being the best in New England, losing 3-2 in the final to Beau Dillon of Salem, New Hampshire. Dillon had won the 195-pound championship as a junior.

That was Worster’s only loss in a 52-1 season.

“It was just that senior mentality. Just go in there and get your work done,” Worster said.

Worster won 49 matches by pin. In eight combined matches at the North regional, Class A state meet and New England Qualifier, Worster scored eight first-period pins. Only one wrestler from Maine, Nicholas Lincoln of Nokomis in the KVAC semifinal, lasted the full six minutes against Worster.

As the only Maine wrestler to reach the New England final and for his yearlong dominance, Worster is our choice as the 2020 Varsity Maine Wrestler of the Year. He tops a strong field of candidates that included Massabesic junior Noah Beal-Hernandez (160 pounds) and Mattanawcook Academy sophomore Jackson Sutherland (138), both of whom were unbeaten prior to the New England championships.

“All my coaches have (told) me that this was something to hang my hat on this season,” Worster said. “It’s no easy feat to place second at New Englands and going undefeated through Maine.”

Worster qualified for the New England championships all four years and placed fifth at 220 as a junior. But he entered his senior season still looking for his first state title.

This season there was no stopping Worster. His win in the Class A final was his 200th career victory. He finished with 207 wins.

“I just felt more confident. I went in there and kept my head straight. I kind of had my one goal of getting the title,” said Worster, who lives in Harrison.

The Worsters are a wrestling family. His brother Dillon, a sophomore on the Oxford Hills team, reached the state final at 182 pounds. The pair often train together under the direction of their father, Jeff Worster. JJ has twice been an All-American (top eight) at the National High School Coaches Association’s Virginia Beach Nationals.

“The thing with Jeff is, they don’t stop wrestling,” said Oxford Hills Coach Shawn Dexter. “His dad takes him and his brother (Dillon) to Virginia Beach every year, and that’s one reason he’s as good as he is, but for a 220-pound kid, he’s extremely good on his feet and almost unstoppable on bottom. He’s extremely fast and explosive and so hard to hold down.”

Worster was also a Varsity Maine All-State selection in football as a tight end/defensive end. He said he is leaning toward playing football at Husson University this fall.

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