Mattanawcook Academy senior Jackson Sutherland, right, finished the season 50-1, with 40 first-round pins. He won his third individual Class B state championship and finished second at the New England championships at 170 pounds. Jason Gendron photo


That’s what Mattanawcook Academy senior Jackson Sutherland asserted over his opponents this season.

Jackson Sutherland

Wrestling in the 170-pound division, Sutherland pinned every opponent he faced in Maine. All in the first round. Then he pinned his first two opponents at the New England championships – again in the first round – en route to finishing second in the tournament.

Only in his final two matches for Mattanawcook did Sutherland, 17, have to go the distance, scoring a 5-3 win in the New England semifinal before suffering his only loss of the season, 9-0, to William Ebert of Warde High from Fairfield, Connecticut.

“Really my goal was to make that New England final. I wanted to win but came up a little short,” said Sutherland, 17, who lives in Lincoln. “But doing well there was important. I hadn’t placed before.”

Sutherland finished the season 50-1, with 40 first-round pins and his third individual Class B and NEQ titles. He also led Mattanawcook to its first team championship, as well as the Class B Dual Meet championship. Sutherland is the clear choice to be the 2022 Varsity Maine Boys’ Wrestler of the Year.


“Not only did he do it at New Englands, he dominated every tournament he was at,” said Mt. Ararat/Brunswick Coach Erick Jensen. “He was probably more dominant than any other kid in Maine. He’s a beast. And he’s a good kid, too.”

As a freshman and sophomore, competing at 113 and 138 pounds, respectively, Sutherland established himself as one of Maine’s premier high school wrestlers. Both seasons, he won Class B and New England Qualifier titles, had a perfect in-state record and was a Varsity Maine All-State selection.

But at the New England championships, he felt overpowered.

“I was kind of skinny and way under-powered,” Sutherland said. Coming home from the New England championship in 2020, Sutherland and his dad, Josh, decided it was time to start lifting weights and move up in weight class.

Two days later, schools shut down for in-person classes because of the pandemic.

“With nothing to do and a gym in my basement, I was working out all the time,” said Sutherland, who is 6-foot-1.


“He started hitting the weights, so he went from a lean 138 to close to 180 pounds and got a lot stronger. He knew if he really wanted to compete and get to a New England final, he needed to be stronger,” said Mattanawcook Coach Matt Lindsay. “He walks around close to 180 and cuts down to 170. He was just incredibly strong, fast, a technician, and his athleticism is amazing.”

For his career, Sutherland posted a 170-5 record. All of his losses were at the New England championships.

The pandemic cost Sutherland a chance to be a four-time state champion and also eliminated the opportunity to chase the state record of 243 career wins, set by Marshwood’s Bradley Beaulieu in 2017.

“I really wanted that, and the first two years we had gone to a lot of tournaments and coach gave me opportunities,” Sutherland said. “Even this year, we were affected (by pandemic cancellations). I had 51 matches this year and I got (66) my freshman year.”

Not having a junior season also stalled the college recruiting process, though that has picked up recently, with the University of Southern Maine, Springfield College, Sacred Heart and Brown expressing interest in Sutherland, who is a strong student. A year of prep school is also an option.

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