Stone Bridge DT Aaron Crawford uses wrestling to his advantage

February 20, 2014

After a sophomore campaign in which he played alongside Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen Stone Bridge, nose tackle Aaron Crawford was asked to join the wrestling team.

He had never wrestled but felt that it could be be great to utilize his time in the offseason and keep himself disciplined about his weight. A year later he’s headed to the Virginia 5A state meet for the second consecutive year after placing fourth in the 285-pound division in last week’s 5A North region final.

“It’s gotten me in better shape, I’ve dropped about 15 pounds,” Crawford said. “It’s improved my footwork, and I’ve been able to incorporate my hands a little more, and I feel like I’m faster as well.

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From the nose tackle position, Crawford picked up 40 assisted tackles and eight sacks last season for the Virginia 5A North region quarterfinalist Bulldogs (9-3). Although he tallied most of his tackles in the backfield, he was able to track down receivers on occasion with his tireless pursuit.  Crawford plays at around 300 pounds and said he may be used on both sides of the ball next year.

He finished the season with two ACC offers from Duke and North Carolina, but recently has added offers from Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Crawford spent time at both North Carolina and Virginia Tech at the schools’ respective junior days.

“It was great, the coaches were very welcoming, the campus was really nice,” Crawford said of his Virginia Tech visit. “It was a great overall experience. To be honest, I like to eat, and they showed us the dining halls and that was pretty cool.”

At Chapel Hill, he hung out with defensive line coach Keith Gilmore for much of his visit and said he sees himself possibly suiting up there, but will wait until July or August to give an oral commitment. He plans to major in business or economics and has a cumulative 3.2 GPA at Stone Bridge. Crawford’s position on the depth chart and the academic standing of the schools will weigh heavily on his decision, he said.

But for now, Crawford’s focus is on the state meet this weekend at Robinson, where he and 113-pound 5A North champion and fellow Bulldog McKinnon Brown will represent Stone Bridge. Crawford will look to surpass his third-round finish from a year ago.

“I feel like I have to open up my offense and take more shots,” Crawford said. “Plus, I have to keep my hips down while I’m on top.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 43

National Cathedral guard Marta Sniezek scored a season-high 43 points Tuesday in a loss to Georgetown Visitation. Sniezek — ranked as one of the top point guards in the nation — is the area’s leading scorer (30.6 points per game) and has averaged 33 points per game in her last seven contests.

BREAKFAST LINKS: 

– Jefferson junior swimmer Andrew Seliskar, 17, is one of the top recruits in the Class of 2015 and will be a sleeper contender to make the U.S. Olympic team in two years.

–The South County girls’ 4×200 relay team hasn’t had time to gain much chemistry but still managed to run the second fastest time in Virginia this season en route to a 6A North region title. 

–Although the 4A/3A dual meet championship wrestling title looked in doubt for No. 3 Damascus the Swarmin’ Hornets narrowly defeated North Hagerstown 30-29. 

–After leading Briar Woods girls’ soccer to their best season in school history the Falcons had eight seniors commit or sign to play the sport on the next level. 

–In case you missed it, former Friendship Collegiate coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim accepted a position at the University of Alabama to join Nick Saban’s staff. 

VIDEO OF THE DAY: 

O’Connell standout guard and Maryland-commit Melo Trimble has seen unprecedented success at the Arlington private school.

Despite transferring and graduating players at Bishop O'Connell, Melo Trimble has been a consistent force for the Knights since his freshman year. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Girls’ Basketball: McLean at No. 15 South Lakes, 7:30 p.m.

The Conference 6 opponents split their two matchups during the regular season with both picking up a victory at home. The winner of this game moves onto the Conference 6 final and will boost its seeding for next week’s 6A North region tournament. McLean senior Maia Lee (Old Dominion) and South Lakes senior Abigail Rendle (William & Mary) will be the matchup to watch in the post.

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