In between those activities, he’s helped his father, Matthew, with some construction work to earn a little money.
It’s been quite a change for Sorrentino, who was accustomed to daily workouts with the Creekview football and wrestling teams. He was a four-year member of both programs before walking away from athletics when he decided to focus on his academics at Georgia Tech, where he will begin taking classes in the fall.
“It’s been really different,” Sorrentino said. “(Creekview) is open for some past athletes to come in work out, so I have gone in and worked out with my friends that are upcoming seniors or juniors, and it’s different being there for just personal fitness. I’m not working toward a team goal anymore.”
Sorrentino gave everything he had to both football and wrestling, and his performances reflected that.
As a defensive lineman for the football team, Sorrentino led the Grizzlies with 91 tackles and three forced fumbles this past fall, also adding four sacks. At the end of the season, he was named not only the football team’s top scholar athlete, with a 4.40 grade-point average, but he also received the Captain’s Choice Award.
In wrestling, Sorrentino was unmatched.
He posted a perfect 55-0 record at 182 pounds, with more than half of his wins — 36 — by pin. He swept the Region 7AAAAA and Class AAAAA championships and also received the Grizzly Academic Award.
For dominating his opponents on the field and on the mat, Sorrentino is the 2013-14 Cherokee Tribune Male Athlete of the Year.
“It was great being a part of the teams at Creekview, because they allowed me to be a part of something that was bigger than myself,” Sorrentino said. “I was able to achieve a lot of success in my life.”
Sorrentino said many serious wrestlers end up giving up football, but since he had made the decision not to compete at the college level, he wanted to play both sports as long as he could.
“Football was something different to do,” he said. “It was something to change things up. If I was really trying to pursue a scholarship, I probably would have picked wrestling and tried to up my abilities and show colleges that I was worth going after, but that wasn’t my end goal.”
Creekview football coach Terry Crowder, who coached Sorrentino as a senior, said the lineman was a good leader.
“Coming in my first year, and him being a senior, I couldn’t have asked for a player with better character,” Crowder said. “I was very fortunate. In every situation, Joseph did the right thing and supported the team, and that was beside the fact that he was a football player.”
Since giving up wrestling his sports, Sorrentino said he has had more energy and been less stressed.
“I’ve had more time for everything,” he said. “I’ve been able to enjoy by summer and not had to shorten the time with my family.”
Should Sorrentino miss the mats, Georgia Tech has a club wresting team that he could be a part of without having to make the commitment required by a varsity sport.
“I could do it in a recreational way, and that wouldn’t be nearly as strenuous on my body or anything,” he said. “I might also take up wresting refereeing. I love the sport, and I want to stay involved in it, but just not at the collegiate level.”
Crowder said he wouldn’t be surprised if Sorrentino found his way back to competitive athletics.
“I think, at some point, he might miss playing football on Friday nights, or competing in wrestling, but he is such a bright kid, with such a bright future. I think he is focused,” Crowder said. “He is a high-character kid — the kind that you would let date your daughter.”
After he won his state title in wrestling, Sorrentino said he had accomplished everything he set out to do as an athlete.
“I was able to say I was satisfied,” he said.
Sorrentino said his next goal is to pay off college as quickly as possible. He plans to work while attending classes at Georgia Tech to reduce his debt and wants to have any student loans paid off within two years of graduation.
“It’s a big goal, but I want to get a degree and find a job that allows me to do that,” Sorrentino said. “I’m really interested in the aerospace career path.”