Salisbury Press

Thursday, September 19, 2019
PRESS FILE PHOTOJonah Niesenbaum returns for his senior year after reaching the state tournament last season. PRESS FILE PHOTOJonah Niesenbaum returns for his senior year after reaching the state tournament last season.

Niesenbaum, Alder return for Salisbury wrestling team

Monday, December 24, 2018 by TODD KRESs in Sports

It’s quite fascinating when you hear Jonah Niesenbaum’s wrestling journey.

In just his third year of wrestling, Niesenbaum is coming off a season in which he qualified for states after placing fifth at regionals and taking third at the District 11 Class 2A tournament. And there’s no reason to expect he can’t top those accolades this winter.

Niesenbaum returns for the 2019 season looking to not only take another step forward, but also help guide the Salisbury program to new heights after going 0-8 last season with just two grapplers.

“[We have to] trust the process,” head coach Juan Garcia said. “We have student athletes who have bought in. They are willing to put in the work and the rewards are starting to present themselves.”

Deven Alder, who wrestled at 152 pounds in the Falcons’ season opener, is the team’s other returner grappler. He went 7-15 to compliment last year and both he and Neisenbaum are key components in helping Salisbury change its culture.

Niesenbaum finished last winter 18-14 after dropping his two matches in Hershey. He’s back with vengeance and is currently ranked seventh in the state rankings and committed to Duke University.

“The biggest strength I believe is their mindset,” Garcia said. “Understanding that taking a loss now will only make them stronger. The season is just practice and getting us ready for the postseason.”

Niesenbaum pinned Northern Lehigh’s Dominic Bandle in the first period to open his Colonial League slate. A number of other Falcons came out on top despite the 33-24 defeat.

Carver Moyer picked up a fall at 106 pounds, pinning the Bulldogs’ Brendon Smay in 1:53. Damian Ramos won via forfeit at 145 pounds, as did Alder at 152.

Other newcomers rounding out Salisbury’s lineup are: Nate Natel (138), Ben Krauss (160) and Ashton Thomas (heavyweight).

“An area we are addressing is technique,” Garcia said. “We have worked on the strength and stamina of the wrestlers. Now it’s time to get the moves sharper.

“Our goal for the season is to have a van full of wrestlers going to Hershey.”