Niesenbaum takes fourth at tourney
Salisbury senior Jonah Niesenbaum entered the Coal Cracker wrestling tournament much like every other competition—with the intention of winning. And while he came up a few matches short of that goal, he was able to use the competition as a building block for the upcoming district tournament.
Niesenbaum went 4-2 at the competitive tournament at Panther Valley High School nearly two weeks ago, finishing in fourth place to wrap up his regular season.
“As with any other competition, my goal is to be number one,” Niesenbaum said. “I did go into that tournament expecting to win the gold, but unfortunately I did not meet my goal and I lost the semifinal match as well as the consolation final match.”
Niesenbaum couldn’t have asked for a more dominant start. He pinned his first three opponents: Noah Craigh (Berwick) in 42 seconds, Dylan White (Carlisle) in 1:48 and Brandon Crusen (Scranton) in 4:26.
Those three quick falls set up a semifinal match against Selinsgrove’s Nate Schon. Niesenbaum ran into trouble for the first time of the tournament with a 15-0 technical fall defeat.
“Although I am not satisfied with the outcome of the tournament, I do not regret anything about the way I wrestled,” Nisenbaum said. “I overheard a coach talking to a wrestler that I had just beat; he was explaining the loss saying ‘You were outmatched in intensity.’
“Although the difference between me and this particular opponent was a lot more than just intensity, my energy and explosiveness was what made me stand out throughout the tournament.”
The Falcon senior bounced back in his next match, pinning Overbrook’s Daishawn Tilghman late in the third period and advancing to the third-place match. But Jim Thorpe’s Ethan Mordaunt won via a 15-4 major decision over Niesenbaum.
He may have suffered two losses at the Coal Cracker tournament, but Niesenbaum analyzed and dissected those defeats to find out what he needs to improve on for districts.
“A lost match is not really a loss unless I make excuses,” Nisenbaum said. “In fact, I can make substantial gains from these two losses. Both these matches made it clear that there were a few things that I need to tune up before the postseason. Overall it was a fun tournament and a good learning experience.”
He plans to wrestle at 220 pounds in the postseason.
Salisbury, which took six wrestlers to the Coal Cracker, finished 31st out of 36 teams at the event. Falcon wrestlers Carver Moyer (106), Devon Alder (138) and Ben Krauss (160) all won one match in the tournament.
Coal Cracker Results
Team Scores: 1. Notre Dame (Green Pond) 197, 2. Hazleton 172.5, 3. Midd-West 168.5, 4. Selinsgrove 158.5, 5. Abington Heights 140, 6. Gettysburg 140, 7. Faith Christian 119.5, 8. Mahanoy Area 108.5, 9. Carlisle 104, 10. Tamaqua 96, 31. Salisbury 32.
106 – Carver Moyer
Jacob Fetrow (Gettysburg) tech. fall Moyer, 16-1.
Moyer pinned Kamani Morris (Overbrook) in :20.
Will Schwartz (Jim Thorpe) major dec. Moyer, 8-0.
132 – Nate Natal
Shawn Matthews (Selinsgrove) dec. Natal, 9-3.
Alejandro Garcia (St. Josephs Prep) dec. Natal, 8-2.
138 – Devon Alder
Avery Bassett (Midd-West) pinned Alder in 0:44.
Alder pinned Mariano Monacelli (Scranton) in 2:10.
Devon Deem (Montgomery) pinned Alder in 4:37.
160 – Ben Krauss
Sam Northup (Abington Heights) tech. fall Krauss, 15-0.
Krauss pinned Cameron Harder (Montrose) in 2:18.
Thomas Gudykunst (Blue Ridge) pinned Krauss in 0:42.
195 – Ashton Thomas
JJ Snyder (Berwick) pinned Thomas in 0:13.
Dan Beckley (Montgomery) tech. fall Thomas, 17-2.
220 – Jonah Niesenbaum
Niesenbaum pinned Noah Craigh (Berwick) in 0:42.
Niesenbaum pinned Dylan White (Carlisle) in 1:48.
Niesenbaum pinned Brandon Crusen (Scranton) in 4:26.
Nate Schon (Selinsgrove) tech. fall Nisenbaum, 15-0.
Niesenbaum pinned Daishawn Tilghman (Overbrook) in 2:30.
Third-place match: Ethan Mordaunt (Jim Thorpe) major dec. Niesenbaum, 15-4.