Wrestlers focus on improving
Sophomore Ben Krauss is young and doesn’t have a ton of experience on the wrestling mat, especially at the varsity level. The same can be said for many of the other Falcon grapplers.
All but two wrestlers are either freshmen or sophomores for head coach Eric Snyder. And many of them have had success at the junior high level, with the hopes of accomplishing similar feats throughout their high school years.
“We have some talent on our team, but it’s just a matter of they are young and inexperienced,” Snyder said. “We’ll get better. We’ve gotten better since Day 1.
“We had a couple of kids that didn’t come out that are sophomores. So we would have had nine guys, and seven of nine would have been freshmen or sophomores.”
Krauss has been using the early portion of the season to sharpen his wrestling moves after a lengthy football season in the fall.
In his 170-pound match against Catasauqua’s Dominic Melendez a couple weeks ago, Krauss was able to work on some of those basics before winning by fall in the second period. One thing he has been focusing on in the offseason and early this winter is his footwork.
“I had a pretty good match [against Melendez],” Krauss said. “I was just working on the basics and certain things I need to work on. I knew this match was perfect for that. I took the opportunity to work on what I needed to and get some more mat time and experience. I feel like on my feet I was a little faster than before.”
Polishing those fundamentals is going to be crucial for all of these young wrestlers in regards to how much they can improve throughout their careers.
“I saw [Krauss] a little bit in junior high,” Snyder said. “We’re impressed with what we’ve seen out of him so far. I think with a lot of these guys it’s just to believe in what we are doing. Basics are what wins matches.”
Ashton Thomas is the other sophomore on the roster, but missed that last dual meet against the Rough Riders. He’s listed at 145 pounds on the Falcons’ roster.
The freshmen include Braedon Alder, Toby Linn and John Samy, and that trio provides a solid core at the lower weight classes that has been impressive thus far. Alder and Linn both won their matches against the Rough Riders. Alder defeated Ben Langsdorf via a major decision, and Linn picked up one of three Salisbury pins.
“As a team I feel that we all came in knowing we had to do,” Krauss said. “We had Wilson [the prior week], and they were one of the top teams that we’ll wrestle all season. I feel like we handled this as a business trip and came in and did what we had to do. We had more wins than losses.”
Alder and Samy are former junior high place-winners.
Many of those underclassmen had solid outings at the Jim Thorpe Christmas Tournament on Saturday. A total of three finished in the top five of their respective weight classes.
Krauss led the way at 170 pounds, pinning North Schuylkill’s Jared Tinari in 2:50 to secure a third-place finish. He pinned Harriton’s Max Ostrem and Archbishop Ryan’s Sebastian Mesa on his way to that finish.
Samy also placed third at the tournament. He secured a hard-fought 9-8 decision over Cedar Crest’s Taylor Gehman to close out his run. He picked up a pin over Shamokin’s Collin Bozza in the opening round, followed by a 4-2 decision win in overtime over Catasauqua’s Austin Brett, the opponent he lost to in the Rough Rider dual match.
Alder took sixth place after coming up short against Norristown’s Isaiah Tucker in the fifth-place match. He picked up a fall over Berks Catholic’s Joe Giesen, then fought his way through the consolation bracket with a pin against Danville’s Sean Johnson and a 9-5 decision over Wallenpaupack’s Carmine Jannetti.
Salisbury was one of 17 programs that competed at the Jim Thorpe Christmas Tournament.
Archbishop Ryan finished first as a team with 233.5 points and had three individuals claim first. Wallenpaupack (174) and North Schuylkill (161) rounded out the top three teams.
126 – John Samy
Samy pinned Collin Bozza (Sha) in 2:34
Samy dec. Austin Brett (C) 4-2 (SV)
Ethan Miernicki (NS) dec. Samy, 6-2
Samy dec. Taylor Gehman (CC), 9-8
132 – Braedon Alder
Alder pinned Joe Giesen (BC) in 4:59
Matthew Weinberg (AR) pinned Alder in 1:21
Alder pinned Sean Johnson (D) in :57
Alder dec. Carmine Jannetti (W), 9-5
Isaiah Tucker (N) dec. Alder, 2-0
145 – Devon Alder
Jonathan Swift (AR) pinned Alder in 3:50
Alder pinned Jonathan Byers (PV) in 2:13
Alder dec. Jared Dewalt (D), 3-1
Edward Scheck (M) dec. Alder, 5-4
Alder pinned Brett Walsh (CC) in 2:53
152 – Toby Linn
Linn pinned Alex Moyer (PV) in 1:27
Landolfy Gonzalez (A) pinned Linn in 2:39
Liam O’Toole (AR) pinned Linn in 1:00
170 – Ben Krauss
Krauss pinned Max Ostrem (H) in 3:45
Krauss pinned Sebastian Mesa (AR) in 2:41
Sam Kier (W) pinned Krauss in 2:22
Krauss pinned Jared Tinari (NS) in 2:50
220 – Kyle Killiri
Zachary Scheirer (C) pinned Killiri in 4:42
Nate Mogaka (BC)won by injury forfeit
Allen (A), Archbishop Ryan (AR), Berks Catholic (BC), Berwick (B), Catasauqua (C), Danville (D), Harriton (H), Jim Thorpe (JT), Meadowbrook Christian (MC), Muhlenberg (M), Norristown (N), North Schuylkill (NS), Panther Valley (PV), Shamokin (Sha), Wallenpaupack (W)