Jonah Niesenbaum stood outside Liberty’s Memorial Gymnasium, peering through the doorway to get a glimpse of the action inside.
As the crowd noise swelled, so did the Salisbury senior’s interest.
Clearly, it wasn’t where Niesenbaum envisioned himself on the second night of District 11 Wrestling Tournament.
Niesenbaum pictured himself alongside his peers, competing for a title. As the No. 2 seed at 220 pounds, a third-place finish in the Class 2A bracket wasn’t the outcome he had hoped for.
But it might have been the one he needed.
Defending champion Sarah Bobeck will lead the Salisbury swim team into this weekend’s District 11 Class 2A championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Parkland High school.
Bobeck earned district titles in the 50- and 500-yard freestyle events last year. This year, as a senior, she’ll swim the 200 and 100 freestyle events at districts.
In the 200 free, Bobeck is seeded first at 2:01.82, with Panther Valley’s Erika Zimmerman seeded second at 2:02.32. In the 100 free Bobeck is seeded first at 55.31. The second seed in 100 is Kylie Tohill of Pottsville at 55.34.
Injuries are a part of all teams. The severity of those injuries can have a major impact on how a season can play out.
The Salisbury girls’ basketball team endured a number of injuries this past winter that played a large role in the Falcons’ 2018-19 season. The Falcons finished 3-14 in the Colonial League, beating Catasauqua twice and Saucon Valley late in the season.
The Colonial League and East Penn Conference playoff schedules for basketball were pushed back due to weather and school closings this week.
Tonight’s games (Thursday, Feb. 14) are as follows for the Colonial League:
Catasauqua High School
5:45 p.m.- Girls #1 Notre Dame-Green Pond vs. #4 Bangor
7:30 p.m. - Boys #1 Moravian Academy vs. #4 Bangor
Whitehall High School
6 p.m. - Girls #2 Southern Lehigh vs. #3 Northwestern Lehigh
7:45 p.m. - Boys #2 Southern Lehigh vs. #3 Notre Dame-Green Pond
Salisbury point guard Sean Snyder has been a three-year starter for head coach Jason Weaver. With 1:44 left to play in last week’s regular season finale against Southern Lehigh, Snyder walked off the court for the final time as a Falcon.
Snyder was the last of three Salisbury seniors to exit the floor and receive a standing ovation last Tuesday. And while the result—a 63-43 loss to the Spartans—officially eliminated the Falcons (8-14 overall; 5-12 in Colonial League) from playoff contention, it was a celebratory night for those in blue and white.
The East Penn Conference and Colonial League announced matchups for their respective league tournaments, which start Friday.
In the EPC, the Bethlehem Catholic boys get the top seed and will host eight-seed Easton at 7:30 p.m. Emmaus earns the second seed and will host Central at 6 p.m.
Freedom takes the fifth seed and will travel to Nazareth for a 7:30 p.m. game while Allen sneaked in on the final night of play to earn the sixth seed and a date at Pocono Mountain East for a 7 p.m. game.
For the Salisbury seniors, Saturday afternoon was the final time that they would take to their home court. Unfortunately for the Falcons, the home portion of their high school careers ended with a 60-18 loss to Northwestern Lehigh.
The Lady Falcons fell to 3-18, 3-13 with the loss to Northwestern. The loss was the third straight for Salisbury.
Sarah McGee nearly walked away from basketball after her playing days at Salisbury. She just wasn’t sure if she wanted to try to play in college.
But with encouragement from her family, she decided to give it a shot. And now she’s a key piece in Penn State Lehigh Valley’s successful winter campaign that still has goals left to obtain.
Salisbury’s struggles continued last Friday with a 49-36 loss to Northwestern Lehigh. The loss was the second in three games and the fifth in seven games for the Falcons, who dropped to 8-13 overall and 5-11 in the Colonial League.
Northwestern (10-10, 8-7) opened the game by commanding the boards with Deven Bollinger pulling down three rebounds in the first three-minutes of the game. The two teams were in an 11-11 stalemate after the first quarter, but Northwestern pulled out to a 25-19 halftime lead.
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.