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Samy, Krauss lead wrestlers

The Salisbury wrestling team has more than doubled in size since last season.

The Falcons, which finished last year with four wrestlers, will feature a roster of nine grapplers as they head into the 2021-22 season.

“Our numbers have increased at both the high school and junior high levels,” said 10th-year head coach Eric Snyder. “We are happy with the progress we have made, but not satisfied.

“We have several kids who decided to come out for the first time but were coming to open room before the year started to start learning the sport and that has helped the first few days or practice.”

Leading Salisbury’s roster are returning district placewinners John Samy and Ben Krauss.

“Ben Krauss and John Samy both return to build on last season’s success,” said Snyder. “Both are hungry coming into the year and neither were satisfied with how their seasons ended last year.”

Samy, now a junior, went 12-3 during the regular season last year before taking second place at districts and repeating that feat at regionals a week later. In a normal season that would have earned the 132-pounder a trip to the state championships in Hershey. But last year the PIAA held a super-regional tournament in between regionals and states and Samy’s season ended there.

Samy’s goal this season will certainly be to make it to Hershey and reach the podium. He could move up to 138 this season or remain at 132.

Krauss, who finished fourth at 189 in last year’s district tournament, also would have advanced at least one more week during most seasons. Because of last year’s changes, only the top two finishers in District 11 advanced. That’s half of the number that traditionally advance in Class 2A.

A senior who was one of the top tacklers on the Falcon football team in 2021, Krauss is expected to occupy wrestle at 215 or 285 this year.

The rest of the Falcon’s line up will be new to the varsity team, although one of the newcomers is back out after a couple years away from the mat.

Carver Moyer, a senior who posted 20 varsity wins as a freshman, returned to the team this season and will wrestle at 120 or 126 this season. Other newcomers to the Falcon varsity team include senior Ifrahim Ansari (189); junior Chloe Sandeen (126/132); sophomores Emil Rodriguez (132/138), Mason Holva (152/160) and Ethan Sandford (285); and freshman Nathan Tone (145/152).

Salisbury won two matches last season despite forfeiting eight bouts per match. The Falcons will have a chance to greatly improve on that number if they can keep all nine wrestlers and healthy and on the mat this season.

Having nine weight classes filled will be enough to win a few matches as very few teams can fill 14 spots on the line up card. Another benefit is the Falcons have enough in each weight range that finding sparring partners of a similar weight won’t be as difficult as it can be when there’s a larger different in weights among teammates.

After an abbreviated schedule last season the Falcons are looking to spread their wings this season. They’ve added one tournament and plan to return to a pair of other that had been on their schedule in the past.

“The kids are excited to get back to a somewhat normal year and test themselves to get ready for the postseason,” said Snyder. “We’ve added the Trojan Wars to our schedule and with the return of the Coal Cracker and Montgomery tournament, we think we will get the kids quality matches to prepare them better for the postseason.”

PRESS FILE PHOTO District 11 and PIAA Southeast Region runner up John Samy returns for Salisbury after a stellar sophomore season.
PRESS FILE PHOTOS District medalist Ben Krauss (above) is one of two seniors on this year's Salisbury varsity wrestling roster. District 11 and PIAA Southeast Region runner up John Samy (left) returns for Salisbury after a stellar sophomore season.