By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- He could have spent his down time looking out the window at Selinsgrove High School, watching the snow pile up. He could have listened to some rap or heavy metal.
Perhaps either of those activities would have met the approval of his coach.
Selinsgrove coach Seth Martin thinks junior 132-pounder Tom Kramer is too focused on his wrestling. He thinks too much, Martin says.
For his part, Kramer wants to avoid distractions. While many wrestlers will bide their time listing to iPods or even watching other matches, Kramer just wants to soak up the atmosphere.
"I don't like to sit down, so I kind of stood up and was pacing around the gym," he said. "I don't ever listen to music before a match. I feel like I would get distracted.
He said he likes to be focused on the environment in the gym, not so much watching matches. "I want to have the sound of the gym, what it's going to be like. I don't like to be in my own little world."
Kramer's way worked, at least on Saturday, as he not only won the championship at the Selinsgrove Holiday Tournament but was also voted the Most Valuable Wrestler. That honor was the result of his having the most pins (two) in the least amount of time (2 minutes, 42 seconds).
His weight class had only four competitors, which left Kramer lots of time on his hands between his semifinal (a 31-second pin over Jesse Koerber of Wilson) and the final (a fall in 1:49 over Matt Heiserman of Salisbury). Both came with cradles off the initial takedown.
He noted that some guys wrestled two or three times Saturday before his second and final bout.
Martin, who would like to see Kramer be more relaxed -- even to the point of not studying the brackets -- said Kramer won his matches Saturday like he wins most of them, by countering his opponent's shots.