The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 9, 2013

Harold Raker's wrestling column: Milton hosts, but can't partake

Have you ever hosted a party in your house and, although you did all or most of the work, you were not allowed to partake?

No soup for you!

Not even one shrimp cocktail!

Mike Snyder, the coach of Milton High's wrestling team, worked all day and night last Saturday as his school again hosted the District 4 Class AA and AAA Duals.

Once again, Snyder's Black Panthers, with a record of 2-7, were not invited.

"I said to my wife before I came down (to the school), this is really tough," Snyder said

"I feel like we could have beaten some of these teams. It is tough to stomach. I guess that is what drives you crazy as a coach," he said.

Before the season started, Snyder thought his team had a chance to make it to the tournament and compete for one of the three state berths available for the first time this season.

He also knew things could go the other way, and they did.

He didn't know how his squad would fare in duals, but he knew he had four or five top quality kids who could have a good season. Those kids put a lot of work into the sport, and deserved the opportunity to compete with high-level wrestlers, he said.

"What I did with our schedule was tried to structure it around our team. You've got to be a little bit of a scientist when you're putting together these schedules, and use some craftsmanship," he said.

So what he got was a grueling early-season schedule that included duals with Mifflinburg and Lewisburg along with the Beast of the East, Hurricane (Bethlehem) and Cumberland Valley) tournaments.

Next year, he will drop the Hurricane and Cumberland Valley events, while hoping to return to the Beast, and add more duals for a team that he believes can be one of the best Milton has offered the fans in many years.

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