SEALS, BRAVES ARE GREEN: Both Shikellamy and Selinsgrove are sending extremely young teams to the mat this year but, Supsic said, despite a poor performance at the recent Manheim Christmas Tournament, he believes his kids will improve in the month and a half leading up to the post season.
“We are not where we want to be and we are preaching to the kids and coaching them to get better each week,” said Supsic, who has five freshmen in the starting lineup and only three seniors. “Hopefully they improve enough by the end of the year that we can go out there and make some noise, and get a couple kids through to the state tournament.”
Martin and Supsic both feel good about their programs in light of the talent that is now in the junior high and believe both teams will improve in numbers as well as quality of talent in the next few seasons.
One of Selinsgrove’s key returnees would have been senior Mike Walter, but the latter needed to have surgery for a football injury. Martin said Walter was trying to decide whether to wrestle and miss his final track and field season, or have it now and miss wrestling. Martin told him that, as badly as he wished he could have him on the wrestling team, he thought the right thing to do was to have it now and only miss one of his seasons.
Another was, Mike Ede, who won 33 bouts as a sophomore and missed last season with an injury. He also decided not to risk injury as a wrestler so he could be healthy for track and field.
“He’s going to focus on the hurdles. Last year he went to states (in the hurdles) so I can’t blame him, but he was replaced by somebody who hadn’t wrestled a varsity match yet.
“We are no stranger to unpleasant surprises but I’m keeping my hopes up for some pleasant surprises here in the next two months,” Martin said.
BOOK IT: Congratulations to Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame member Tom Elling for producing another outstanding wrestling handbook. The 356-page publication covers virtually everything a fan needs to know and then some about Pennsylvania wrestling and beyond.
n Assistant sports editor Harold Raker covers high school wrestling for The Daily Item. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.