Depending on their outlook, area 220-pound wrestlers can either heave a sigh of relief or kick themselves in frustration over a test that has evaporated.
Not one of them will be wrestling Kyle Snyder any time soon.
With last week’s decision to forego his senior year at Good Counsel and enroll in a residency at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., reigning two-time All-Met Wrestler of the Year Snyder has effectively ended his high school career.
“I absolutely love Good Counsel, the coaches and the people at the school,” Snyder said. “I just think for my next stage in development, moving out to the OTC would be the next stepping stone to achieving my goals.”
In three years of high school competition, Snyder posted a perfect 179-0 record. He has been taken down just once in his three-year career.
As the No. 1 ranked 220-pounder in the country according to FloWrestling and InterMat, Snyder won not only won individual championships at the Maryland Independent Schools and WCAC tournaments, but helped Good Counsel to team titles as well.
“In terms of summing up his career, I think everything speaks for itself,” Good Counsel Wrestling Coach Skylar Saar said.
“I was lucky enough to have probably the best wrestler in Maryland history.”
Saar said when Snyder consulted him about leaving for the OTC, the coach could only tell Snyder it was his decision to make and gave him his blessing.
“We don’t want to hold him back at all; we want to make sure he gets what he needs,” Saar said. “The goals that he has are bigger than anything that’s going on around here. His goal is to become an Olympic champion.”
In the aftermath of the International Olympic Committee’s decision to drop wrestling from the Summer Games, 2016 might be Snyder’s only shot to achieve his goal of competing at the highest level.
Snyder said he did not give much thought to the opportunity to train at OTC when he first received the offer last summer. But in the last few months, he began to mull it over more seriously and scheduled another visit to Colorado Springs with his father.
After spending more time with National Freestyle Developmental Coach Bill Zadick, a former world champion, and National Freestyle Resident Coach Brandon Slay, a gold medalist, Snyder knew what he had to do.
In addition to training with Zadick and Slay, Snyder said he will have the opportunity to practice with Head Coach of the National Freestyle Program Zeke Jones and the men’s senior team.
“It’s not often that you even get to meet people like that, but I’ll be surrounded in an environment where I have those kind of coaches and athletes with me constantly,” Snyder said.
In order to maintain his academic standards and ensure eligibility to enroll at Ohio State, Snyder will complete his senior year at Coronado High School, just about five miles away from the OTC.
The school will accommodate Snyder’s routine, providing a flexible schedule open for training commitments and international wrestling excursions.
Snyder said he will miss competing in national events like the Walsh Ironman, the Beast of the East and Powerade tournaments – all of which he won – but more than anything, he will miss coming home to his parents, brothers and sisters.
“You’ve got to make sacrifices if you want to be great at something,” he said.