What seems like an unusual choice — giving up a starting spot on a nationally ranked football team that annually sends several players to major college programs — was actually quite logical for Snyder, the area’s most dominant wrestler.
“I just love wrestling, and I constantly want to get better,” said Snyder, a two-time All-Met who was named the upper weight wrestler of the year this past winter. “I think if I play football I won’t be able to do that.”
Even his football coach wasn’t surprised by the decision.
“His balance and quickness and strength and leverage made him an incredible football player,” said Bob Milloy, who has been involved with high school football in the area for 50 years. “You’re dealing with a world-class athlete here. Hopefully, I’ll be watching him in the Olympics one day.”
With a career high school record of 116-0 and a growing national profile, Snyder, 16, has prompted buzz within the local wrestling community about just how good he can be.
Instead of juggling workouts for both sports, the rising junior has spent his summer training with top competition and attending national tournaments. As he heads to Fargo, N.D., for USA Wrestling’s junior and cadet national championships, which begin Friday, Snyder views the choice to focus exclusively on wrestling as the next step on the way to fulfilling his ambitious list of goals on the mat.
“I just want to win out my whole high school career, win four NCAA titles, win a few Olympic golds,” Snyder said after a recent workout with Maryland national team members at American University. “I don’t just want to make the Olympic team. I want to win a gold.”
Snyder, a Woodbine resident, took up wrestling at age 4 and began regularly attending workouts with the Falcons when his brother, Stephen, joined the team as a freshman. Back then, Coach Skylar Saar enjoyed watching the sixth-grader toss around older competition.
Now Snyder — who expects to drop down to 197 pounds to wrestle in college and beyond — moves on the mat with the authority of a much lighter wrestler, constantly attacking with a diverse arsenal of moves.
He’s never been taken down in a high school match, and recently, flowrestling.org ranked him the No. 2 pound-for-pound high school wrestler in the country.
Over the past two years, Snyder has regularly dispatched top local competition with ease. Bishop Ireton senior Andrew Lutterloh went 61-4 this season to earn All-Met honors with three of the losses (two tech falls and a pin) coming to Snyder.