There is “history” and then there is “tradition”. Snider wrestling coach Dave Mohr knows the difference and this Saturday he hopes his team does as well.
That is when Snider is hosting the SAC Championships, beginning at 8 a.m. The team title figures to be close, between the host Panthers and Bishop Dwenger.
Snider is the defending champs and has made a habit of winning conference titles over the years.
“This is our time,” Mohr said of his team in the post-season. “We enjoy this time, it's what we prepare for all season long. They know what's out there and what they have to do.”
This statement would be categorized as “tradition”.
As for “history”? It would be the dual results earlier this season between Snider and Bishop Dwenger. The Saints won both matches: 37-36 (on a tiebreaker) and 37-33 at the SAC Duals.
Mohr wouldn't say that those Bishop Dwenger victories don't count, but you get the idea that, well, they are history.
“It's going to be close again,” Mohr said. “But it's not going to be a dual meet by any means. There are several great individuals (on other teams) that will win and so the team score will be hard to predict.”
Snider is led by Erique Early (ranked 12th in the state at 120); Bishop Dwenger is led by Ben Evans (ranked 14th at 182).
Early, only 13-2, certainly is buying into the post-season tradition at Snider. He missed several weeks early this season due to a sprained knee and then the flu.
“I'm just getting into shape,” Early said. “I feel like I'm getting better every time out. I'm getting sharper, quicker.”
Another Snider standout, Bobby Humphrey (14-3 at 126), says there is no question the Panthers are better wrestlers than they were before Christmas.
“I'm in much better condition,” Humphrey said last Saturday after he won his weight class at the Concordia Invitational. “And I think, as a team, our technique is really improving.”
The other state-ranked wrestlers in the SAC meet Saturday are Bishop Luers' Sam Lovejoy (16th at 126) and North Side's Anthony Linnear (fifth at 170).