Back in black and gold
Senior Ryan Haas has been wrestling since the third grade, but he took a two-year break during his sophomore and junior seasons.
Two years removed from the sport and a jump in eight weight classes later, and Haas is in the midst of another successful season. Last week’s match against Salisbury was another indicator of that.
Haas was one of the three Tigers who captured wins in the four contested bouts last Wednesday in a 57-12 victory over the Falcons. It pushed Haas’s record to 11-7 on the season after he also pinned Notre Dame Green Pond’s Hasan Mohammed in his previous match.
“I was behind Caleb Clymer,” Haas said. “Him and I are good buds; we played football together. So, I knew what weight he was going at and that I wouldn’t have a spot. I took a year off, lifted and got better for this year.”
Clymer, who won states last year, suited up at the same weight Haas would have in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Instead of coming out for the team, he focused on his lifting and getting stronger. That has made the jump up to 160 pounds that much easier.
“It’s a lot different because the last time I wrestled I was only at 113 pounds,” Haas said. “And now I’m wrestling at 160. I have a lot more muscle and I’m wrestling bigger and better guys. It’s interesting. I like it a lot more.”
Haas was the final of those three Tigers to earn wins in contested bouts. After an early takedown, Haas took a quick 7-0 lead into the second period. He then pinned of Salisbury’s Ben Krause with 1:09 left in the second period.
“We both came out strong, and I figured he would get a little tired and I would catch him,” Haas said.
That match gave Northwestern a 45-12 lead with two bouts to go. Forfeit wins for Justin Surnofsky (170) and Tyler Watson (182) closed out the 57-12 victory for the Tigers.
Donovan White earned a hard fought 6-2 decision over Nate Natel at 138 pounds after three consecutive Tiger forfeit victories. Then, Harrison Bernhard pinned Devon Alder in 2:51 for a 33-12 advantage.
“Donovan wrestled well and he wrestled hard,” Moll said. “The kid had a cross-face cradle on him for about a minute and 15 seconds in the second period, and Donovan fought real well. He stayed tough and finally broke out of it to get a reversal.”
Haas is hoping this season ends with a run at districts and a spot in regionals come the postseason.
“I know we have a lot of good kids at 160, but it would be really cool to make it out of districts,” Haas said. “Place there at districts, and then just wrestle my best at regionals. I know it’s going to be really tough there.”
“It’s good to have him back on the team,” head coach Jim Moll said. “He’s wrestled his whole life and is an athletic kid. Wrestling is a little bit like riding a bike. You might have a little bit of rust to shake off, but at this point in the season he’s done that and wrestled well.”