Snyder shares knowledge with young wrestlers
MENTOR >> As far back as Marco Tramontano can remember, he’s always been a wrestler. And as long as he’s been a fan of Kyle Snyder, Tramontano has always looked up to one of the best wrestlers in the world. So when the Mayfield junior and standout football player and wrestler for the Wildcats finally met his wrestling idol ... he looked down at him. It didn’t matter for the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Tramontano on Feb. 10, when more than 160 took part in two wrestling clinics at Mentor Shore Middle School in Mentor. The big attraction for the clinics organized by the Mentor Youth Wrestling Club was Snyder, who stands about 6-foot and weighs 220 pounds. Head coach of the club Nick Magistrelli organized Snyder’s appearance at the two sessions. The two know each other and became friends through wrestling circles. “Whenever a friend asks me, I try to make it work,” said Snyder before the first session. Magistrelli wrestled at Kent State, and Snyder at Ohio State, where he won three NCAA championships. Snyder is a also a three-time world champion and a 2016 Olympic gold medalist. Spending part of his day with Snyder is likely the highlight of Tramontano’s wrestling season. Unfortunately for him, there’s not much more to celebrate this season. A shoulder injury during the football season with the Wildcats forced doctors to advise him to skip the 2018-19 wrestling season to allow it to properly heal. Still, the injury did not prevent Tramontano from getting on the mat and interacting with Snyder. The two met before the clinic and posed for a photo. “A picture is nice, but getting back on the mat … one day won’t hurt me,” said Tramontano, who’s getting interest from colleges for football and wrestling. The first session was for middle school and high school wrestlers, and the second featured kindergarten through sixth-graders. Snyder demonstrated various technique and drills, interacted with wrestlers, then posed for more photos. It’s been a busy time for Snyder, who now competes full-time internationally. He returned from Russia two weeks ago for a tournament, and at the end of February will be in Bulgaria for another. At his next event, the Pan-American Championships, Snyder will look to end a two-match losing streak. Last October, he lost to Abdulrashid Sadulaev at the 2019 World Championships, then was edged, 6-5, by Rasul Magomedov in a senior match. He’s now 7911 since his freshman season at Ohio State. “No worries. It’s part of the sport,” said Snyder of the losses. “You learn from it. I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. I’m not upset. Just trying to compete and get better.” Following the Pan-Am Championships, Snyder said he will compete at the World team trials, then continue training for the World Championships, and eventually the 2020 Summer Olympics. In the meantime, Snyder enjoys giving back, much the way he did in Mentor on Feb. 10. “My message is to have fun, and try to score as many points as they can,” he said. “Wrestle because they love it.”
Kyle Snyder demonstrates a move for young wrestlers as part of a clinic on Feb. 10 in Mentor.