Northern Lehigh

Coach: Scott Snyder (4th year, 11-44)

Last year’s record: 5-14 overall, 2-6 Colonial League

Classification: 2A

Catch them on Twitter? @NLdawgs

Key wrestlers and approximate weight: Jr. Joey Abidelli (160); So. Trevor Amorim (145); Sr. Preston Bauer (132); Jr. Nathan Ellan (138); So. Matt Frame (195); Jr. Jason Hunter (220); Jr. Joshua Schaffer (285); Jr. Brendan Smay (113); So. Dylan Smoyer (152).

Top records from 2018-19: Schaffer 23-10, Bauer 21-11, Amorim 20-13, Abidelli 18-12, Smay 16-10

Wrestler you don’t know now, but will by February: Jr. Brendan Smay (113)

Outlook: The Bulldogs have much in common with their rivals and neighbors at Northwestern Lehigh — numbers may limit any team successes, but there’s plenty of individual promise. With a roster of 12, and just one senior (Bauer, fifth in D-11 2A), dual meet wins may be hard to come by, though the Colonial League West isn’t full of powerhouses. “We hope to qualify for District Duals,” Snyder said. “Our roster is similar to last year in terms of numbers, but will be a very different looking team on the mat. I think some of our wrestlers made great progress in the offseason and were very active in the weight room.”

Snyder is enthusiastic about the vibe he’s getting from the Bulldogs. “The wrestlers have been doing an excellent job of motivating each other in the room,” he said. “I am excited to watch this group build on last year’s performances and begin to wrestle as a unit as we get in to the dual meet portion of the season.”

Individually, Bauer and Abidelli came within a win of making regionals last season and Snyder expects more this year, along with stronger seasons from Schaffer and Amorin as well. “I believe we have two or three wrestlers who will surprise people this year,” Snyder said. “Brendan Smay and Jason Hunter are names who kind of flew under the radar last season, but both worked very hard, and made huge improvements in the off-season.”

Wilson’s Wild-Guess Prediction: You get the sense that some of Northern Lehigh’s individuals are set for breakthrough seasons. The dual-meet season may be a slog for the undermanned Bulldogs, who will need a lot to go right to better last season’s record.

But when districts start, expect Northern Lehigh to show some real progress. The Bulldogs should send a couple of wrestlers to regionals, and a state qualifier or two is possible. But most of all, it will be a good season for Northern Lehigh if its athletes progress and exceed their individual expectations.

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Brad Wilson may be reached at bwilson@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradwsports. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.

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