Joining forces: BR, Susquehanna combine wrestling programs

Susquehanna’s Tom Maby, left, tries to take down Nanticoke’s Zack Weidow. Maby will co-captain the new, combined Blue Ridge and Susquehanna team. TIMES-SHAMROCK PHOTO

BY ASHLEY TEATUM, Times-Shamrock Writer

With their wrestling programs in danger of dying, Blue Ridge and Susquehanna agreed to co-sponsor a team beginning this season.

A larger number of wrestlers turned out for the team this year, and now, two district champions and one district runner-up will compete alongside each other.

“It’s been going great,” head coach Zach Edwards said. “It went pretty smooth. Blue Ridgehas been going there for football, and that helped quite a bit.

“There’s no animosity. The kids get along good.”

Blue Ridge stand out Dalton Church and Susquehanna’s Tom Maby, seniors and co-captains, will lead a Raiders team looking to impress at dual meets and benefit from its increased number of wrestlers.

Both were first-team all-stars in Division II last year.

The duo, along with sophomore Zach Edwards, a runner-up at districts and a first-team all-star as a freshman, all reached the Class AA Northeast Regional tournament last year.

“I have three district finalists,” coach Edwards said. “They wrestle hard and they push each other.

“(Church and Maby) are the captains of team. They work hard when they’re in practice and they keep kids in line.”

Former Susquehanna head coach Don Orner also joins the program as an assistant coach for the Raiders, who already got their season started at the Wyalusing Ram Duals at the start of December.

Zach Edwards and Church both went 4-1.

“The kids wrestled tough,” coach Edwards said. “They wrestled a lot bigger schools.”

Blue Ridge opens league play Monday against Lackawanna Trail in Division II, and while coach Edwards is a little concerned his team may be too deep in the middleweights at the moment, he knows it will work out as the season continues.

“Once the two-pound allowance comes, we can expand the team a little more to fill more weight classes,” coach Edwards said. “We should win some dual meets this year.

“I’m very happy. We have a lot more kids. Last year, we had three kids make it to districts. Now we hope to get three-quarters of the team.”