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The Cedar Crest wrestling program is now looking for a new head man on the mat.
Cedar Crest Athletic Director Robert Snyder tells GameTimePA.com coach Barry Spohn’s contract was not renewed after nine seasons, per school protocol after each sports season where each coach’s contract is either renewed or it is decided to make the position open.
If a coach’s contract isn’t renewed, he or she is permitted to reapply, but Snyder says he’s pretty sure Spohn will not reapply.
“We decided to open the position after finishing this year with six wrestlers,” Snyder said. “The numbers have gone down for whatever reason, and this is not Barry’s fault. He’s a good teacher and coach. We’ve talked about this over the past couple of years to try and turn this around, and as we’ve talked we haven’t been able to do that. The coach has the biggest impact on a program so we’re looking to bring somebody in who can reverse that trend.”
When informing Spohn he wasn’t retuning for a 10th season, Snyder says Spohn understood the need for a new direction.
“I think he realized too that something had to be done,” Snyder said. “I’m sure he’s certainly disappointed. As a coach you want to do what’s best for your kids and the program. He didn’t do anything egregious. We just need to do something to turn the program around.”
Low numbers have also led to rough end results for the Falcons, including posting just a 3-10 record overall, while finishing 0-6 in Section 2 play this past season. Cedar Crest was just 1-15 the year before.
Spohn’s most recent successful wrestler individually was senior Ross Fisher at 285, qualifying for the district tournament the last two seasons.
Spohn however, will still remain a part of the football coaching staff, according to Snyder.
Besides finding a way to increase numbers on the varsity level, Snyder says it’s critical for the next coach to be involved with all areas of Cedar Crest’s wresting program.
“We’re definitely looking for someone who can work with our youth program and help establish that so we can bring those kids in,” Snyder said. “Wrestling is a sport where you need the knowledge and skill because no one can help you. It takes a lot of people to help build that.”
Seeing low numbers along with unfavorable results in consecutive seasons would seem to also start bringing up the question of the wrestling program’s future – but Snyder says not to worry.
“I don’t see that,” Snyder said. “That’s nothing we’ve discussed at all at any level. Anytime you get a new coach there’s a rebound level to see what the new coach is like. We’ll just see what we get from that. We always evaluate our programs to see what we can do to improve.”