Wildcat Shay Snider has been agonizingly close to being a state champion, and he's got once chance left to make his dream come true
As a grappler for the Harlem Wildcats, senior Shay Snider is involved in an epic chase for the Class B-C individual state championship that's he’s come so close to getting in the past.
He has been chasing that dream since he was three years old. Snider grew up wrestling for the Little Wildcats as well as with the Chinook AAU wrestling program. Snider also tried his hand at football this past season, and has been a three-year varsity golfer for the Wildcats.
But wrestling is where he has always shined
Wrestling at 126-pounds this season, Snider has been close to state supremacy in the past. Wrestling at 98-pounds as a freshman, Snider took second at state. At 112 a year ago, Snider finished in second place once again. Unfortunately, he didn’t get his shot at a state title as a sophomore after breaking his collarbone the weekend of divisionals.
But nearing the end of his final prep season, Snider can still get the job done. In the most recent coaches poll Snider is ranked as the No. 2 126-pounder in the Class B-C ranks. He has shined bright in every tournament he has wrestled in this season and has claimed individual titles amongst the talent at tournaments like Cut Bank, Choteau and Conrad. Snider has always performed well on the big stage, too. Each year, he’s been in contention at the prestigious CMR Holiday Classic, and he’s a two-time Northern B-C champions, as well. If Snider keeps it up, a state title could very well be in his immediate future.
But Snider isn’t only about wrestling.
He also plans on attending college after graduating from Harlem High School. His college of choice is still up in the air, but it will most likely be a school that offers a degree in pre-veterinary. A collegiate wrestling career isn’t out of the realm of possibility either, but a pre-vet degree is priority number one as of now. The degree will prove to be beneficial in the long run as Snider has also spent the summers working on his family’s Snider Ranch, which has been in the family for more than 100 years.
Here are five questions with one of the Hi-Line’s most dominant wrestlers over the last three-plus seasons
HDN: Even with fewer numbers than other programs, how does the Harlem team stay competitive each year?
Snider: “We just go out and wrestle every match 110 percent. We wrestle hard every time; we just take care of our own match, and just take it one match at a time. We do a lot of fundamentals and stuff like that in practice, but you just have to wrestle your best and it will turn out the way you wanted.”
HDN: How many Wildcats have a shot at an individual state title this year, and what would that accomplishment mean to you?
Snider: “Strongly, I think three or four of us can do that. That would be a good number by a team our size. We will have some lower placers, too, but I think three or four can really get first. If I were one, it would mean a lot, it would mean the whole world. That is the dream to be a state champion, nobody really remembers a Cut Bank Invitational winner, they remember a state champion. It would really mean a lot.”
HDN: With state rapidly approaching, is there an area you can still improve on this season?
Snider: “There is always room for improvement. I have got a lot of things that I need to work on, so I just have to keep going at it and keep working hard in practice and hopefully I can get there.”
HDN: Who has been a role model in your life?
Snider: “I really look to some of my cousins, we are a big wrestling family, and we have all been wrestling since day one. That is a tough one, but my cousin Trent Jones, our assistant coach, I have really looked up to him and he is a two-time state champion.”
HDN: What goes through your head before a big match or tournament?
Snider: “Really I just think about wrestling hard. I want to make sure I don’t make any mistakes and that I am wrestling like I know how. I just go with the flow when wrestling. You always picture a way a match is going to go in your head, but it never goes down the way you plan. You just have to go with the flow, do your thing, and hopefully you come away with the win.”