In Friday night’s home opener vs. North Dakota State- also pegged as “Jordan Burroughs Night”- that talent will be on full display.
In their first dual of the season, the Huskers will feature a trio of District 11 wrestlers from the state of Pennsylvania- an area widely regarded as the top wrestling nook in the country. If that’s not enough, the local trio will go back-to-back-to-back in the lineup. We call that “murderer’s row”.
At 165 lbs, redshirt freshman Jagger Condomitti (Northampton) will make his much anticipated debut after defeating nationally ranked Bubba Wilson (2022 NCAA qualifier) 8-4 to crack the lineup. He had an illustrious high school career for the Konkrete Kids, finishing 139-26 with 3 PIAA state medals. Condomitti capped things off in 2021 with a 160 lb AAA State Title after finishing 2nd and 4th, respectfully. The youngster is dangerous on his feet and constantly looking to score points- something that translates in spades to college wrestling. Remember his name.
At 174 lbs, Senior Captain Mike Labriola (Easton/Bethlehem Catholic) will look to begin one final run at a national title. Labriola has been a staple for the Huskers, going 107-29 over his NCAA career while gaining All-American honors 3 times (6th, 3rd, 7th). Back in the Lehigh Valley, he owns one of the best high school careers in District 11 history. Labriola was a 4 PIAA state medalist to go along with his 157-17 record for the Golden Hawks. He was a 2x PIAA AAA State Champion at 170 lbs, graduating in 2017. Nebraska’s unheralded leader can funk with the best of ‘em and the crafty veteran has all the right tools to upend anyone at this weight class.
Finally, at 184 lbs, redshirt freshman Lenny Pinto (Stroudsburg) will make his Husker debut. Pinto pinned 2x California State Champion Nathan Haas to earn the spot, an impressive feat in itself. He won a 170 lb PIAA State Title in 2021 after snagging a Bronze Medal the year prior. The Stroudsburg Stud went 119-9 for the Mountaineers over just 3 seasons, missing his senior year due to injury. If you’ve never seen Pinto wrestle, expect fireworks. His knack for big moves and upper body prowess is second to none. Don’t get tied up with Big Lenny.
So why does Nebraska have such a grasp on District 11 wrestling? What drives the pipeline?
Look no further than Associate Head Coach Bryan Snyder. The Easton, PA native enters his 13th year alongside the legendary Mark Manning- and is seen as one of the best “sidekicks” in the business. Not only that, but Snyder is one of the most decorated wrestlers in Nebraska history. He owns the best winning percentage all-time, with a mark of .925. He compiled a whopping 136-11 record from 1999 to 2002 and was a 4x NCAA All-American, finishing as national runner-up twice. Snyder’s success goes right back to the Lehigh Valley, where he notched a 109-12 record and earned a State Title for the Red Rovers in 1997.
If the District 11 pipeline has a catalyst, he’s it.
Nebraska narrowly missed out on a Team Trophy at the 2022 NCAA Championships in Detroit, finishing in 5th place with 5 All- Americans. Only Top 4 hoist this honor- and they ended up a mere 7 points behind the Arizona State Sun Devils.
On Friday night, the Cornhuskers and their star-studded lineup will begin a journey to improve on that impressive finish, which leaves many asking- can it be done?
Let’s just say… “they have the juice”.