Wrestling



Varsity Head Coach | Skylar Saar
 
 

Skylar Saar, for 14 seasons, built the Our Lady of Good Counsel High School wrestling program into one of the nation’s finest. After two years as an assistant, he returns as head coach in 2020.

Kyle Snyder, a two-time All-American under Saar, is an Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion. He speaks highly of the role Saar played in his development.

“Coach Saar is a very good leader,” Snyder said. “He let me know very early what his standard is, how the team’s going to work, the way we’re going to compete, the way we’re going to think about competition. Then he lived it out.

Roster

Name Class
AK-Sean Aaron 2021
AK-William Applegarth 2023
AK-Anthony Berrios 2022
AK-William Castro 2023
AK-Jackson Clawson 2022
ALL-Kicky Crowell 2022
AK-Bryce Holt 2021
Conor Lozupone 2020
LZ-Alexander Merrifield 2021
LZ-Christiano Navarra-Petrovic 2021
LZ-Kristofer Orantes 2021
Connor Ott 2020
Jakob Redman 2020
LZ-Dylan Richards 2022
LZ-Heidi Mae Richardson 2021
AK-Xavier Ricks 2021
Brandon Roberts 2020
Peter Slear 2020
Dallas Warsaw 2023
George Wolo 2020


Varsity Wrestling Schedule

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Skylar Saar, for 14 seasons, built the Our Lady of Good Counsel High School wrestling program into one of the nation’s finest. After two years as an assistant, he returns as head coach in 2020.

Kyle Snyder, a two-time All-American under Saar, is an Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion. He speaks highly of the role Saar played in his development.

“Coach Saar is a very good leader,” Snyder said. “He let me know very early what his standard is, how the team’s going to work, the way we’re going to compete, the way we’re going to think about competition. Then he lived it out.

“So, you start to really trust what he tells you, and through that you become very comfortable with him and his coaching. It’s really important for any athlete to believe in what they’re doing and know that their coach has their best interest in mind.

“I always knew that with Coach Saar.”

Snyder, currently in training for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, thinks Saar is going to do a “great job” in his second stint leading the Falcons.

“He’s extremely competitive with a great hunger to win and create top wrestlers and good people,” he said. “I know he’s going to get the job done.”

Good Counsel Athletic Director Steve Howes is happy to welcome back a fellow GC graduate.  

“Skylar led our wrestling team to unprecedented heights, mentoring exceptional wrestlers like Kyle and many others,” Howes said. “Our student-athletes deserve the best opportunity to maximize their talents, and I know Skylar can do that again. I’m excited to watch our wrestling program grow and develop under his guidance.”

During his first stint as Falcons head coach (2004-17), Saar led the team to five Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships (2011, 2013-16) and two Maryland Independent Schools state titles (2013, ’16). The latter squads were ranked in the Top 50 nationally.

Saar’s 2011 club won Good Counsel’s first Catholic league title in 30 years. The 2013 state championship was another first. The 2016 Falcons had seven state finalists and six champions. From 2013-16, his wrestlers’ record in dual meets was 52-0.

At the 2013 National Prep Wrestling Championships in Bethlehem, Pa., GC placed third. Three years later, it was fourth. Saar’s Falcons have finished in the Top 10 at the Lehigh University-hosted event five times.

The Washington Post named Saar 2013 All-Met Coach of the Year. In 2016, his Maryland colleagues accorded him the same honor. He has coached 19 individual state champions and 34 National Prep All-Americans.

Mentoring a World Champion

Saar helped Snyder enjoy one of the finest careers in high school wrestling history. From 2011-13, he was 179-0 and won three National Prep championships. He was named to the prestigious 2012 Asics All-American team. As a junior in 2013, he was honored as Asics All-American Wrestler of the Year.

As Snyder began out-classing his practice partners, Saar had to get creative in ensuring his budding champion was being challenged and continuing to advance in skill and technique.

“Whether it was him or a new assistant coach or bringing in other athletes, Coach Saar made sure there was somebody there who could push me, or he was pushing me mentally,” said Snyder, who finished school in Colorado while in residence at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. “He was a good motivator.”

Snyder also witnessed how well Saar mentored novice wrestlers.

“It wasn’t like we were always bringing in top recruits,” he said. “We had a couple guys who had done really well in their middle school career. We had a couple guys who had just been wrestling for a little while. Then we had a bunch of guys who had never really wrestled before.

“Coach Saar did a great job building up all of us. He’s really good at developing guys who had never wrestled before.”

Snyder cited his brother, Stephen, who preceded him at GC and went on to win two state championships and attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

“My older brother started wrestling when he was a freshman, and he became Good Counsel’s first state champion, a National Prep placer and wrestled in college,” Snyder said. “That’s just one guy, but there’s tons of guys like that.”

Kyle Snyder became a four-time All-American at Ohio State and three-time NCAA champion. He won world titles in 2015 and ’17 at 97 kilograms. In 2016, Saar traveled to Rio de Janeiro to see his former star win an Olympic gold medal. The two keep in close contact.

“I still call him ‘coach,’ but now he’s also my friend,” Snyder said. “He’ll always tell me the truth about my wrestling.”

Snyder is among several of Saar’s athletes who have competed in college. His younger brother, Kevin, followed him to Ohio State after winning a state championship.

Kevin Budock, a multiple All-Met who won three state crowns (2014-16) and was runner-up at nationals three times, went to Old Dominion. Bailey Thomas, a two-time state champion, captured the National Prep title at 152 pounds in 2017. He attended Appalachian State. Spencer Neff wrestled at Duke.

Education & Family

Prior to graduating from Good Counsel as an honor roll student in 1998, Saar wrestled for four years at 152. He placed at state his final three seasons and, as a senior, was named second-team All-Met. He earned National Prep All-American recognition by finishing seventh in 1998. 

Saar played four years of rugby at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and graduated in 2002 with a degree in kinesiology. In 2006, he added a master’s in exercise physiology from California University of Pennsylvania.

Saar has been the Falcons’ strength and conditioning coach since 2004 and teaches physical education and international baccalaureate exercise science. He is a certified specialist in strength, conditioning and performance enhancement.

Skylar Balland Saar was born in Germantown, Md. He and his wife, Sarah, a Good Counsel science teacher, live in Derwood, Md., with their daughter, Everly.