Observer-Reporter Athlete of the Week: Connor Schram
Name: Connor Schram
Weight Class: 126
Schram’s Week: Connor Schram captured his second title in the Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament with a win by default over Michael Kemerer of Franklin Regional in 2:35 at 126 pounds. Schram also won as a sophomore and missed last year’s tournament with back spasms.
Schram was seeded third and opened with a pin in 23 seconds of Will Chillinsky of Hempfield. Schram followed with a 17-1 technical fall over Nick Standefer of Baylor, Tenn., in the second round then decisioned sixth-seed Matt Welliver of Benton in the quarterfinals. Schram then had one of the bigger upsets of the tournament when he spun around for a takedown with 20 seconds remaining to take a 3-1 decision from Ryan Diehl of Trinity in District 3. Diehl was the No. 2 seed and a defending PIAA Class AA champion.
In the finals against top-seeded Kemerer, Schram hit two nasty double-leg takedowns on Kemerer, who was a defending Powerade champion and a PIAA runner-up last season. On the second, the top of Schram’s head caught Kemerer in the jaw and knocked him woozy. Franklin Regional head coach Eric Mauser decided not to let Kemerer continue, giving Schram a default victory.
“I felt bad; it’s not a great way to win,” said Schram. “I didn’t scout him, but I did wrestle him a few times in practice (over the years). I just tried to wrestle my match.”
A family affair: Schram is the latest in a string of athletically talented siblings of Kristen and Ron Schram. Connor’s older brother, Ron, wrestled for Canon-McMillan and is in the final year at Clemson before heading into medical school. Taylor Schram is a member of Penn State’s soccer team and the Nittany Lions reached the NCAA Division I finals this season. She also made the 20-Under World Cup Team that won a golf medal. And Connor is a three-time state medalist, including taking the gold at 103 pounds in his freshman season.
“She (Taylor) came to watch me (at Powerade),” said Connor. “We’re pretty competitive.”
Schram is headed for Stanford after he graduates, carrying a 4.5 grade-point-average on a scale of 4.0 thanks to his taking advanced placement, or extra-credit, courses.
Something to smile about: Schram has a different attitude this season. He is trying not to put too much pressure on himself.
“I told him to lighten up,” said Kristen Schram.
Schram admits he takes losses hard, and that, at times, it affects his wrestling.
“A lot of times, if I were tight and nervous, I would tend to freeze up out there,” he said. “I’m trying not to do that anymore. I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself.”
Now, he seems ready to make another long run into the postseason.
“The goals are always the same,” he said. “I always want to be the best I can be. I try to win everything. I’m down to the right weight.
“When you win a title, they are all great. It’s a big deal. I think I’m on the right path now.”
- Compiled by Joe Tuscano