Lehigh Valley Wrestling History
Photo from Dieruff High School Yearbook. Website header courtesy of Thomas J. Owens.

As long as I can remember, Pennsylvania and specifically the Lehigh Valley have produced some of the best wrestlers in the country.  But, it wasn’t always that way.  Before the days of state team champions, national rankings and state dual tournaments, teams from other parts of the Pennsylvania dominated the early years of state competition.  In fact, up until the mid-1940’s, Bethlehem was the only high school in the Lehigh Valley to offer wrestling. 

By the time 1950 rolled around there were six high schools in the Lehigh Valley with wrestling squads – Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Nazareth, Northampton and Phillipsburg.  Over the next seventeen years, no fewer than two dozen schools would join the “Original Six” teams.   The coaches had no blueprint to follow as they were establishing interest in their schools to field a team, teaching the basics and developing their programs. 

By the time the 1960’s rolled around, many of these coaches’ wrestlers were taking over the vastly expanding wrestling programs in the Valley and throughout the state.  The competition and rivalries formed during the 1950’s and 1960’s propelled the Lehigh Valley to be recognized as one of the best areas for wrestling in the country!

If you’re visiting this web site, you are a wrestling fan just like me.  This site is dedicated to the coaches, the wrestlers and the pioneers of Lehigh Valley wrestling.  Their story is one worth telling and this is that story!