Recap 
Notable Coaching Changes:Lee Bolmer --> Steve Wolfe (Catasauqua)
Dick Baker --> Mike Davis (William Allen)
East Penn League:Added: Allentown Central Catholic
Left: Neshaminy & Pennsbury
Structural Changes:Class A Districts Eliminate Sectionals and goes to a single bracket format to be held on two consecutive Saturdays. Class B continues with a Sectional format but reduces from four to two tourneys. Consolation bouts for 3rd-4th in PIAA State Championships are dropped (they were reinstated one year later). Heavyweight 250 pount weight limit is eliminated.
East Penn League Champion:Liberty (8-0)
LVIAA League Champion:Lehighton (7-0)
Lehigh-Northampton League Champions:
North Division:Saucon Valley (6-0)
South Division:Pocono Mountain (6-0)
District Champion:
Class A:Easton (3 Champions)
Class B:Lehighton (4 Champions)
Regionals:
Class A:District XI – 9 Total Champs – Saucon Valley (4 Champions)
Class B:District XI – 8 Total Champs – Lehighton (3 Champions)
PIAA States:
Class A:Easton finishes 2nd in mythical state standings with 1 champion and 1 runnerup.
Individual State Champions:
Class A:Bob Weaver, 98, Easton; Rich McIntyre, 145, Freedom; Brian Statum,
155, Liberty and Gary Albright, 185, Saucon Valley
Class B:Bob Harris, 138, North Schuylkill

Easton lost two state champions and five other starters after the 1973-74 season, and Saucon Valley returned a strong group of upperweights.  The Rovers and Panthers had 34 and 17 match unbeaten streaks, respectively, as the season began.

Mike Brown
Mike Brown & Becahi Bench Taking in the Action (Photo Courtesy of Bethlehem Catholic Yearbook)

Bethlehem Catholic flexed its muscles in an early season match up with Saucon Valley as they ended the Panthers unbeaten streak at 20 by defeating them 26-18.  Mike Brown won his first match in a series of four classic bouts with Gary Albright by a 7-4 score.  Liberty established itself as a team to be reckoned with as they handled Phillipsburg 32-17 in another December match.

 

Easton Wrestling
Easton Was Riding a 41 Match Unbeaten Streak Before Losing to Liberty (Photo Courtesy of Easton H.S. Yearbook)

Easton extended their unbeaten streak to 39 with a much bigger than expected 35-14 win over Bethlehem Catholic.  But as they had done in seasons past, Coach Frank Gutierrez’ Liberty squad proved to be the “Streak Busters” as they defeated the Rovers 21-15 ending the streak at 41.  In a mid-January “shocker”, Dieruff beat Phillipsburg for the first time in 15 years 24-22.

 

George Atiyeh
Sophomore George Atiyeh Helped the Huskies Beat P-Burg (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)

Liberty had all but wrapped up its first East Penn League title ever and was seeking an undefeated season.  Saucon Valley had other ideas and ruined the Hurricanes’ chances 21-20.  Liberty would go on to win the East Penn League and finish 12-1 overall.

 

Liberty Wrestling
Liberty Hurricanes Broke Easton’s Streak & Won Their 1st EPL Title (Photo Courtesy of Liberty H.S. Yearbook)

Saucon Valley again won the Lehigh-Northampton Northern Division going 6-0 in the league and finishing 13-1.  In the Southern Division, upstarts Pocono Mountain and Northwestern battled for the league title with Pocono Mountain triumphing 25-24 winning the division and finishing with a very good 12-2 record.

Ed Watto
Pocono Mountain’s Long-Time Coach Ed Watto (Photo Courtesy of Pocono Mt. H.S. Yearbook)
Northwestern Wrestling
Northwestern Coach Dave Hawk Led the Tigers to a Fine ’74-’75 Season (Photo Courtesy of Northwestern H.S. Yearbook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lehighton won the Lehigh Valley League for the 2nd straight year.  The Indians had an outstanding 11-1-1  record.

Final League Standings were as follows:

Compiled Standings 1974-75PlaceW-L-D
East Penn
Liberty18-0
Easton27-1
Bethlehem Catholic3T5-3
Phillipsburg3T5-3
Dieruff54-3-1
Notre Dame63-5
Freedom72-5-1
William Allen81-7
Allentown Central Catholic90-8
Lehigh-Northampton Northern Division
Saucon Valley16-0
Nazareth25-1
Parkland34-2
Pen Argyl43-3
Wilson52-4
Bangor61-5
East Stroudsburg70-6
Lehigh Northampton Southern Division
Pocono Mountain16-0
Northwestern25-1
Southern Lehigh34-2
Salisbury43-3
Palisades52-4
Jim Thorpe61-5
Pleasant Valley70-6
Lehigh Valley
Lehighton17-0
Emmaus26-1
Northampton35-2
Catasauqua44-3
Whitehall53-4
Stroudsburg62-5
Slatington71-6
Palmerton80-7

Teams with 10 or more wins included Easton (12-1), Bethlehem Catholic (11-3), Northwestern (11-3).  North Schuylkill again finished 14-0.

Class B New Sectional Groupings:

Class B – Section 1Class B – Section 2
BangorBlue Mountain
CatasauquaBishop Hafey
East StroudsburgJim Thorpe
NorthwesternLehighton
Notre DameMahoney Area
PalisadesMinersville
Pen ArgylNorth Schuylkill
Pleasant ValleyPalmerton
Pocono MountainPanther Valley
SalisburyPine Grove
SlatingtonSchuylkill Haven
Southern LehighShenandoah
StroudsburgTamaqua
WilsonTri-Valley

The Class A Districts would see the regular season trio of Easton, Liberty and Saucon Valley battling each other.  The Rovers advanced six wrestlers to the finals while Liberty and Saucon Valley each advanced five.  The Hurricanes had six more wrestlers in the consolation finals.  The final round featured many close bouts including Freedom’s Mike Zito winning his 3rd District title by defeating 3-time District champ, Greg Shoemaker of Easton, 5-3.  The Hurricanes clung to a 3.5 point lead entering the heavyweight bout and had Scott Schneider facing Easton’s Jim Palmer. With a final score of 4-4, 3-3, referees’ decision, Palmer won the bout, and Easton won the District Team title by ½ point.  Final standings were as follows:

District Class A - Team Scores   
Easton90.5Parkland15.5
Liberty90Hazleton12
Saucon Valley72William Allen12
Bethlehem Catholic45.5Allentown C.C.11
Freedom43Dieruff9.5
Northampton33Pottsville3
Emmaus26.5Whitehall3
Nazareth22West Hazleton1

The Class B Districts saw Lehighton ride very successful quarterfinal and semi-final rounds to crown 4 champions and win the District team title.

District Class B - Team Scores   
Lehighton81.5Bangor12
Wilson50.5Tamaqua12
North Schuylkill40.5Jim Thorpe6
Pen Argyl39Salisbury5
Notre Dame28Pine Grove4
Northwestern26.5Tri-Valley3
Palisades24Catasauqua2
Pocono Mountain23Bishop Hafey1
Southern Lehigh22East Stroudsburg1
Palmerton21Schuylkill Haven1
Panther Valley15Shenandoah Valley1
Blue Mountain13.5Stroudsburg1
Slatington13

District XI thoroughly dominated the Class A Northeast Regional action one week later with 9 champions, 9 runners-up and 10 consolation winners.  Saucon Valley crowned 4 individual champions.

1975 Northeast Regional Champs
1975 Northeast Regional Champs: Front Row – Kurt Nagel (Jersey Shore), Rick Billy (Northampton), Mike Zito (Freedom), Don Severn (Saucon Valley), Rusty Chunko (Saucon Valley), Steve Albanese (Nazareth); Back Row – Jerry Rodriguez (Saucon Valley), Dan Lechner (Saucon Valley), Brian Statum (Liberty), Butch Snyder (Shikellamy), Mike Brown (Beth Catholic), Bill Pfeiffer (WB Coughlin) Photo from PIAA State Tourney Program Via Tim Kuhn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Class B, Lehighton continued its strong performance with three champions to lead the District XI contingent who won 8 titles and advanced a total of 21 wrestlers to the PIAA State Championships.

Lehighton Wrestling
Lehighton Won the Lehigh Valley League & District XI Class B Titles (Photo Courtesy of Lehighton H.S. Yearbook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Morning Call’s Paul Reinhard summed the 1975 Class A state wrestling championship up best by writing District XI wrestlers won “an unprecedented four championships.”  Easton’s Bob Weaver (98), Freedom’s Rich McIntyre (145), Liberty’s Brian Statum (155) and Saucon Valley’s Gary Albright (185) were won titles.  Albright upset Bethlehem Catholic’s Mike Brown who had beaten him in their three previous meetings.  Northampton’s Rick Billy and Easton’s Greg Shoemaker both lost very close decisions and finished 2nd.  Easton finished 2nd in the mythical team standings.

Bobby Weaver
Bobby Weaver Won His 1st of 3 State Titles (Photo Courtesy of Easton H.S. Yearbook)
Brian Statum
Brian Statum Became Coach Frank Gutierrez’s 2nd State Champ (Photo Courtesy of Liberty H.S. Yearbook)
Greg Shoemaker
Greg Shoemaker Placed 2nd for Easton (Photo Courtesy of Easton H.S. Yearbook)
Rick Billy
Rick Billy Capped a Great Year as a State Runner-Up for Coach Tom Ortwein (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Class B Championships saw North Schuylkill’s Bob Harris win a state title at 138.  Northwestern’s Chris Wentz finished 2nd at 98.

North Schuylkill Wrestling
Bob Harris Won His School’s 1st State Title (Photo Courtesy of N. Schuylkill H.S. Yearbook)
Chris Wentz
Super Soph Chris Wentz Was an Exciting Wrestler on His Way to a State Runner-up Finish (Photo Courtesy of Northwestern H.S. Yearbook)

Coming Soon – The Full Story of One of the Closest District XI Team Races Ever & District XI’s Unprecedented (to Date) 4 Class A State Champs!