“The Hawks & Tigers Are Golden”

A bit of a disappointing post season had followed a very exciting dual meet season during the prior year.  The ’78-’79 season would see teams continuing to wrestle a high quantity and quality of dual meets, including ongoing expansion of the geographic footprint of competition beyond the Lehigh Valley.

Early Season Battle Between John Barna and John Cuvo (Photo from Allentown Morning Call)

This season would feature another very competitive league battles in all three local leagues with many duals decided by just a few points.  The league champions who emerged were:

East Penn League Champs – Bethlehem Catholic 11-0 (18-0 Overall)

Colonial League Champs – Saucon Valley 7-0-1 (15-2-1 Overall)

Centennial League Champs – Notre Dame 8-0 (14-2 Overall)

District XI Team Champs:  AAA – Bethlehem Catholic & AA- Notre Dame; 7 of 8 AAA champs repeat

1979 AAA Northeast Regional Champions
1979 AAA Northeast Regional Champions (Photo Courtesy of Tim Kuhn)

PIAA State Team Champs:  AAA – Bethlehem Catholic & AA- Northwestern Lehigh with Two State Champs Each:  Rich Santoro & Tom Bold for Becahi // Greg Stewart & Scott Fenstermacher for NW // NW also had a runner-up in Vince Stravino // Doug Billig becomes Parkland’s 1st state champ ever.

Doug Billig
Parkland’s 1st State Champ, Doug Billig (Photo Courtesy of Parkland HS Yearbook)

Northwestern Wrestling

State Champ Northwestern Tigers (Photo Courtesy of Northwestern HS Yearbook)

In a clean sweep of AAA honors for B.C., Tony Iasiello is named Coach of the Year & Tom Bold is named Outstanding Wrestler.

Tom Bold
Tom Bold Goes for the Fall (Photo from Allentown Morning Call)
Tom Bold
Shortly after Bethlehem Catholic’s Tom Bold stunned the crowd and pinned Tony Differ of Upper Merion (in the photo to the left in the State Finals). Bold’s pin won him the state title and OW and clinched the state team title for the Golden Hawks (Photo Courtesy of Vince Stravino).
Northwestern Wrestling
The Victory Celebration for the Northwestern Tigers Who Won the State AA Team Title; Coached by Dave Hawk, Kent Donaldson and Coach Hough (Photo Courtesy of Vince Stravino).

Coming Soon – the full story of Bethlehem Catholic’s dominant year & Northwestern Lehigh’s amazing state championship performance!