Lehigh Valley Wrestling / District XI Wrestling
During the decade of the ‘50’s wrestling in the Lehigh Valley and District XI experienced growth in the number of teams and the skills of the wrestlers.
The decade began with the formation of the Lehigh Valley League comprised of six teams. By the 1958-59 season, the Lehigh Valley League had completed nine years. During that time the league grew from 6 to 10 teams, and the total number of teams competing in the area had grown to 12 teams.
Summary of League Titles, District, Regional and State Champions in the 1950’s:
|Team||League Titles||Team District Titles||Ind. District Titles||Ind. Regional Titles||Ind. State Titles||Ind. State Runner-Ups|
State Champions during the 1950’s from the Lehigh Valley Area (District XI in PA and Phillipsburg only for NJ) are as follows:
|1954||120||Harold Wilson||Nazareth||Stan Skuta|
|1955||133||Steve Micio||Northampton||Harry Wall|
|1955||154||Ed Keglovits||Northampton||Harry Wall|
|1957||127||Russ Rohrbach||Allentown||Glenn Smith|
|1957||133||Bill Trexler||Allentown||Glenn Smith|
|1958||127||Bart Mosser||Liberty||Jim Harkins|
|1958||165||Al Ruschatz||Allentown||Glenn Smith|
|1959||95||Dick Ruschatz||Allentown||Glenn Smith|
|NJ (P-Burg Only)|
|1951||103||Sid Fowler||Phillipsburg||George Butz|
|1952||115||Sid Fowler||Phillipsburg||George Butz|
|1954||168||Jim Bronico||Phillipsburg||Joe Demasi|
|1958||168||Bob Stem||Phillipsburg||Walt Miller|
|1959||123||Dave Osmun||Phillipsburg||Walt Miller|
1959-60 would be another transition year as a second Allentown public high school was formed. Two additional teams were added to the LVL, which was now a twelve team league. There were now fifteen teams competing in the Lehigh Valley area.
Legendary coaches, Glenn Smith (Allentown) and Jim Harkins (Bethlehem) were both later elected as members of the PAWC Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. Smith was also elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Allentown’s Russ Rohrbach became the first four-time district champion in 1956. It would take another 27 years before these feat was repeated by Bethlehem Catholic’s Duane Peoples.