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:

TeamLeague TitlesTeam District TitlesInd. District TitlesInd. Regional TitlesInd. State TitlesInd. State Runner-Ups
Allentown33251444
Bethlehem2+1T427713
Easton2230802
Emmaus001000
Nazareth009310
Northampton1+1T117722
Wilson001000
Totals91011039811

State Champions during the 1950’s from the Lehigh Valley Area (District XI in PA and Phillipsburg only for NJ) are as follows:

YearWeightNameTeamCoach
PA
1954120Harold WilsonNazarethStan Skuta
1955133Steve MicioNorthamptonHarry Wall
1955154Ed KeglovitsNorthamptonHarry Wall
1957127Russ RohrbachAllentownGlenn Smith
1957133Bill TrexlerAllentownGlenn Smith
1958127Bart MosserLibertyJim Harkins
1958165Al RuschatzAllentownGlenn Smith
195995Dick RuschatzAllentownGlenn Smith
NJ (P-Burg Only)
1951103Sid FowlerPhillipsburgGeorge Butz
1952115Sid FowlerPhillipsburgGeorge Butz
1954168Jim BronicoPhillipsburgJoe Demasi
1958168Bob StemPhillipsburgWalt Miller
1959123Dave OsmunPhillipsburgWalt 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.

Click on the links on right to explore the details of each season.