Recap 
LVL League Champion:Easton (10-0)
District Champion:Easton (3 Champions, 3 Runners-up)
Regionals:Easton & Northampton (2 Champions Each)
State Championships:Northampton – 2nd (2 Champions)
Individual State Champions:Steve Micio, 133 & Ed Keglovits, 154, Northampton

Regular Season Highlights

With Bethlehem and Nazareth graduating many of their top performers, some changes in the standings were sure to take place in the ’54-’55 season.   In the opening bout of the season on December 9th, the Easton Red Rovers flexed their muscles by downing a talented Northampton squad 38-19.  On the same night, a young Allentown squad signaled that things were going to be different by coming within 8 points of the Hurricanes.  The Canaries led 17-16 after three straight wins by Tim Stauffer, John Dreisbach and Dick King.  Bethlehem was able to win the final two bouts thanks to a decision by Jake Elliott over Hal Gross 5-3 and Lou Capuano’s fall over John Kraus to make the final score 25-17.

Ed Keglovits (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)
Ed Keglovits (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)

On January 13th the K-Kids won their 4th straight match in a battle for 2nd place in the league with Bethlehem 24-16.  Steve Micio downed Greg Ruth at 133 to remain undefeated on duels over the past two years.  Ed Keglovits and Don Kleppinger won to ice the match at 154 and 165 with consecutive wins.

Easton closed out the first half of the league schedule by routing the defending champions, Bethlehem, 36-12.  Easton tallied four pins.  Meanwhile Northampton downed P-Burg 31-11 to stay within striking distance of the Red Rovers.

 

Steve Micio (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)
Steve Micio (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)

On January 27th, the 2nd half of the league schedule began.  Easton repeated their win over Northampton this time by a 30-16 count.  The Kids opened up a 16-10 lead when Steve Micio moved up to 139 to face Nido Collina.  Collina proceeded to give Micio his first loss in 2-1/2 years of Lehigh Valley league wrestling 10-6.  The Rovers ran the table sweeping the remaining four bouts and opening up a two match lead in the league standings.

Meanwhile, the Allentown Canaries broke through and defeated Bethlehem 23-17 with their first win in eight seasons against the Hurricanes.  Allentown jumped out to a 9-0 lead on decisions by Baker, Schmoyer and Rohrbach.  The Hurricanes won the next three (Ehret, Black and Ruth) to lead 11-9.  The Canaries then got four straight wins from Stauffer, Dreisbach, King and Gross to clinch the win.

Allentown Team Photo (Photo Courtesy of Allentown H.S. Yearbook)
Allentown Team Photo (Photo Courtesy of Allentown H.S. Yearbook)

Two weeks later Allentown actually gave Easton their closest bout of the season dropping a 24-15 decision.  Allentown’s Dick Baker, Jim Schmoyer, Russ Rohrbach and Bill Trexler won the first four bouts to give the Canaries a 12-0 lead.  Easton would counter by winning six bouts in a row including three by fall and two one point decisions.  After this loss, Glen Smith’s squad won their last two bouts of the season which would begin a legendary streak for the Canaries.

On February 21st, Bethlehem gained revenge against Northampton 24-21, but Northampton still held on for 2nd place in the league.  Northampton led 21-18 heading into the last two bouts, but Bob Silvetz and Lou Capuano each won decisions to turn the tables on the K-Kids.

The Rovers were dominant on their way to an undefeated season and their first league title since the inaugural season of the Lehigh Valley League and closed out with a dominating wins over defending champion Bethlehem.

Compiled LVL Standings 1954-55PlaceW-L
Easton110-0
Northampton27-3
Bethlehem36-4
Allentown45-5
Phillipsburg52-8
Nazareth60-10

District XI Tournament

On February 25th and 26th, the District XI grapplers traveled to Easton High School for the annual tourney.  Both returning 95 lb. district finalists fell in the semi-finals.  At 103, John Ayre dropped a tight 3-2 decision to Allentown’s Jim Schmoyer, and at 112, Easton’s Tom Gaines was pinned by Northampton’s Len Breitfeller.   According to The Morning Call, Nazareth’s Jim Seyfried “turned in what was easily the biggest upset of the meet when he decisioned Bethlehem’s unbeaten Lou Capuano 5-1…Capuano had scored nine pins and one decision in regular season competition.”  Easton and Northampton each advanced six wrestlers to the finals.  Allentown and Bethlehem each placed four in the finals while Nazareth had two.

In the finals, Allentown’s Dick Baker, Jim Schmoyer and Russ Rohrbach won in succession in the first three weight classes.  Defending District champ, Larry Gaines from Easton repeated by fall.  Both Easton and Northampton would go three for six in the finals.  Ed Keglovits downed Gino DiLorenzo from Easton 8-0 to put the Kids in the lead with one remaining finalist for the Rovers.  At 165, John DiVietro clinched the title for Eason by pinning Bethlehem’s Bob Silvetz.  While the Hurricanes went 0 for 4 in the finals, Allentown’s Hal Gross posted a 3-1 win at 185 to make the Canaries 4 for 4.

Allen Has 4 District Champs (Image Courtesy of Allentown H.S. Yearbook)
Allen Has 4 District Champs (Image Courtesy of Allentown H.S. Yearbook)
Team Scores: 
Easton51
Northampton48
Allentown37
Bethlehem25
Nazareth16

 

 

 

 

Northeast Regional Tournament

A week later the Northeast Regional tourney was again held in Wilkes-Barre.  Easton advanced all 3 of their grapplers to the finals with Nido Collina and John DiVietro winning, but defending regional champ, Larry Gaines, dropped a 9-5 decision.  Northampton advanced both Steve Micio and Ed Keglovits while Allentown was only able to crown 1 champ, Dick Baker at 95, out of their 4 entrants.   Shamokin dominated with 4 champions and Muncy added 2 more as District 4 totaled 6 champs to District 11’s 5.  District 2 was shut out in the final round.

PIAA State Tournament

K-Kid Champs (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)
K-Kid Champs (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)

On March 19, 1955, the state tourney was once again held at Penn State’s Rec Hall.  Dick Baker, Steve Micio and Ed Keglovits all won close decisions to advance to the finals, but both Easton wrestlers dropped heartbreaking decisions.  Nido Collina lost 5-3 at 138 and John DiVietro lost by referee’s decision at 165.  In the finals, Allentown’s Dick Baker dropped his first bout of the season losing 3-0.  Coach Harry Wall and Northampton crowned their first ever state champ as Steve Micio won the title at 133 with a 5-4 decision.  Coach Wall didn’t need to wait long for his second champ as Ed Keglovits triumphed 3-2 at 154.  Trinity won the state title with 2 champions and 2 runners-up while Northampton finished second for the best finish by a District XI team since 1940.

Phillipsburg Post Season

For only the second time in eight years, Phillipsburg was unable to win an individual district title.