Recap 
Programs Started (Coach):Ashland {later North Schuylkill} (Joe Cesari, Sr.) Bangor (Unknown)
Jim Thorpe (Angelo Konstas)
Northwestern (Paul Civitts)
Pen Argyl (Bob Lakey)
Notable Coaching Changes:James Harkins > Frank Gutierrez (Bethlehem Liberty)
Glenn Smith > Dick Baker (William Allen)
East Penn League Champion:Phillipsburg (5-0)
LVIAA League ChampionNorthampton (5-0)
Lehigh-Northampton League Champion:Hellertown (6-0)
District Champion:Easton (3 Champions, 1 Runner-up)
Regionals:Allentown (4 Champions)
Individual State Champions:Charles Houser, 145, Dieruff

Allen Coach Dick Baker (Photo Courtesy of Allen H.S. Yearbook)
Allen Coach Dick Baker (Photo Courtesy of Allen H.S. Yearbook)
Bethlehem Liberty Coach Frank Gutierrez (Photo Courtesy of Bethlehem H.S. Yearbook_
Bethlehem Liberty Coach Frank Gutierrez (Photo Courtesy of Bethlehem H.S. Yearbook_

The fall of 1963 saw Ray Nunamaker come onto the scene and take the helm at Nazareth High School.  During the fall of 1964, two assistant coaches moved into the top spot at their individual alma maters succeeding two legends in Glenn Smith and James Harkins.  Dick Baker moved into the top spot at Allen while Frank Gutierrez was tapped to lead the Bethlehem Hurricanes.  Both teams returned strong squads and expected to compete for the East Penn League title.  Allen had seven lettermen while Bethlehem had eight.  Phillipsburg had won the initial title, and Coach Thad Turner’s squad was looking to repeat.

Northampton returned six letterman from the prior year’s championship team, lost considerable talent but sought their 2nd LVIAA title.

In the Lehigh-Northampton league, another close battle was expected between Hellertown, Nazareth, Parkland and Wilson.

Regular Season Highlights

Opening night found both new coaches winning their first matches by wide margins in non-league bouts.  Allen hammered Palisades 49-5 while Bethlehem crushed Southern Lehigh 48-9.  Northampton showed they would be a team to be reckoned with despite their graduation losses.  The Kids won 10 of 12 bouts on their way to defeating Nazareth 32-12.  Notre Dame served notice that things would be different this season as they stunned Parkland 30-20.  The Crusaders roared out to a 19-0 lead after winning the first four bouts including three by fall and then after a loss ran off another three wins in a row to build a practically insurmountable lead.

Dieruff and Easton both faced Bucks County rivals to open their seasons.  The Huskies hosted Neshaminy in front of 1,000 fans in the East Side gym.  After trading decisions in the first two bouts, Mike Quier scored a fall to put Dieruff ahead 8-3.  Two of Neshaminy’s best wrestlers followed in Ed Curran and state runner-up Jack Dunn, but both Husky grapplers avoided falls.  The match seesawed back and forth, and Neshaminy led 21-14 after the 165 pound bout.  Les Miller edged Bill Stock 3-2 on a riding time point at 180.  This set up Jim Davis to be the hero by registering a second period fall to give the Huskies a 22-21 win.  Easton handily defeated Pennsbury 37-6 by taking ten of twelve bouts.

While Allen and Bethlehem swapped week one opponents, the results were very similar as Allen defeated Southern Lehigh 42-10, and Bethlehem won 46-9 over Palisades.  The marquee matchup of the week featured Easton at Nazareth.  The favored Rovers led 12-8 after five bouts despite forfeiting at 103 where talented Bob Ferraro typically wrestled.  Nazareth then went on a tear by winning five bouts in a row including a fall by Rick Metz at 145 to lead 25-12.  Steve Diacont had a fall at 165 for Easton, and Pezzuto won by default to give the Blue Eagles a 30-18 upset win.

The LVIAA opened with a pair of exciting matches.  Whitehall trailed new entry Catasauqua 24-13 with only three bouts to go but rallied and closed out the match with Ed Becker scoring the winning fall at heavyweight for a 25-24 win.  Northampton faced Stroudsburg and after leading only 9-6 after the first four bouts, reeled off six wins in a row including two falls on their way to an easy 32-12 league win.

Easton looked to bounce back after being upset by Nazareth by facing another top Lehigh Northampton league opponent in Hellertown.  Freshman John Tapajick pinned Bill Cericola to give the visiting Panthers a brief 5-0 lead.  Bob Ferraro, back in the lineup at 103, was able to score a fall over Mike Takacs.  After a draw at 112, Junior Phillips, Sal Lisinichia, Bob Colletta and Buddy Palmer strung together four victories to give the Rovers a 21-7 lead.  Hellertown won two of the next three bouts to narrow the lead to 24-15, but Steve Diacont won a close 3-2 decision over John Stevens as the Rovers won 27-20.

Notre Dame Coaches Strategize (Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame H.S. Yearbook)
Notre Dame Coach Yavorski Strategizes with Assistant Coach (Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame H.S. Yearbook)

Notre Dame continued their winning ways by stunning another L-N league opponent, Wilson, 22-19.  While the equation was different the end result was the same.  This time Notre Dame spotted their opponent a 14-2 lead after five bouts, but roared back with four straight decisions to tie the match at 14 a piece after 154.  Wilson’s Charles Blackford pinned James Tavianni to give the Warriors a 19-14 lead.  Once again, Notre Dame delivered as Jamolkowski scored a 5-0 decision at 165, and Bill Verba pinned Ben Rosenfield in the third period to deliver the win.

The non-league bouts of former Lehigh Valley League rivals continued.  Dieruff won their third bout in a row by routing Parkland 41-11.  The Huskies had six falls and in the best match-up of the night, heavyweights Jim Davis and John Ebert fought to a 3-3 draw.  After finishing on the wrong end of a decision against an EPL foe, Hellertown was able to upset another.  The Panthers were able to open an 8-2 lead after three matches before the teams alternated victories in the next four bouts.  Hellertown led 14-10, but Ed Butch and Bruce Bittenbender won identical 5-0 decisions to move Bethlehem into the lead for the first time at 16-14.  After a draw at 165, John Stevens and Jeff Takacs scored close two point wins to give Coach Charlie Bartolet and his team a 22-18 win.

Northampton visited Allen and rode a strong performance by their light and middleweights to open up a 25-3 lead.  Ron Henry (127) and Bill Ritchie (145) both scored falls for the Kids.  Allen won the last four bouts to cut the final score to 25-17.  Dieruff visited Pennsbury and dug a big hole for itself in losing five of the first six bouts including two by fall to trail 19-5.  Randy Wampole began to turn the tide with a come from behind 8-7 win at 138.  Charlie Houser (145), Charlie McGlade (165), John Krouse (180) and Jim Davis (Hwt) all scored falls, and the Huskies had a 32-19 win.

Phillipsburg made their debut against a feisty Nazareth squad.  While Coach Thad Turner’s team led from start to finish, the Blue Eagles kept fighting back.  P-Burg had falls from Frank Viscomi (95) and Guy Burgstresser (112), but after Metz and Smith scored consecutive decisions at 145 and 154, Nazareth was still within range at 20-14 with three bouts to go.  Scott Curzi (165) and Barry Hajdu (Hwt) won by decision and P-Burg won 26-17.

All of the Lehigh-Northampton League teams had mixed results in interleague bouts and on December 17th faced off in their league openers.  Wilson matched up with Parkland.  The Trojans’ Balmet won by fall at 95, but the Warriors then reeled off seven wins in a row including three by fall and the match was all but over as they led 28-5.  Parkland won the last four bouts to make the final team score a respectable 28-22.  Hellertown traveled to Nazareth.  The Panthers started fast with five straight decisions to lead 15-0 before a capacity crowd per The Morning Call.  The Blue Eagles won three of the next four bouts including Bruce Stimmel’s chicken wing pin of Alex Shori to narrow the score to 18-11.  However, Hellertown answered back with John Hari and John Stevens both winning decisions, and the defending co-champs triumphed 26-13.

In the LVIAA, Northampton easily won its second league bout by routing Emmaus 46-3.  The Kids had five pins and only missed a shut out when Bill Richie was upset by Steve Huddleston 6-4 at 145.  Slatington downed Whitehall 37-20 thanks to six falls.

Easton continued facing tough non-league foes by matching up with Hunterdon Central before 1,200 fans in their home gym.  Easton did lead after five bouts by a 10-9 score after Sal Lisinichia upset New Jersey state champ Duane Schmidt 5-0.  Hunterdon Central was too strong the rest of the way, and the Rovers bowed 26-16.  Meanwhile, Allen traveled to Pennsbury and continued the EPC’s dominance whipping Pennsbury 28-14.  Allen trailed 14-6 at the halfway mark, but then won every bout the rest of the way.  Rich Laudenslager (145) and Curt Baehler (180) scored falls, and Geoff Baum made his varsity debut with a 5-2 win at heavyweight.

A few days later, the Canaries registered their fourth win in five bouts by easily defeating Emmaus 40-8.  Glenn Zoski (95), George Jenkins (154), Bushner (165), Curt Baehler (180) and Ken Cressman (Hwt) all scored falls.  Phillipsburg also scored five falls en route to an easy 39-15 win over Wilson.  Jim Mascari (95), George Bergstresser (112), Bob Duckworth, Denny Simms (154) and Scott Curzi (165) all had falls.

Wilson rebounded in Lehigh-Northampton league action by shutting out Southern Lehigh 46-0.  The tough times continued for Parkland as they were defeated by Nazareth 29-19.  The Trojans found themselves in a huge hole winning only two of the first eight bouts to trail 26-8.  While their strong upperweights won three of the last four bouts, it wasn’t enough, and Nazareth had the “W”.

In holiday tournament action, Easton had a rough time in the Boiling Springs tourney.  The Rovers were only able to place fifth and did not have a champion.  Bob Ferraro (103), Sal Lisinichia (127) and Ken Reeser (154) placed second while four other wrestlers placed 3rd or 4th.

In non-league action, Phillipsburg clipped Neshaminy 29-19, and Parkland won their first bout of the season by defeating Emmaus 34-19.

Rover Coach John Maitland in Action (Photo Courtesy of Easton H.S. Yearbook)
Rover Coach John Maitland in Action (Photo Courtesy of Easton H.S. Yearbook)

Easton and Northampton matched up with the Rovers jumping out to an early lead.  Bob Ferraro moved up to 112 and scored while Sal Lisinichia dropped down to 120 and eaked out a 2-1 win over Hendry.  Bill Masler scored a fall at 127, and Bob Colletta and Jan Billy battled to a 7-7 draw at 133.  Easton led 19-5.  The Kids would rally as Charles Nordquist scored a fall in the first of three straight wins that cut the lead to 19-16.  Easton answered by sweeping the last three bouts for a 31-16 victory.

Allen downed Parkland 34-17, but saw two of their unbeaten wrestlers suffer losses.  Geoff Baum dropped to 165 and lost 7-1 to undefeated Tom Field, and Ken Cressman lost 5-0 to unbeaten Joh Ebert.

In LVIAA action, Northampton whitewashed Whitehall 47-0; Slatington kept pace by defeating Catasauqua 34-22.  Emmaus opened a 19-3 lead before Stroudsburg rallied to lead 20-19 with two bouts remaining.  Iobst scored a fall for the Hornets to lead 25-20, but Tom Pope scored fall and the bout ended in a 25-25 tie.

Tom Konya Goes for the Fall (Photo Courtesy of Nazareth H.S. Yearbook)
Tom Konya Goes for the Fall (Photo Courtesy of Nazareth H.S. Yearbook)

The non-league wars continued in early January.  Dieruff and Notre Dame defeated East Stroudsburg and Southern Lehigh, respectively, to each win their fifth bouts in a row.  Nazareth rode pins by Tom Konya and Rick Metz to defeat Bethlehem 25-18.  Phillipsburg was in control most of the way against a depleted Hellertown squad, who was without two starters.  Hellertown rallied to make it close, but P-Burg won 24-19.  Lastly, Easton rallied from a 15-13 deficit to clip Wilson 24-17.

A few days later, both Dieruff and Easton added to their winning ways as the Huskies handled Wilkes Barre GAR 23-19, and Easton easily downed Hill School 32-15.

The following week, the East Penn League schedule finally kicked off.  A massive crowd of 1,100 jammed into the Dieruff gym as the undefeated Huskies faced once-beaten, by Phillipsburg PA, Phillipsburg.  The Huskies were never in the bout.  Undefeated Mike Quier lost to Bob Duckworth 6-2 at 120, and Charlie Houser lost at 145 on an illegal slam.  P-Burg ended the night winning nine of twelve bouts on the way to a 37-14 triumph.

nd-1965-lucey-bferraro
Bob Lucey;’s Upset of Bob Ferraro Was Key to Crusader Win (Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame Yearbook)

Surprise package Notre Dame and Easton were both 5-1.  At 112, Lucey knocked off Bob Ferraro 5-2, and after Scheetz’s fall at 138, the Crusaders led 13-12.  Vargo was able to score a fall at 154, and Tom Haney decisioned Feeley at 180 to lead the Rovers to a 24-22 win.  The same night, Allen was able to move past Bethlehem 27-12.

In the Lehigh Valley League, Northampton and Slatington were both unbeaten, but the Kids continued their league dominance by destroying the Slaters 43-8.  Emmaus tripped Whitehall 29-18 to stay within range.

Dieruff faced a tough non-league foe in Hill School but opened strongly on falls by Ricky Scholl and Dick Kruk.  With two bouts to go, the Huskies trailed 26-17 with unbeaten Les Miller and Jim Davis waiting in the wings.  While both grapplers won, Dieruff lost their 2nd match in a row 26-25.

A full Lehigh-Northampton League Schedule was on tap with Hellertown and Wilson facing off in the feature match.  The Panthers’ strong heavier weights had narrowed gaps in some challenging non-league bouts.  This time they were able to come through for a critical league victory.  Trailing 15-12 with only three bouts to go, John Hari and John Stevens scored falls and Jeff Takacs added a decision to give the Panthers a 26-15 win and sole possession of 1st place.  Nazareth easily defeated East Stroudsburg 32-15, and Parkland downed Palisades 26-20.

George Jenkins was a key performer for the Canaries (Photo Courtesy of Allen H.S. Yearbook)
George Jenkins was a key performer for the Canaries (Photo Courtesy of Allen H.S. Yearbook)

Easton visited Allen, and after Reuben Roberts scored a fall at 120 and Sal Lisinchia scored a 5-3 decision at 127, the Rovers led 11-6.  But Easton would not win another bout on the night as the Canaries thrilled the home crowd of 800 at the Little Palestra by running the table.  George Jenkins, John Ziegler, and Curt Baehler all remained unbeaten as Allen triumphed 31-11.

Defending champ Phillipsburg was expected to roll over the Bethlehem Hurricanes, but Coach Frank Gutierrez’s team was ready to wrestle.  While the Stateliners led almost the entire match, the Hurricanes had pulled within five points after Kent Roberts won by fall at 154.  Scott Curzi edged Saylor 5-4 and Steve Hadju was able to manage a draw with Dave Brown at 180 and P-Burg survived 27-24.  If either of these bouts swung one more point in the Hurricanes’ favor, the match would have ended in a tie.

This amazing EPL night of competition finished off with Dieruff and Notre Dame both trying to avoid the basement in the EPL despite very good overall records.  Notre Dame got a critical 5-4 win by Denyluk over Ricky Scholl to start the match.  Jim Taviani won by fall at 180 to give Notre Dame a 21-17 lead.  Unbeaten Jim Davis needed a fall for a Husky win, and per The Morning Call “did everything imaginable to pin Notre Dames’ Bill Verba…but had to settle for a 20-4 decision and the visiting Crusaders gained a 21-20 victory.”

The same evening, the Lehigh-Northampton League had another full slate of bouts on tap. Hellertown went 4-0 in the league by easily beating Palisades 45-8.  The highlight for Palisades was Jay Leeman remaining unbeaten at 120 by pinning Jim Santoro.  Wilson defeated East Stroudsburg 24-16, and Parkland downed Southern Lehigh 31-17.

In a battle for 2nd place in the Lehigh Valley League, Emmaus won three in a row by Huddleston, Athey and Iobst from 154 to 180 on their way to nipping Slatington 26-24.    A few days later, league leader Northampton edged Hill School 24-20.  Emmaus’ luck did not continue as they dropped a non-league bout to Dieruff 32-14 as the Huskies bounced back from two defeats in a row.

Hellertown continued their dominance in the LNL by hammering Southern Lehigh 45-6.  The Morning Call noted that “an unusual feature of the match was starting with heavyweight bouts and moving in reverse order to the lightweights.”  In a battle for second place in the league, Wilson jumped out to a 16-7 lead over Nazareth by going 4-1-2 in the first seven bouts.  The Blue Eagles swept the remaining five bouts getting falls from Steimmel (154) and Scobo (Hwt) to triumph 26-16.

In the LVIAA, Stroudsburg improved to 2-1-1 in the league by winning nine of twelve bouts to down Whitehall 48-11.

In East Penn competition, Bethlehem upended Notre Dame 27-16 to give Coach Frank Gutierrez his first EPL win.  The Hurricanes trailed 14-8 after the 138 pound bout, but did not lose a bout the rest of the night.  Looking to stay in contention for 2nd place, Dieruff visited Easton.  The Huskies high hopes were dashed as Bob Ferraro won by fall at 112 and Buddy Palmer won by default over Bob Heiney at 138.  Steve Diacont battled district champ Les Miller to a 3-3 draw at 180, and the Rovers easily defeated the Huskies 33-14.

Burgstresser & Christman Battle to a Draw (Photo Courtesy of Phillipsburg H.S. Yearbook)
Burgstresser & CHristman Battle to a Draw (Photo Courtesy of Phillipsburg H.S. Yearbook)

On Friday, January 28th, Allen faced Phillipsburg before a capacity crowd in a battle of EPL unbeatens.  Glenn Zoski downed Maury Mascari 3-1 to get the visitors on the board immediately.  Jim Thompson defeated Larry Clymer 7-5, and Guy Burgstesser and Larry Christman had a draw.  The team score was tied at five.   P-Burg then won the next four bouts punctuated by Al Nicusanti’s fall over Tim Sharp at 138.  Allen fought back as Laudenslager nipped Maret 2-0, and George Jenkins pinned McRaea Lilly.  All of a sudden, Allen was back in the match trailing by a 19-13 score.  Scott Curzi routed John Ziegler 10-2 to all but end the Canaries’ hopes.  Curt Baehler won easily at 180, and Barry Hadju held Geoff Baum to a draw resulting in a final score of 24-18 Stateliners.

Bob Scheetz Battles AL Nicusanti (Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame Yearbook)
Bob Scheetz Battles AL Nicusanti (Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame Yearbook)

Phillipsburg went 4-0 in the EPL and clinched a tie for the league title by defeating a very undermanned Notre Dame squad 36-14.  Allen moved to 3-1 in the league by beating up crosstown rival, Dieruff, 36-12.  Allen’s Glenn Zoski (95), George Jenkins (154) and Curt Baehler (180), with a stunning fall of district champ Les Miller, remained unbeaten.

The same night, a revived Bethlehem squad upset Easton 22-19.  After Easton went 4-1-1 in the first half of the match, they led 14-5.  The Hurricanes rallied to win three bouts in a row including two one point wins by Bitenbender (145) and Roberts (154) to tie the match.  Easton’s Haney downed Saylor 6-2 at 165, and Diacont and Brown drew 5-5 at 180.  This set up John Strohl to be the hero for the Hurricanes with a quick 57 second pin over Bruce Newhard.

Parkland's Sywkensky Keeps the Trojans in the Match (Photo Courtesy of Parkland H.S. Yearbook)
Parkland’s Sywkensky Keeps the Trojans in the Match (Photo Courtesy of Parkland H.S. Yearbook)

The Parkland Trojans sported a 5-5 record heading into a league finale bout with Hellertown.  The Trojans gave the Panthers all they could handle trailing 18-15 after Sywenski scored a fall at 154.  With unbeaten Tom Fields taking the mat, Coach Bill Young felt pretty good about his chances, but John Hari rode a big first period to a 5-0 win.  John Stevens put the match away with a 10-2 win at 180.  John Ebert decisioned unbeaten Jeff Takacs 3-0 at heavyweight.  The final score was 24-18 Hellertown, and the Panthers won the league title outright.

In a competitive non-league bout, Wilson edged Stroudsburg 22-18, but three Mounts did remain unbeaten in a losing effort.  Frank Coco (95), John Chanaca (120) and Floyd Lambert (165) all stayed unbeaten.

A few days later, the great interleague bouts continued as Allen (10-2 overall) reversed an earlier season loss to Northampton (11-2 overall) 25-17.  In a battle of unbeatens at 95, Glenn Zoski edged Jack Hildebrand 6-4.  The Kids led 17-11 after 145, but the strong Allen upperweights prevailed by winning the final four bouts as George Jenkins, John Ziegler, Curt Baehler and Geoff Baum, by fall no less, all triumphed to give the Canaries the win.

Phillipsburg EPL Team Champs (Photo Courtesy of Phillipsburg H.S. Yearbook)
Phillipsburg EPL Team Champs (Photo Courtesy of Phillipsburg H.S. Yearbook)

The following week, 1,900 fans packed The Pit to watch their Stateliners face archrival Easton.  Maury Mascari scored a fall at 95.  Jim Thompson edged Andy Matviak 6-5 at 103 and Guy Burgstresser knocked off Bob Ferraro 5-2 at 112 to give the Stateliners an 11-0 lead.  Easton would attempt to fight back, but P-Burg answered with several close decisions and a Scott Curzi fall at  165 to put the match away.  Easton won the last two bouts to narrow the final score to 28-14, but the Stateliners delivered a 2nd straight EPL title to Coach Thad Turner.

In a match of league champions, Northampton visited Hellertown for a non-league bout.  Before 1,000 fans, the Kids whipped the Panthers 30-9 on February 10th.   The Kids never trailed as Jack Hildebrandt nipped John Tapajcik 5-4 and unbeaten Glenn Chamberlain downed Mike Takacs 6-1.  Rich Price briefly interrupted the Kids’ victory parade, but Coach Harry Wall’s squad ran off seven wins in a row. Jan Billy (133) and Sal Amore (145) both had falls.

With the East Penn title already in Phillipsburg’s hands, Allen visited Notre Dame looking to lock down 2nd place.  Allen picked up falls from Glenn Zoski and Larry Christman as the Canaries took a 13-0 lead.  Bruce Fink (120) and Gasda (145) scored falls to lead a Notre Dame comeback to pull within 18-16.

After George Jenkins won by forfeit, Ron Zeigler and Curt Baehler delivered wins by decision to lead the Canaries to a 30-19 win and 2nd place in the EPL.

The same night Bethlehem was able to clinch 3rd place by downing Dieruff 21-15.  The Huskies hung with the Hurricanes through 8 bouts in a 12-12 tie.  Bethlehem was able to run off three wins in a row including a 7-0 win by freshman Don Brown over defending district champ Les Miller 7-0.  Jim Davis decisioned Bob Strohl 5-1 to remain unbeaten, but the damage was done.

With Hellertown already having wrapped up the LNL title, Nazareth defeated Southern Lehigh 37-3 to finish 2nd while Wilson whipped Palisades 40-6 to finish 3rd.  Last year’s co-champion, Parkland, defeated East Stroudsburg 26-17 to finish 4th.

In the LVIAA, Stroudsburg finished strong by beating Slatington 37-12 to finish in a tie for 2nd in the league with Emmaus behind repeat champion, Northampton.

stroud-champs-lv1965
Stroudsburg Individual Leage Champions (Photo Courtesy of Stroudsburg H.S. Yearbook)

The Lehigh Valley League added a league tournament prior to the district tourney.  The first tournament was held at Northampton and saw the host Kids and Stroudsburg completely dominate the competition.  Northampton with seven champions and three runners-up ran away with the team title scoring 107 points.  Stroudsburg crowned five champions and scored 76 points to finish 2nd.  Emmaus was a distant 3rd with only 20 points, followed by Slatington, Whitehall and Catasauqua.

Several non-league bouts wrapped up the season and the final league standings stood as follows:

Compiled LVL Standings 1964-65PlaceW-L-D
East Penn
Phillipsburg15-0
William Allen24-1
Bethlehem33-2
Easton42-3
Notre Dame51-4
Dieruff60-5
Lehigh-Northampton
Hellertown16-0
Nazareth25-1
Wilson34-2
Parkland43-3
Southern Lehigh52-4
East Stroudsburg61-5
Palisades70-6
LVIAA
Northampton15-0
Emmaus2T3-1-1
Stroudsburg2T3-1-1
Slatington42-3
Whitehall51-4
Catasauqua60-5

Phillipsburg finished the year at 12-2.  Their only losses were to teams outside the area, and in addition to sweeping their EPL schedule, the Stateliners defeated both Hellertown and Nazareth.  Northampton and Allen finished with very good 11-2 records.  The Kids were undefeated in the LVL and split two bouts with the Canaries.  Their only other loss was to Easton and they easily beat Hellertown and Nazareth.  Allen split with the Kids, lost a close bout to P-Burg and other than nipping Notre Dame 20-19, won all their other bouts by 15 points or more.  LNL Champ, Hellertown finished 9-3-1 and Nazareth was a very respectable 9-3.

Sectional Tournaments

The preliminary district tourneys continued to be held as East and West sectionals with twelve teams in each.  The alignments were again changed and the tourneys were held at Wilson (East) and Northampton (West). 

In the East, Allen and Easton battled for the top spot.  The Canaries strong upperweights led they way as they qualified four of six wrestlers in the top half of their lineup (Bushner, Jenkins, Baehler and Baum).  In addition, Zoski, Zanders and Avrich qualified for districts to give the Canaries the most qualifiers at seven and 17 team points.  Easton kept pace by advancing six wrestlers (Ferraro, Roberts, Lisinichia, Colletta, Haney and Diacont) and leading in the team race with 18 points.  Price of Hellertown scored an upset by eliminating returning runner-up Larry Christman of Allen 3-1 at 112.  Steve Diacont scored a big upset by downing Hellertown’s undefeated John Stevens 6-3.  Wilson advanced five while LNL champ Hellertown could only manage three qualifiers.

The West tourney saw a three-way team race as Bethlehem and Parkland advanced the most wrestlers with five each, but Northampton scored the most team points with 15 while advancing four wrestlers.  At 103, Bethlehem’s Nick Kalogeras eliminated previously unbeaten Glenn Chamberlain from Northampton 6-4.  Dieruff’s defending district champ, Les Miller, was not even in the lineup at 180, and the defending district team champs struggled only advancing three wrestlers to the semi-finals.  Bethlehem and Northampton showed their strength in the lower weights.  Nazareth was strong in the middleweights and Parkland in the upperweights.

District XI Championships

Two returning champs were competing in the District Championship on February 27th at Easton.  Host Rovers’ Bob Ferraro bumped up two weight classes to 112 while Allen’s George Jenkins (154) also looked to repeat.  Runners-up Rueben Roberts (Easton 120), Pottsville’s Paul Glenn (165) and John Ebert (Parkland Hwt) were looking to move up one spot.  The semi-finals proved very successful for some teams and were heartbreaking for others.  Easton was able to win 4 of 6 bouts, Northampton 3 of 4 bouts and Dieruff 3 for 3 in the semi’s.  Meanwhile, Allen was only able to win two of its seven semi-final bouts. 

Parkland's Tom Best Had a Solid Year (Photo Courtesy of Parkland H.S. Yearbook)
Parkland’s Tom Best Had a Solid Year (Photo Courtesy of Parkland H.S. Yearbook)

The Kids’ Jack Hildebrandt upset Stroudsburg’s unbeaten Frank Coco 3-2 at 95.  In the highest scoring semi-final bout, Parkland’s Tom Best edged Easton’s Sal Lisinchia 9-6.  At 133, Wilson’s Craig Roberts dealt Northampton’s Jan Billy a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in overtime.  Hellertown’s John Hari repeated his dual win over Parkland’s tough Tom Field 7-3.  When the dust settled, Easton led in the team standings and advanced 4 wrestlers to the finals.  Northampton, Dieruff and Parkland each had three finalists while Allen, Bethlehem, Hellertown and Wilson had two each.  Nazareth, Palisades and Pottsville each had a single finalist.

With over 3,000 fans in attendance, the host Easton Red Rovers returned to the winner’s circle as Coach John Maitland’s squad tied for the most champions with three.  Bob Ferraro and Rueben Roberts won back-to-back titles at 112 and 120, and Steve Diacont continued a great post-season run by defeating Bethlehem’s Don Brown 5-0 at 180.  Easton’s other finalist, Bob Colletta was pinned by Northampton’s Charlie Nordquist at 138.  The Kids gained another title at 95 when Jack Hildebrandt  upended Glenn Zoski 4-2.  Zoski had beaten Hildebrandt in a dual meet 6-4 three weeks earlier.

Coach Fornicola & 3 Husky Dsitrict Champs (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)
Coach Fornicola & 3 Husky Dsitrict Champs (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)

The defending champion, Dieruff Huskies, only qualified three wrestlers for Districts, but went a perfect 6-0 in their bouts.  Dick Kruk (103), Charlie Houser (145) and Jim Davis (Hwt) all won their bouts in the finals in very different fashion.  Kruk won easily 5-0.  Houser struggled past Northampton’s Greg Amore 6-5, and Jim Davis won by default over Parkland’s John Ebert.

Pottsville's Paul Glenn Wins First Title for His School (Photo Courtesy of Pottsville H.S. Yearbook)
Pottsville’s Paul Glenn Wins First Title for His School (Photo Courtesy of Pottsville H.S. Yearbook)

Other champions included Wilson’s Ken Yeisley, a 2-1 winner over Tom Best, at 127 and Tom Fehr a referee’s decision winner over Craig Roberts at 133.  Allen’s George Jenkins and Pottsville’s Paul Glenn both won their 2nd titles at 154 and 165, respectively.  Team scores were as follows;

Team Scores   
Easton59Slatington4
Northampton46Blue Mountain3
Dieruff44Southern Lehigh3
William Allen37East Stroudsburg2
Parkland36Emmaus2
Hellertown28Jim Thorpe2
Wilson26Whitehall2
Bethlehem25Catasauqua0
Nazareth20Northwestern0
Pottsville14Pen Argyl0
Palisades11Salisbury0
Stroudsburg6

1965 District Champions (Photo Courtesy of Chuck Joseph from 1966 District XI Program)

Northeast Regional Tournament

The regional tournament returned to Wilkes College.  The Lehigh Valley grapplers had a very successful semi-final round winning 9 of 12 bouts.  Northampton lost both of its wrestlers in the semi’s as Jack Hildebrandt (95) dropped a 12-6 decision and Charlie Nordquist (138) lost a close 5-4 bout.  Easton’s Bob Ferraro faced the defending 95 pound regional champ in Shamokin’s Bill Welker.  Welker nipped Ferraro 3-2 to end the Rover’s season.

Nazareth's Tom Fehr Advanced to Regionals (Photo Courtesy of Nazareth H.S. Yearbook)
Nazareth’s Tom Fehr Advanced to Regionals (Photo Courtesy of Nazareth H.S. Yearbook)

In the finals, District XI grapplers lost their first four bouts.  Dieruff’s Dick Kruk (103) lost 7-0.  Easton’s Reuben Roberts (120) was pinned and was followed Wilson’s Wayne Yeisley (?) (127) and Nazareth’s Tom Fehr (133) also dropping their bouts.  With five finalists remaining in the final five weights, District XI ran the table.  Dieruff’s Charlie Houser, Allen’s George Jenkins, Pottsville’s Paul Glenn and Easton’s Steve Diacont all won by decision.  Dieruff’s Jim Davis won both his semi-final’s and final’s bouts by fall.  District XI crowned the most champions with five, followed by District 2 (four) and District 4 (three).

Muscular Dieruff Hwt. Jim Davis - Check Out the Bicep!(Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)
Muscular Dieruff Hwt. Jim Davis – Check Out the Bicep!(Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)

PIAA State Championships

Dieruff's 2nd State Champ - Charlie House (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)
Dieruff’s 2nd State Champ – Charlie House (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)

With high hopes, District XI’s five state qualifiers traveled to University Park for the state championships, but it was a tough tournament for the locales.  Charlie Houser won a 2-0 decision to start things off well, but the local boys then dropped four bouts in a row.  George Jenkins lost 3-0 and Steve Diacont lost 3-1.  Pottsville’s Paul Glenn lost a referee’s decision while Dieruff’s Jim Davis was pinned by defending state champ Bob Funk of Manheim Township.  In the finals, Dieruff’s Houser defeated Manheim’s Bob Van Asselt 4-1 to give Coach Larry Fornicola his 2nd champ in as many years.  Mt. Lebanon was the unofficial team champion with two champions and one runner-up.

PCIAA Tournament

nd-1965-pciaa-champs
1965 PCIAA Team Champs (Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame H.S. Yearbook)

Notre Dame won the Pennsylvania Catholic School Championship.

Phillipsburg Post Season

In the New Jersey District 12 tournament, P-Burg came oh so close to knocking off Hunterdon Central, but fell one point short as Central won its 5th straight crown.  Jim Thompson (103), Guy Burgstresser (12) and Al Nucusanti (138) won individual titles for the Stateliners.  Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, none of the wrestlers would advance to the state tourney.