Programs Started (Coach):Catasauqua (Lee Bolmar)
Salisbury (Unknown)
Notable Coaching Change:Bruce Hayne -> Ray Nunamaker (Nazareth)
Change in League:Lehigh Valley League Splits Into 3 Divisions (Eventually 3 Different Leagues) – East Penn, LVIAA and Lehigh-Northampton
East Penn League Champion:Phillipsburg (5-0)
LVIAA League Champion:Northampton (8-0)
Lehigh-Northampton League Champion:Hellertown & Parkland Tie (4-1-1)
District Champion:Dieruff (3 Champions, 1 Runner-up)
Regionals:Dieruff (2 Champions)
State Championships:Dieruff – 1st (1 Champion, 1 Runner-Up)
Individual State Champion:Dave Halulko, 127, Dieruff
Chuck Amato, 165, Easton

After two years in a divisional set up with a total of 18 teams, the Lehigh Valley League was reconfigured as six teams moved to the East Penn League, five teams moved to the LVIAA and the remaining seven teams comprised the Lehigh-Northampton League, as follows:

East PennLehigh Valley (LVIAA)Lehigh-Northampton
Bethlehem LibertyEmmausEast Stroudsburg
Notre DameStroudsburgPalisades
William AllenSouthern Lehigh

New Nazareth Head Coach Ray Nunamaker (Photo Courtesy of Nazareth H.S. Yearbook)

While many old rivalries remained, some new fierce rivalries would begin to develop over the next several years.  In addition, Nazareth had some individual success, but had struggled as a team to break into the top tier of teams in the league and district since the school began wrestling in 1949.  With the arrival of a new coach for the new season, things would begin to change for the Blue Eagles.  Ray Nunamaker, a Penn State graduate, was hired to teach Health & Physical Education and coach wrestling at Nazareth High School.  He would go on to coach Nazareth for 34 years and never have a losing season, a truly incredible feat!

Catasauqua, with Lee Bolmar as coach, and Salisbury began their wrestling programs.

The East Penn League featured an improving Phillipsburg.  Defending LVL champ Allen returned district champ, Chick Miller, along with Bob Raines, but would need to rebuild.  Easton returned two district runners-up and three other starters while Dieruff returned no fewer than five starters.  Northampton and Emmaus were expected to contend in the LVIAA.  Wilson was hit especially hard by graduation making the Lehigh-Northampton League “up for grabs.”

Special Feature:

Nazareth Wrestlers Promote Sport in 1963 Halloween Parade (Referee – Virgil De Garmo – ’64, Wrestler on left: Ricky Metz – ’66, Wrestler on right: James Herceg – ’64) (Photo Courtesy of Jim Herceg)

Coach Nunamaker was a tremendous promoter of the sport of wrestling.    Many fans did not know the sport so Ray built the program by doing activities off the mat to educate and promote the sport.  After he began teaching at Nazareth in the Fall 1963, the Blue Eagles wrestling team had a float in the Halloween Parade.  He met with community organizations, attended clinics and held in-school activities like “Predict a Score.”  The wrestlers attended other sports teams’ events, such as girls basketball to show their support and build comradery.  Wrestling was taught to both boys and girls in Physical Education class.  Free tickets for parents, a parents’ night, buying weights, intramurals, a new mat, a promotional film, formation of a junior high program, improving the wrestling rooms, scrimmages, attending summer camps and much more – all things that Coach Nunamaker did to promote wrestling at Nazareth!  Years later mat maids were added to the program.  Prospective mat maids had to pass a wrestling knowledge quiz and make a poster.  In addition to being a great coach, Ray Nunamaker was truly a visionary in building the Nazareth wrestling program.

Special thanks to Ross Nunamaker and Jim Herceg for their insights.

Regular Season Highlights

The season opened with a pair of non-league matches with differing results for the Lehigh Valley teams.  Dieruff won ten bouts in routing Neshaminy 41-6.  Easton had a chance to beat Pennsbury after Chuck Amato’s pin at 180, but heavyweight George Kocher was pinned, and Easton lost 28-20.

The tough times continued for Easton as they were surprised 33-26 by Nazareth in Coach Ray Nunamaker’s coaching debut.  Nazareth and Easton split the bouts at 6 each, but the Blue Eagles won every bout by fall.

The Lehigh Valley League (LVIAA) kicked off in style with the two pre-season favorites, Northampton and Emmaus, locking up.  The Kids won six of the first seven bouts – 5 by fall / forfeit.  Emmaus was only able to break through with district runner-up Bob Schuler pinning Newhardt at 120 but trailed 27-5 after the 145 pound bout.  Emmaus was able to narrow the final score a bit, but the Kids had won easily 35-15.

The largely interdivision / non-league bouts continued as Allen visited Northampton in mid-December.  The score was tied after the 2nd, 3rd and 5th bouts of the night.  Allen led 14-8 after Bob Raines and George Jenkins won decisions.  Two bouts later Chick Miller decisioned Dan Laury 4-0, and Allen led 17-11.  The Kids would win the last three bouts as Lee Spanitz, Dick Berg and Dave Osman led the comeback, and the Kids had won 22-17.

K-Kids Dave Wall (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)
K-Kids Dave Wall (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)

The Stateliners and Kids would match up in another non-league bout in front of 500 fans in Northampton’s gym.  After dropping the first bout, Steve Kasza pinned  Walt DeLong with a half nelson and chicken wing, and P-Burg would not trail again on the night.  The Stateliners built a 20-8 with only Dave Wall breaking through with a fall at 127.  Northampton would start a comeback with three straight wins at 145-154-165 to narrow the score to 20-17.  Jim Russamano and Bob Snyder came through in the final two bouts, and P-Burg dealt Northampton their first loss while remaining undefeated.

The same night, Allen beat up a depleted Emmaus squad 41-11.  Emmaus had lost five of its eight lettermen to injuries.  The Hornets were able to gain a bit of consolation prize when Ken Biles tied district champ, Chick Miller, 0-0 at 154.

League action in the Lehigh-Northampton League kicked off with Wilson being pushed to the wire by Parkland.  Wilson had started strong building leads of 18-6, 21-9 and 26-12, but Parkland put a huge scare into the Warriors.  Tom Field and Ken Michael scored falls to cut the lead to 26-22.  John Ebert almost scored the fall needed to give the Trojans the win, but John Apgar was able to avoid being pinned.  Wilson won its league opener 26-25 and remained unbeaten in 18 straight duals.  Hellertown defeated visiting Nazareth 26-20 with Jim Stadling’s decision at 180 clinching the win.

Pre-holiday action wrapped up as Emmaus tripped Stroudsburg 36-14 to solidify their spot in 2nd place in the LVIAA.  Stroudsburg suffered the first defeat of the year in four matches.  Bob Schuler (120), Kenny Biles (154) and Charlie Snyder (Hwt) remained unbeaten for the Hornets.

Emmaus, Northampton and Whitehall would again travel to Washington, NJ for the annual holiday invitational.  The Kids had two champions to win the tourney and Emmaus came in fourth.  Northampton’s titlists were Dave Wall, a 3-2 winner at 120, and recent transfer Charlie Nordquist, who won by fall at 138.  The Kids had three runners-up in John Soniesiak (103), Jan Billy (127) and Dan Parker (133).  Two unbeaten Emmaus wrestlers, Bob Schuler (112) and Ken Biles (154) along with Whitehall’s Mike Solomon (180) also won titles.

The same day, Phillipsburg continued their outstanding season by breaking Wilson’s 18-match unbeaten streak.  Wilson had hope early winning two of the first three bouts including Bob Purdy’s 3-1 win over Steve Kasza at 103.  P-Burg ran off nine straight wins from 120 to heavyweight to crush the Warriors 37-6.

Easton was again competing in the Boling Springs holiday tourney and moved five wrestlers into the semi-finals. Manheim Central easily repeated as champion while Easton struggled to a 7th place finish.  Only Don Doll (103), by fall, was able to win a title.  Chuck Amato lost 8-5 to Bill Peresta of Pennsbury 8-5 at 165.  At 112, Manheim Central’s Gerry Williams pinned defending state champ, Bill Welker, of Shamokin.

Hellertown Captains Stradling & Davco (Photo Courtesy of Hellertown H.S. Yearbook)
Hellertown Captains Stradling & Davco (Photo Courtesy of Hellertown H.S. Yearbook)

In the first post holiday action, Wilson and Hellertown remained unbeaten in the Lehigh-Northampton league with easy wins – 38-16 over Southern Lehigh and 41-5 over East Stroudsburg, respectively.  Easton continued its struggles, dropping in an interleague bout to Northampton 26-21.  Easton’s strong lightweights opened up a 12-6 lead, but the Kids won five bouts in a row to lead 20-12.  At 180, Dean Berg decisioned Steve Diacont 5-3 to clinch the bout for Northampton.

In more interleague action, unbeaten Dieruff crushed Emmaus 48-5 paced by six pins.  On the day Coach Glenn Smith submitted his resignation, effective at the end of the season, as Allen’s head coach, the Canaries easily beat Parkland 36-6.  Allen’s Chick Miller dropped down to 138 so a potential match up with Glen Michaels did not materialize.

In another interleague match before a huge crowd of 1,500 in Easton’s gym, the home team dealt Wilson their 2nd loss in a row.  Wilson was only able to win three bouts, and the Rovers swept the last seven in an easier than expected 35-11 win.  The same night Northampton continued their dominance in the LVIAA by hammering Stroudsburg 51-5.

Several key East Penn League bouts followed as Dieruff visited Phillipsburg and Allen and Bethlehem locked up in the opening bouts of league competition.  Dieruff’s strong lightweights lost the first four bouts to P-Burg’s even stronger lightweights as the Stateliners built a 15-0 lead.  Dieruff rallied as Dave Halulko, John Halasovski and Charlie Houser  used two pins sandwiched around a one point decision to narrow the gap to 15-13.  P-Burg’s Wayne Pambianchi nipped Walt Lloyd 1-0 to stop the Huskies’rally.  Scott Curzi added a pin at 154 and the lead was opened back up to 23-13.  P-Burg won two of the final three bouts to close out a 29-16 victory.  A depleted Allen squad with four starters out due to injury or illness battled the Hurricanes.  Allen won all the close bouts and got pins from Clarence Holland (120) and George Jenkins (138) on the way to a 28-14 win.  Easton whipped Notre Dame 44-9.

Emmaus' Schuler & Biles (Photo Courtesy of Emmaus H.S. Yearbook)
Emmaus’ Schuler & Biles (Photo Courtesy of Emmaus H.S. Yearbook)

In the LVIAA, Northampton continued its string of league wins by downing Slatington 43-6.  Emmaus stayed within one match of the Kids by defeating Whitehall 36-15.  Emmaus’ Shade (95), Bob Schuler (120), Kenny Biles (154), Jones (165) and Charlie Snyder (Hwt) all had falls.  Staying unbeaten for Whitehall were Bob Rosenberger (105) and Mike Solomon (180).

The teams were still fighting to establish a favorite in the Lehigh-Northampton league.  Hellertown was trailing Wilson 22-3 just past the halfway point of the match.  The Warriors had two falls and Bob Purdy moved up two weight classes to score a 4-0 decision over Gary Spaddaccia.  At 145, Jack Dabco began the Hellertown comeback by defeating Harv Brotzman 8-0.  Hellertown would go on to sweep the final five bouts including four by fall.  With Wilson clinging to a 22-21 lead and Jeff Takacs and Gary Bruch locked in a 2-2 tie, Takacs pinned Bruch late in the second period.  Hellertown had capped the upset 26-22.  Nazareth stayed in the mix by defeating East Stroudsburg 48-3.

In a non-league bout, Dieruff matched up with Hill School for the first time ever.  The Huskies strong lightweights paced the team to a 20-2 lead after 138.  Charlie Houser wrestled a tight 6-4 match but was on the wrong side of the decision with national prep school champion Robbie Houser.  Ron Decker won a key 5-4 decision at 165 on the way to the Huskies triumphing 23-19 and improving their record to 6-1-1.

Hill School faced another touch Lehigh Valley foe as Northampton visited Pottstown.  Just as Dieruff had done, the Kids built an early lead, 16-2, punctuated by Dave Wall’s fall at 120.  Hill School would win the next four bouts to cut the lead to 16-13.  What followed was Dave Laury, Lee Spanitz and Dean Berg winning consecutive decisions to propel the Kids to a 25-22.

Bethlehem's Ernie Schoenberger would go on to Capture a District Title (Photo Courtesy of Bethlehem H.S. Yearbook)
Bethlehem’s Ernie Schoenberger would go on to Capture a District Title (Photo Courtesy of Bethlehem H.S. Yearbook)

In week two of East Penn League competition, the featured match had Phillipsburg and Bethlehem would battle in a tight match that featured eight bouts being decided by three points or less.  Freshman Bill Thompson got P-Burg off to a lead downing Simonetta 4-2, but Chuck Comegys knocked off Steve Kasza 5-4.  P-Burg won two more close bouts before a draw at 127.  With the team score at 11-5, the teams would trade decisions over the next four bouts allowing P-Burg to hold a 17-11 lead.  In a battle of unbeaten, Pat Russamano knocked off Bill Hersch, and the Stateliners led 20-11 meaning that the Hurricanes would need falls in the last two bouts to win.  After a decision by Zumas at 180, Ernie Schoenberger had the chance to tie the match with a first period fall.  It took Ernie until the 2nd period to convert the pin, and Coach Thad Turner’s team had hung on for a 20-19 win.

Allen spotted Easton fourteen points as Bob Ferraro, Don Doll and Ruben and Ron Roberts all won their matches.  The strength of the Canaries’ lineup was in the middleweights, and they delivered.  Jim Greer won by fall over Sam Colletta at 127.  Denny Pychinka, George Jenkins, Chick Miller and Bill Bushner all won their bouts pacing Allen to a 19-14 lead.  After Chuck Amato scored a first period fall, John Ziegler and Len Asmun both scored big pins and Allen had triumphed 30-20 to stay tied with P-Burg for the league lead at 2-0.  Dieruff scored five pins on the way to a 45-3 win over Notre Dame.

In the topsy turvy Lehigh-Northampton League, Palisades upset unbeaten Hellertown 31-26.  The Panthers had a 9-0 lead after two bouts as M. Takacs scored a 58 second fall followed by Santoro’s win.  Palisades then ran off six straight wins including falls by M. Leeman and Tom Free over previously unbeaten John Davco to lead 25-9.  Hellertown would score falls in three of the final four bouts, but the bout they failed to score a fall in proved to be the decider.  Gil Shannonberger pinned Dave Fredericks in 41 seconds to wrap up the win for Coach Walt Kottenmyer 31-26.  Parkland trailed Southern Lehigh 23-8 with only four bouts to go.  Glenn Michael won 11-0 and then Tom Fields, Larry Kuhns and John Ebert all scored falls to lead the Trojans to a come from behind 28-23 victory.  Wilson got back on the winning side of the ledger by defeating East Stroudsburg 36-20.  In the race for the league title, Hellertown, Palisades, Parkland and Wilson all only had one league loss.

One week later, East Penn leaders 1,300 fans packed the Little Palestra to watch Phillipsburg and Allen face off as the only remaining unbeatens.  P-Burg started quickly by winning the first three bouts to lead 9-0.  Clarence Holland decisioned Jan Ciemiecki 9-4 to temporarily interrupt the Stateliners’ momentum.  Chip Altonen pinned Jim Greer and then Bob Raines and Al Nicusanti had a 5-5 draw.  The Canaries trailed 14-5 but now had the strength of their lineup on deck, but they were unable to come back,  and P-Burg had an easier than it looked 28-11 win.

Nazareth trailed Wilson 24-3, but the Blue Eagles rallied to win five straight including pins by Lon Werner (145), Ron Klein (165) with only 15 seconds remaining and Carmen Pezzuto (Hwt) in another upset 26-24 in the Lehigh-Northampton League.  Hellertown, Palisades and Parkland all won their bouts to remain in a three-way tie for the lead.

Dieruff stayed in the mix for the East Penn title by defeating Easton for the first time in five tries.  The Huskies got off to a flying start as Doug Keiper (95), Mike Young (120), Dave Halulko (127) and Charlie Houser (138) all scored falls to pace Dieruff to a  30-3 lead.  Easton would win the next three bouts, but Jim Davis put an exclamation point on the Husky win with a fall in the final bout; Dieruff triumphed 36-14.

Parkland's Anchor Hwt. John Ebert (Photo Courtesy of Parkland H.S. Yearbook)
Parkland’s Anchor Hwt. John Ebert (Photo Courtesy of Parkland H.S. Yearbook)

Nazareth once again played spoiler in the Lehigh-Northampton league as they ended Palisades bid to stay in the hunt for the league title.  Palisades led 15-11 after Tom Free’s win at 145, but Nazareth won the last four bouts including falls by Rinker, Herceg and Pezzuto to give the Eagles another upset win at 31-15.  Hellertown and Parkland battled for the league title.  The Panthers had falls in two of the first three bouts and led 13-0.  Parkland then won each of the next four bouts (Derr, Reichard, Best & Bogert) by one point cutting the lead to 13-12.  Hellertown’s John Davco extended Hellertown’s lead after a 7-0 shut out decision, but the Trojans answered back on Glenn Michaels’ and Tom Field’s wins to lead 18-16.  Jim Stradling pinned Larry Kuhns, and Hellertown led 21-18 heading into the final match.  John Ebert’s 3-0 win over Jeff Takacs knotted the final team score at 21.  Parkland still had one match remaining, but Hellertown had locked up at least a tie for the league title.

Northampton remained undefeated in the LVIAA at 6-0 after routing Whitehall 43-6. In East Penn action, Bethlehem downed Easton 34-16.  In a key matchup Chuck Comegy shut out Dennis Doll 6-0.  In a battle for second place in the EPL, Dieruff and Allen faced off.  Allen’s Bill Max upset Doug Keiper 6-4 at 95, and then Larry Christman pinned Joe Hetherton with a leg split.  Terry Trexler added another decision at 112, and Allen led 11-0.  Dieruff narrowed the led to 11-9 after Mike Young’s decision and Dave Halulko’s fall.  More upsets followed in the next two bouts as Bob Raines dumped John Halasovski 4-3, and then Charlie Houser upset district champ Chick Miller 3-2.  George Jenkins and Jim Moser won consecutive decisions, and Coach Glenn Smith’s squad led 20-12.  But Dieruff was not done yet.  Ron Decker pinned Curt Bahler, and Les Miller pulled another upset by pinning John Ziegler.  Jim Davis won by default over Osman at heavyweight, and the Huskies had won 27-20.

Emmaus rode three streaks of three wins each including two pins to edge Hellertown 22-21 in an entertaining interleague bout.

Phillipsburg had already clinched the East Penn title, but matched up with rival Easton in the league finale “with a standing room crowd of 2,400 jammed into Easton’s gymnasium” per The Morning Call.  There were some great individual match ups as Jim Thompson dealt Bob Ferraro his first loss 5-3 at 95.  Don Doll nipped Steve Kacza at 105.  P-Burg got falls at 112 and 127 and decisions at 120 and 138 to lead 19-6.  Easton staged a furious comeback by winning the next four bouts punctuated by Steve Diacont upsetting undefeated Pat Russamano 4-3 at 180.  Easton led 21-19 with one bout left.  Heavyweight Neil Suttle scored a fall over first time starter Karl Bell and the Stateliners remained unbeaten.

Northampton - 1964 Lehigh Valley League Champs (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)
Northampton – 1964 Lehigh Valley League Champs (Photo Courtesy of Northampton H.S. Yearbook)

Parkland scored four pins on the way to a 32-19 win over East Stroudsburg to lock up a tie for the Lehigh-Northampton League title with Hellertown.  Wilson and Palisades were battling for a tie for 3rd place with Nazareth.  The Warriors won 24-23 as heavyweight Ben Rosenfield scored a fall.  Northampton remained unbeaten in the LVIAA downing Stroudsburg 32-12 to clinch the league title.  The Kids would win their final league bout against Slatington to finish 8-0 in the league.  Emmaus finished 2nd at 6-2.

A crowd of 1,000 fans turned out for Coach Glenn Smith’s final dual meet.  The teams battled through the first six bouts with Allen coming out with a narrow 13-12 lead at the halfway point.  Chuck Nordquist pinned George Jenkins at 138.  Allen’s Chick Miller won a 5-0 decision at 145, but the Canaries would not win another bout on the night.  Northampton registered three decisions and a draw to win going away 28-18.  The Kids would end their season a fantastic 13-1, losing only to P-Burg.  Coach Smith would finish 8-4 in his final season.

Phillipsburg Stateliners (Photo Courtesy of Phillipsburg H.S. Yearbook)

Phillipsburg beat all of its Pennsylvania foes, but lost 25-21 to Hunterdon Central and had a 22-22 tie with North Hunterdon.  The Stateliners had an excellent 10-1-1 record.  Coach Larry Fornicola’s Dieruff Huskies matched their record from the season before finishing with a 10-2-1.  Easton suffered its first losing season ever at 3-11.  Hellertown and Parkland tied for the Lehigh-Northampton League title, but suffered some tough interleague losses and finished 6-5-1 and 6-3-1, respectively.  Emmaus, second in the LVIAA, finished with a nice 9-4 final record while Bethlehem and Nazareth were each 7-3.

A very interesting season had just wrapped up with three new leagues, very exciting league races, upsets and interdivisional matches.  The final league standings were as follows:

Compiled LVL Standings 1963-64PlaceW-L-D
East Penn
Bethlehem Liberty2T3-2
William Allen2T3-2
Notre Dame60-5
Southern Lehigh61-5
East Stroudsburg70-6

Sectional/Divisional Tournaments

The preliminary district tournaments were realigned as the Eastern and Western divisions of the LVL were no longer in existence.  Catasaqua and Pocono Mountain were added to the East and Salisbury was added to the West.  Dieruff, East Stoudsburg, Emmaus, Pottsville and Slatington shifted from the West to East.  Easton, Nazareth, Palisades and Southern Lehigh shifted from the East to the West.

Dieruff would host the East tourney which would feature three returning district runners-ups:  Chuck Comegys (Bethlehem), Bob Schuler (Emmaus) and John Halasovski (Dieruff).  The West tourney was held at Whitehall and had three returning district champs and four runners-ups.  Returning champs were Dave Wall (Northampton), Bob Purdy (Wilson) and Chick Miller (Allen), and runners-ups were Don Doll (Easton), Tom Free (Palisades), Glenn Michaels (Parkland) and Chuck Amato (Easton).

All of the returning district finalists from a year ago except for one would advance to the next week’s competition.  Bob Purdy from Wilson failed to make weight at 103 ending what had been an undefeated season.  Dieruff led all teams by advancing 8 wrestlers to the semi-finals.  Bethlehem and Northampton each advanced six followed by Easton (5), Allen (4) and Palisades (4).

District XI Tournament

Allen, Bethlehem and Easton had won 16 of the prior 17 District team titles with only Northampton previously breaking through to win a team title in 1953.  All that would change in 1964 as Dieruff advanced four wrestlers to the finals to win a team title for Coach Larry Fornicola. 

The semi-finals featured three one point decisions and three overtime bouts.  Dieruff’s Dave Halulko and Southern Lehigh’s Dick Raab scored the only falls of the afternoon while Parkland’s John Ebert won by disqualification over Dieruff’s Jim Davis.  Allen, Dieruff and Easton led all teams by advancing four wrestlers each to the finals while Bethlehem and Emmaus each had three.  Five other teams had finalists.

Rovers’ Don Doll & Chuck Amato (Photo Courtesy of Easton H.S. Yearbook)

Easton had finalists at each of the first two weights and converted both to excite the home crowd at the Easton gym.  Bob Ferraro (95) and Don Doll (103) won 5-1 and 2-0 decisions, respectively.  Bob Schuler of Emmaus pinned Reuben Roberts of Easton to stop the Rovers’ streak at two and give Emmaus its first champion in seven years.  Northampton’s Dave Wall (120) won his 2nd title and lent an assist to Easton in the team race by shutting out Dieruff’s Mike Young 2-0.  The Huskies would come back to retake the lead in the team race on a Dave Halulko fall at 127 and 3-2 decision by John Halosovski over Allen’s Bruce Raines.

Halosovski Takes Raines to the Mat (Photo Courtesy of Morning Call)
Halosovski Takes Raines to the Mat (Photo Courtesy of Morning Call)
Solehi's Dick Raab (Photo Courtesy of Southern Lehigh H.S. Yearbook)
Solehi’s Dick Raab (Photo Courtesy of Southern Lehigh H.S. Yearbook)

Southern Lehigh and Parkland each crowned their first district champions.  Dick Raab upset Allen’s Chick Miller 4-3 at 138 while Glen Michaels downed Ken Biles from Emmaus 5-2 at 154.  In between Allen’s George Jenkins was able to win coach Glenn Smith’s last of 31 individual district titles.

Chuck Amato (165) pushed Easton back into the team race lead 58-51 by beating Pottsville’s first finalist ever, Paul Glenn) 3-1.  That set the stage for Dieruff sophomore Lee Miller to take the mat.  Miller delivered by shutting out Jay Raybold of Bethlehem 6-0 to win the crown for the Huskies with 61 points to Easton’s 58.  Ernie Schoeneberger earned a district title for Bethlehem and Coach Jim Harkins.  It would be Harkins’ 45th and last title. 

Dieruff District Champs (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)
Dieruff District Champs (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)


Final team scores were as follows:

Team Scores
William Allen45Hellertown4
Bethlehem42East Stroudsburg3
Southern Lehigh14Catasauqua0
Pottsville11Pocono Mountain0

1964 District XI Wrestling Champs
1964 District XI Wrestling Champs (Photo Courtesy of Easton Express via Bob Hower)

Northeast Regional Tournament

With the Northeast Regional Tournament now rotating between districts, it was District 4’s first opportunity to host the tourney in Williamsport.  It was an excellent semi-final round for District 11.  Easton had wrestlers at the first two weights and had mixed results.  Bob Ferraro dropped at close 3-0 decision at 95 before Don Doll won a high scoring affair 8-7 at 103.  Doll’s win was the start of a streak of 9 straight wins for the district’s grapplers.  Bob Schuler (Emmaus 115) won by fall, and Dave Wall earned another regional final berth 7-0.  Dieruff’s dynamic duo of Dave Halulko and John Halasovski won 5-0 and 3-0 in OT, respectively.  Dick Raab (Southern Lehigh 138), George Jenkins (Allen 145), Glenn Michaels (Parkland 154) and Chuck Amato (Easton 165) all moved on successfully.  Dieruff’s hero from the prior week, Lester Miller lost by fall before Bethlehem’s Ernie Schoenenberger closed out the round with a 6-1 win.

The finals was not be as kind to the Lehigh Valley contingent of wrestlers.  Dieruff won both of their final bouts with Halulko winning 7-3 and Halasovski again going into OT and winning 3-2.  Easton’s Amato (7-2) and Bethlehem’s Schoenenberger (5-2) were the other winners.  Schoenenberger decisioned “huge 340 pount Bill Herrold of Shamokin” per The Morning Call.  In a return match up of last year’s regional final Dave Wall faced off with Al Goss of West Snyder.  Wall had triumphed 3-2 in the prior year, but Goss was able to turn the tables winning a close 6-5 decision.  Goss would go on to win the state title at 120.  Districts 2, 4 and 11 split the titles evenly with four champions each.

PIAA State Tournament

Dave Halulko, 127 Lb. State Champ (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)
John Halasovski, 133 Lb. State Runner-Up (Photo Courtesy of Dieruff H.S. Yearbook)

Dieruff’s unbeaten duo of Dave Halulko and John Halasovski both moved into the finals.  Halulko continued winning relatively easily (10-2) while Halasovski continued winning nail biters (1-0).  Coach Larry Fornicola had his first two finalists.  The results in the finals would be a split.  Halulko finished an unbeaten season downing Jeff Paxton of Chartiers-Houston 9-0.  Halasovski lost for the first time on the season by a 4-0 score to Bedford’s unbeaten Ron Hamilton.

Easton’s Chuck Amato  survived a 1-1, 1-1 referee’s decision in the semi-finals and locked up with Harold Short of Clearfield in the finals.  Amato trailed 5-0 before rallying for a 6-5 win and the state title at 165.  Amato would represent Coach John Maitland’s third and Easton’s fourth overall state champion.  Bethlehem’s Ernie Schoenenberger dropped a 5-2 decision in the semi-finals to eventual state champ Bob Funk.

Dieruff won the mythical state title outpointing Chartiers-Houston.

1964  State  Champs.  Seated,  left  to  right:  Bob  Flint  (95)  Hickory  (10);   Sherm  Hostler  (103)  Newport  (3);   Keith  Taylor  (112) Hughesville  (4);  Alan  Goss  (120)  West  Snyder  (4);   Dave  Halulko  (127)  Allentown  Dieruff  (11)  and  Ron  Hamilton  (133)  Bedford  (5). Standing,  left  to  right:  Dave  Spinda  (138)  Carnegie  (7);   George  Cronrath  (145)  Warrior  Run  (4);   Jim  Blacksmith  (154)  Cedar Cliff  (3);   Chuck  Amato  (165)  Easton  (11);   Carl  Carbonara  (180)  Uniontown  (7)  and  Bob  Funk  (Unl)  Manheim  Twp.  (3). (Photo Courtesy of Bob Hower)

Phillipsburg Post Season

1964 would begin an extremely strong run for the Stateliners in district competition.  Over the next eleven years, Phillipsburg would win an incredible 59 individual district titles.  In 1964, Jim Thompson (95), Steve Kasza (103) and Vic Altonen (127) won titles.  Unfortunately, none of the grapplers were able to advance through regionals.

Fast Forward

Nazareth wrestlers from the 1960’s to recent grads turned out for Nazareth wrestling’s 3rd annual alumni night on January 7, 2017 to celebrate the Blue Eagles rich wrestling tradition.

Nazareth Wrestling Alumni from 1960’s (Photo by Rich King)
Nazareth Wrestling Alumni from 1960’s to 2010’s (Photo by Rich King)