28th Season 18-2 (348-82-6 career record)
Team Captains Dan Madson and Darin Wenrich
From the program's Season Outlook:
The commitment to excellence continues. Last year's season was a dream year. Nazraeth went 20-0 and wound up as the number one dual meet team in Pennsylvania, as well as ranking 6th in the USA. But this is a new year. Graduated were eight varsity regulars, including three high school All-Americans: Mike Miller, Brad Silimperi, and Mike Herceg. However, the cupboard is not completely bare, as Nazareth had both undefeated Junior Varsity and Junior High teams.
The 1990-91 schedule is probably the toughest challenge Nazareth has ever faced. The Blue Eagles have accepted an invitation to participate in the Virginia Duals where they will face two of the top teams in Virginia (Kempsville and West Branch). The Colonial League will be very competitive with Catasauqua and Wilson emerging as PIAA AA powers. Independent matches feature Easton, Northampton, Phillipsburg, NJ, Parkland, Liberty, and Shamokin. WOW!!
The seniors are led by Dan Madson (31-7), state qualifier and Pennsylvania State Freestyle Champion, currently sidelined with a knee injury. Sean McAlone (21-14) a District XI runnerup, Darin Wenrich (16-8-1), and Todd Killino (5-3 are expected to be leaders. Ken Haas, Keith Miechur, and Eric Yeakel all have varsity experience and are counted on for many victories. Jim Lutz and Paul Wickman offer valuable experience in the upper weights. Nate Toth, a former outstanding midget wrestler, has returned to the team in his senior year.
The juniors are led by Ryan Nunamaker (25-8-1) who was fifth in the States, and Steve Herceg (25-10-1) who was third in the District. Other juniors with varsity experience include Ryan Dent (1-0), Chad Feichtel (2-2) and Ben Fry (4-4). Up from the Junior Varsity are Heath Hoff, Brett Johnson, Todd Laudenbach, Matt Silimperi, Nick Sisonick, Rick Smith, and Eric Transue.
Sophomores to watch are: Brian Knott, Mark Madson, Adam Colombo, Nick Calantoni, and Eric Rice.
The four Freshment are a super group and they are Dan Tashner, Mark Getz, Sean Topping, and Ben Duelley.
Coach Nunamaker states, "We have the potential to be an excellent team, but there are question marks. Can Dan Madson and Eric Yeakel return from injuries? Will new and unproven talent bolster the upper weights? ANy way you look at it, it's going to be another exciting year of Nazareth Wrestling. Follow us in our "Quest to be the Best."
Dual meet results:
- Nazareth 48; Pocono Mountain 11
- Nazareth 30; Easton 27
- Nazareth 28; Phillipsburg, NJ 30
- Nazareth 66; Freedom 0
- Nazareth 58; Pen Argyl 9
- Nazareth 41; Kempsville, VA 18
- Nazareth 42; West Branch, VA 12
- Nazareth 26; Northampton 30
- Nazareth 53; Bangor 10
- Nazareth 65; Southern Lehigh 6
- Nazareth 67; Salisbury 1
- Nazareth 33; Shamokin 24
- Nazareth 38; Parkland 20
- Nazareth 67; Palisades 3
- Nazareth 58; Saucon Valley 2
- Nazareth 41; Liberty 16
- Nazareth 29; Catasauqua 24
- Nazareth 29; Easton 21 (District semi-finals)
- Nazareth 31; Northampton 26 (District finals)
- Nazareth 34; Wilson 19
JV is coached by Rusty Amato, the Junior High by Jody Werner, Kevin Brown, and Chuck Madson
Nazareth finishes 2nd to Bald Eagle Area (180-177) in the Williamsport Top Hat Tournament. Ryan Nunamaker is named Outstanding Wrestler and Dan Tashner has the most falls in the least amount of time.
Tashner and Nunamaker both win titles, Steve Herceg is second, Ben Fry, Keith Meichur, Sean McAlone and Darin Wenrich were 3rd, and Chad Feichtel, Todd Killino, and Mark Madson place 4th.
Read The Morning Call's Ted Meixsell on Nazareth and Easton.
Excerpts from Ted Meixell of The Morning Call:
"Unbelievable!" said Ray Nunamaker, "Just Unbelievable!"
That was the reaction of Nazareth's 28 year verteran wrestling coach late last night moments after his Blue Eagles had registered three consecutive pins to pull out an improbable 30-27 victory over visiting Easton and run their own winning streak to 35 matches over the past three years.
With the packed house in the Nazareth Gym reaching new heights of frenzy following each development, Wenrich, Wickman, and Lutz each pinned their opponents to bring Nazareth from the brink of defeat to an incredible victory.
[following Lutz's pin at heavyweight] To the surprise of absolutely no one, the crowd erupted into total bedlam.
"I don't think I've ever seen a finish like that one in my entire life," said Nunamaker. "And an improbable finish at that. Those last two kids were JV's last year. Jim [Lutz] was making his second varsity start and Paul [Wickman] his fourth...just unbelievable!"
Nazareth finishes second in the Christmas City Tournament to Northampton (197.5-196). Wilson is 3rd (139).
Dan Tashner, Ryan Nunamaker and Dan Madson win titles, Steve Herceg is 2nd, Chad Feichtel is 3rd, Ken Haas, Sean McAlone, and Darin Wenrich are 4th and Todd Killino is 5th.
Nazareth competes in the Virginia Duals at the Hampton Coliseum in conjunction with the Cliff Keen National Team Championships featuring Iowa, Penn State, Michigan, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and many more top collegiate teams. Nazareth is sponsored by Martin Guitar. The event is January 11 and 12, 1991. In addition to Nazareth, Danbury, CT, and Brighton HS in Rochester, NY are the only non-Virginia schools in the HS competition.
Nazareth defeated Kempsville, VA 41-28 and West Branch, VA 42-12.
Nazareth wins the Colonial League (11th consecutive).
From Gary Blockus of The Morning Call:
Paul Wickman was wrestling in just his eighth bout of the season last night, but it was a big one.
The Nazareth senior, who wrestled junior varsity all last season, came up with the pin of the night to clinch a 29-24 win over Catasauqua, and almost certainly, Nazareth's 11th straight Colonial Leabue title.
Nazareth wins the District XI Individual Tournament and the Dual Meet Tournament.
- Ryan Nunamaker wins his first District title at 119 with a 12-4 win over Allen's Dan Wagner.
- Todd Killino wins District gold at 125 with a fall in 4:40 over Easton's Tyler Purdy.
- Dan Madson won his the District title after finishing second the prior two years posting a 4-3 win over Howie Miller of Parkland at 171.
- Dan Tashner lost to Chad Billy of Northampton at 112 9-3.
- Darrin Wenrich drops a 6-5 decision to East Stroudsburg's Aaron Poster at 160.
- Steve Herceg is 4th
- Ken Haas is 4th
- Sean McAlone is 5th
Scott Barr, Wrestling Country (the book covers up to the 1994-95 season, Ray also won the COTY in 1997):
"In the span of tournaments covering 1987 to 1995, Ray Nunamaker and Don Rohn would combine for eight Coach of the Year awards. This 1991 tourney, however, John Toggas of Parkland broke that streak. His Trojan team finished only third, but went above expectations, as Toggas won his first C.O.T.Y. award."
Nazareth is runner-up in the Northeast Regional Championship to Shikellamy (110-79.5)
Todd Killino and Dan Madson win Regional titles, Ryan Nunamaker is runnerup, and Steve Herceg is 3rd.
Nazareth and Shikellamy were tied at 63 going into the consolation finals and finals. Nazareth finished as the AAA PIAA State Runner-Up, to Shikellamy (73-65).
Ryan Nunamaker and Dan Madson both lose in overtime to finish 2nd, Steve Herceg is 5th and Todd Killino is 6th.
Nunamaker opened with a fall in 3:50 over Derek James of Cedar Cliff at 119. He then defeated Jon Truby of Trinity (35-0 at the time) 8-4 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals he won 15-3 over Matt Pearl of Central Dauphin. His overtime loss was a wild one to Bob Crawford of Milton who claimed his 3rd PIAA title and finished the season 35-0.
Killino at 125 won by fall in 0:40 over Brian Wills of West Mifflin in the opening found. He then pinned Tim Barndt of Bald Eagle Area in 5:52 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals he lost 3-2 to Lee Schickel of Penn Trafford who would finish 2nd. In the first wrestleback Killino lost 7-6 in overtime to Eric Fegley of Middletown, who would finish fourth. In the round for 5th and 6th he lost to John Klessinger of Warwick.
At 130 Steve Herceg opens with a fall over then-undefeated Scott Mitchell of Warwick in 5:43. He then loses 9-6 in the quarterfinals to eventual 2nd place finisher Dan Covatta of Methacton. In the wrestlebacks, Herceg pinned Larry Sprecher of Middletown in 4:29. He then decisioned Brian Merrifield of Lock Haven 11-7 to advance to the consolation semifinals. He lost to Ryan Eby of Indian Valley 6-1 before again defeating Mitchell for 5th place.
Dan Madson finished 2nd at 171, falling in overtime to Jesse Rawls of Susquehanna who finished with a perfect 31-0 record. Madson opened with fall in 0:54 over Mark Stiffler of Gateway. In the quarterfinals he defeated Doug Seidenstricker of South Western 9-7. In the semifinals he defeated Jason Robinson of Hampton 6-5.
Also at States:
- Northampton's Chad Billy wins at 112.
- Doug Bonshak of Whitehall placed 2nd at 140.
- East Stroudsburg's Aaron Poster advanced to the semifinals and finished 5th.
- At 171, Howie Miller of Parkland finished 3rd.
- Justin Morabito of Bethelehem Catholic placed 6th at HWT.
From Bob Flounders of the Express:
But what hurt even more in Crawford's equally wild, 15-11 overtime win over Nunamaker in the final of the PIAA Class AAA championships Saturday night at Hersheypark Areana, is that it appeared Nunamaker made no mistakes.
It appeared Nunamaker wrestled a perfect bout.
And Crawford (35-0) still found a way to beat him to win his second state title.
Nunamaker's teammate, senior Dan Madson, didn't fare any better, also dropping a 14-13 overtime decision to Susquehanna Township senior Jesse Rawls for the 171 pound title.
Ranked 6th in the country by Amateur Wrestling News.
Graduating in 1991 for the Blue Eagles (with 40 or more career wins):
- Dan Madson 115-24-1 with 71 pins
- Darin Wenrich 44-14-1 with 25 pins
- Sean McAlone 44-25-1 with 11 pins
- Todd Killino 44-19-3 with 19 pins
- A. Colombo: 4-4
- D. Condomitti: 0-3
- C. Feichtel: 22-9
- B. Fry: 10-5
- M. Getz: 1-1
- K. Haas: 17-14
- S. Herceg: 32-11-1
- T. Killino: 28-9-3
- B. Knott: 2-0
- J. Lutz: 11-10-1
- D. Madson: 30-2-1
- M. Madson: 10-13-1
- S. McAlone: 22-11-1
- K. Meichur: 4-3
- R. Nunamaker: 36-2
- E. Rice: 2-3
- M. Silimperi: 10-9-1
- D. Tashner: 19-8-2
- S. Topping: 10-10
- E. Transue: 1-0
- D. Wenrich: 28-6
- P. Wickman 7-7
Dan Madson graduates with the 3rd (115) most career wins and sets the record for career pins (71) and career pins and technical falls (78).
Darin Wenrich, Sean McAlone, and Todd Killino all finish tied for 36th (44) in career wins.
Ryan Nunamaker has the 5th (36) most wins in a season and Steve Herceg was tied for 12th (32).
Darin Wenrich was 3rd (108) with most team points and Ryan Nunamaker was 7th (98).
Dan Madson is 2nd in all time team points (353).
Ryan Nunamaker sets the record (172) for takedowns in a season and Sean McAlone is 11th (96).
Steve Herceg sets the record for pins in a season (23), Darin Wenrich was tied for 6th (20), and Dan Madson was tied for 9th (19)
Dan Madson sets the fastest pin award at 189 with a 0:09 second fall. It is also tied for 3rd fastest at any weight.
The team set the record for most nearfalls in a season (393).
The Nazareth Wrestling Program improves to 391-178-8
- J. Jones
- M. Pfeiffer
- C. Ruby
- A. Blaum
- M. Shriver
- L. Spitale
- A. Brostedt
- T. Gold
- L. Dornblasner
- T. Lieb
- K. Reisteter
- S. VanNatta
- B. Male
- S. Cortez
- J. Defrain
- A. Dornblanter
Ray Nunamaker's Program Evaluation:
The wrestling program once more "fortified" its position as one of the top wrestling programs in the state of Pennsylvania. The team far exceeded its early expectations. With only five starters returning and a host of talent lost to graduation, we certainly had our work cut out for us. To make matters worse, one starter was undecided about wrestling and another had a severe injury to his knee which was supposed to keep him from competing in wrestling his senior year. Needless to say, everyone came out and Dan's knee held up the entire year with no problems.
Nazareth finished as state runnerup for the third time in four years. We had four state place winners. Ryan Nunamaker and Dan Madson just missed being state champs, losing in overtime in extremely close matches. Steve Herceg placed fifth and Todd Killino sixth in the state meet.
Nazareth finished the season with an 18-2 record. The only two losses coming to Phillipsburg, NJ 30-28 and to Northampton 30-26. We came back to beat Northampton 31-26 for the District XI Dual Meet Championship.
Nazareth also won the District XI Tournament as Ryan Nunamaker, Todd Killino and Dan Madson all won championships. Seven wrestlers advanced to the Northeast Regionals where Todd Killino and Dan Madson won championships and Ryan Nunamaker was a runnerup.
Nazareth won the Colonial League Championship for the eleventh year in a row. The last time Nazareth met defeat in the league was January 10, 1980 to Saucon Valley.
Nazareth also competed in the prestigious Virginia Duals and defeated the Virginia State Tournament Champions and the State Dual Meet Champions for 1990. It was a very enjoyable trip for both the team and our fans.
The Junior Varsity Team coached by Rusty Amato also had a very successful year going 16-0. They also won both the Northampton and Colonial-Centennial JV Tournaments.
The Junior High Team led by Jody Werner and assisted by Kevin Brown and Chuck Madson had an equally successful year, losing only one match.
The future of the Nazareth Wrestling Program continues to look promising. The support of the community for the program is outstanding. I feel we have the most supportive fans of anyone in the Lehigh Valley. We will continue to strive to produce a quality program both in terms of winning and in terms of the type of person that wrestles for Nazareth.