29th Season 19-1-1 (367-83-7 career record)
Team Captains Steve Herceg and Ryan Nunamaker
From the Program's Season Outlook:
Our pursuit of excellence continues. Following tradition, Nazareth Wrestling had another outstanding year. The Blue Eagles were runnersup in the State Tournament, and won both the District XI Championship and the Colonial League Championship. Four Nazareth wrestlers placed in the PIAA AAA Tournament. Dan Madson and Ryan Nunamaker both placed second in the States losing in overtime. Steve Herceg placed 5th and Todd Killino finished 6th. Dan and Todd have graduated as well as seven other seniors. However, once more the Blue Eagles should have enough talent to make a run at the State Championship.
Once more, the 1991-92 schedule poses a tough challenge. Newcomers to the schedule include St. Marks Delaware, a nationally ranked team, and Warren Hills, on of the top teams in New Jersey. Then add Shamokin, one of the pre-season picks in Pennsylvania. Of course we cannot overlook perennial powers Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Easton, and Northampton. In the Colonial League, we have always tough Catasauqua and rapidly improving Wilson.
The seniors are led by Ryan Nunamaker (36-2) last year's State Runnerup, and 5th in the State as a sophomore, and Steve Herceg (32-11-1) fifth in the State Meet and the youngest of the Herceg brothers (Jim, Ken and Mike). Chad Feichtel (22-9), Ben Fry (10-5) and Matt Silimperi (10-9-1) offer valuable experience. Heath Hoff, Dane Kinsey, Todd Laudenbach, Nick Sisonick, and Eric Transue provide additional experience.
The juniors are led by Adam Colombo, Mark Madson, and Eric Rice. All three have varsity experience and bolster the upper weights. Andrew Buskirk, Nick Calantoni, and Scott Hacker should see varsity action this year.
The sophomores are a talented group; Dan Tashner (District XI Runnerup), Mark Getz (19-0) junior varsity, Sean Topping 10-10 varsity, and Ben Duelley (20-4) junior varsity.
The four freshman have outstanding talend and they are Nick Donello, Travis Doto, Justin Hoff, and Brian Tashner.
Coach Nunamaker states, "I'm excited about the coming season and the challenges that confront us. If we maintain a positive attitude and continue to work extremely hard, I don't know why we can't end up #1 in Hershey."
Dual Meet Results:
- Nazareth 64; Pocono Mountain 6
- Nazareth 35; Easton 19
- Nazareth 57; Freedom 9
- Nazareth 36; Phillipsburg 17
- Nazareth 70; Saucon Valley 0
- Nazareth 53; Pen Argyl 12
- Nazareth 34; Warren Hills 27
- Nazareth 41; St. Mark's 20
- Nazareth 25; Northampton 33
- Nazareth 55; Bangor 12
- Nazareth 66; Southern Lehigh 5
- Nazareth 57; Salisbury 3
- Nazareth 45; Parkland 11
- Nazareth 43; Shamokin 17
- Nazareth 68; Palisades 6
- Nazareth 46; Liberty 18
- Nazareth 48; Catasauqua 12
- Nazareth 65; Pleasant Valley 2 (District Duals Prelims)
- Nazareth 34; Northampton 20 (District Semis)
- Nazareth 29; Easton 29 (District Finals)
- Nazareth 36; Wilson 24
Nazareth wins the sixteen team Williamsport Top Hat Tournament over Susquenita (154.5-151). Sean Topping and Ryan Nunamaker claim titles, Chad Feichtel, Dan Tashner and Steve Herceg all finish as runnerup, and Brian Tashner and Mark Getz are 3rd.
Newspaper was not credited:
"Nazareth High School crowned two individual champions and captured the team title at the Top Hat Wrestling Tournament at Williamsport High School on Saturday.
Nazareth edged Susquenita for the team crown.
Sean Topping got the Blue Eagles off to a good start by winning the 103 pound crown, pinning John Fralic of Erie Cathedral Prep in 1:05. Ryan Nunamaker defeated Biff Walizer of Blue Eagle Nittany, 5-2, for the gold medal at 130 pounds.
Runnersup for Nazareth were Chad Feichtel at 119, Dan Tashner at 125, and Steve Herceg at 140. Taking third at 112 for Nazareth was Brian Tashner.
Nazareth vs. Easton from Ted Meixell of The Morning Call:
Knock off your opponent's two most highly-touted individual performers, pinning one of them, and ou roll to an easy victory, right?
Wrong. Not in the Nazareth-Easton wrestling series anyway.
Last night, before a packed house at Easton's 25th Street Gym, the Red Rovers' Tim Riehl and Craig Jones registered startling upsets of the Blue Eagles' brightest starts, Dan Tashner and state runnerup Ryan Nunamaker. But Nazareth, the two-time defending No. 1 team in The Morning Call region, still found a way to put a 35-19 hurting on the home team - its fourth straight in the pitched rivalry.
Nazareth wins the Christmas City Tournament 226.5-188 over Northampton. Dan Tashner is named the Outstanding Wrestling. Brian Tashner, Dan Tashner, Ryan Nunamaker, Steve Herceg, and Mark Madson all win titles. Chad Feichtel is 2nd, Sean Topping and Adam Colombo are 3rd, Eric Rice is 4th, Dave Kinsey is 5th, and Mark Getz is 6th.
From Corky Blake of the Express-Times:
Nazareth Area High School solidified its No. 1 Expres-Times wrestling ranking by capturing the Christmas City Tournament team title for te fourth consecutive year.
The Blue Eagles sent six wrestlers to the finals and emerged with five champions. Ray Nunamaker's club amassed 226.5 points to outdistance Northampton (188), the area's No. 2 ranked team at Bethlehem Catholic High School.
Nazareth wins the Colonial League (12th consecutive).
Nazareth finishes 2nd in the District Dual Meet Tournament to Easton on criteria of most bouts won in a 29-29 tie.
From the PA Wrestling Round-Up, post season predictions:
125: Regardless of which weight he finally settles on, Milton's Bob Crawford will enter the states as a solid favorite. While Crawford's reckless style goes against conventional wisdom, his heart and determination to win far exceed those of his competitors...Looking to stop the streaking Crawford from winning his third consecutive title at this weight will be state tournament hopefuls B.C. Cowden (Trinity), Northampton's Joe Rueben, Dan Wagner from Allentown Allen and Nazareth's Dan Tashner. (Ironically Crawford, Rueben, Wagner and Tashner all come out of the NE Region and only 3 can advance).
130: After a runner-up finish in 1991, Nazareth's Ryan Nunamaker appears primed to move up a notch in 1992. Nunamaker's chief threat to his title hopes is returning fifth place finisher John Klessinger from Warwick and state qualifiers Tim Barndt of Bald Eagle Area and Bob Bollinger from Campria Heights.
135: This weight is shaping up as a two horse race between returning state runner-up Dorian Hager from Erie Prep and 3rd place finisher Dan Covatta from Methacton...Hoping to play the role of spoiler at the weight is fifth place medalist Steve Herceg from Nazareth, a 9-6 loser to Covatta in the 1991 PIAA quarterfinals.
District XI Individual Tournament
Nazareth wins the District XI Individual Tournament over Northampton 201.5 to 186.5. Easton is 3rd with 155. Ryan Nunamaker ears the Pinner Award and Ray Nunamaker is named Coach of the Year.
- Ryan Nunamaker wins his second District title at 130 with a 8-3 decision over Jose Rivera of Allen
- Steve Herceg wins the District title at 135 with a 3-2 decision over Craig Jones of Easton
- Mark Madson wins a District title at 189 with a 6-5 decision over Kyle Tarboro of Liberty
- Dan Tashner falls to Joe Reuben of Northampton 10-6
- Adam Colombo is 3rd
- Brian Tashner is 4th
- Mark Getz is 4th
- Matt Silimperi is 4th
- Eric Rice is 4th
- Chad Feichtel is 5th
- Sean Topping is 6th
Nazareth is runner-up in the Northeast Regional Championship to Williamsport 102-86. Northampton is 3rd with 85 points.
Ryan Nunamaker and Steve Herceg become Regional Champions and Dan Tashner finishes 3rd.
Nazareth is the AAA PIAA State Runner-Up to Canon McMillan 72-46. Ray Nunamaker is named Coach of the Year. Ryan Nunamaker is State Champion and Steve Herceg State Runnerup.
Ryan Nunamaker Right Move Pays Off For Nazareth Grappler
PIAA CLASS AAA CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
Ranked as high as 3rd in the nation during the season by Amateur Wrestling News.
Ranked as high as 9th in the nation during the season by USA Today.
The seniors graduate having won the District XI Individual Tournament all four years of their high school career and were PIAA AAA State Runner-up three years (and 4th in their freshman year).
Ryan Nunamaker was selected to wrestle in the AAA vs. AA meet at State College and defeated Peter Kade (3rd AA) 9-3. Ryan also wrestled on the Pennsylvania team against the USA in the Pittburgh Press Classic. He defeated Jim Guzzio 5-3, who was a two-time New England Champ.
Steve Herceg was invited to the AAA vs. AA dual meet and faced four time state champion Cary Kolat. Heceg lost the match to the future two-time NCAA Champion who was a member of the 2000 US Olympic Freestyle team.
Ryan and Steve became High School All Americans with Ryan placing 4th and Steve 6th in the National High School Championships (then only state finalists were eligible to participate).
Graduating in 1992 for the Blue Eagles (with 40 or more career wins):
- Ryan Nunamaker 115-18-2 with 36 pins
- Steve Herceg 90-24-5 with 58 pins
- Chad Feichtel 45-23 with 11 pins
- A. Buskirk: 10-13
- N. Calantoni: 3-8-1
- A. Colombo: 27-10
- D. Condomitti: 7-7
- N. Donello: 1-0
- B. Duelley: 2-1
- C. Feichtel: 19-12
- B. Fry: 3-1
- M. Getz: 25-9
- S. Hacker: 5-2
- S. Herceg: 33-3-3
- H. Hoff: 2-2
- J. Hoff: 1-0
- D. Kinsey: 9-9-2
- T. Laudenbach: 1-0
- M. Madson: 20-5-1
- R. Nunamaker: 37-1
- E. Rice: 27-9
- M. Silimperi: 24-13-2
- N. Sisonick: 0-1
- B. Tashner: 33-7
- D. Tashner: 30-9-2
- S. Topping: 18-8
- E. Transue: 1-0
Ryan Nunamaker is tied for 3rd most career wins (115), Steve Herceg is 8th (90 - as the Hercegs account for positions 6, 7, and 8 on the all-time wins list), Chad Feichtel is tied for 34th (45) and Matt Silimperi is 52nd (35).
Ryan Nunamaker is 2nd (37) with most wins in a season and Steve Herceg is tied for 12th (33).
Steve Herceg is tied for 4th (21) for pins in a season and Ryan Nunamaker and Dan Tashner are tied for 16th (17).
Ryan Nunamaker is tied for 6th for team points in a season (101) and Steve Herceg is 9th (98).
Steve Herceg ties for 2nd in career falls (58) and Ryan Nunamaker is 10th (36).
Steve Herceg is 4th for career falls and technical falls (59) and Ryan Nunamaker is 8th (49).
Ryan Nunamaker is 4th in takedowns per season (138 - he set the record his junior year with 172).
Ryan Nunamaker is 2nd in career takedowns (397).
Dan Tashner ties the fastest pin record at 125 (0:09) and Ryan Nunamaker sets the record at 130 (0:19).
- L. Long
- D. Young
- H. Hoff
- W. Egbert
- S. Rice
- L. Manzo
- M. Miller
- K. Tretter
- J. Gum
- T. Aber
- M. Shriver
- C. Ruby
- L. Spitale
- E. Pfeiffer
- T. Schweitzer
- K. Reisteter
- B. Male
- M. Doto
- T. Lieb
- T. Gold
- A. Brostedt
- A. Blaum
- S. Cortez
- S. VanNatta
- A. Lewis
- A. Bardolf
- J. Medei
- A. Dornblaser
- A. Schoeneberger
- J. Grandon
Coach Nunamaker's Program Evaluation:
The Nazareth Wrestling program is no longer just a perennial Pennsylvania State power, but has evolved the last three years into a nationally ranked program. Nazareth was ranked as high as 3rd in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News. USA Today newspaper also ranked the top high school teams in their Super Prep 25. In USA Today, our highest ranking was 9th place. We remained in the Super Prep 25 for a period of seven weeks.
Nazareth finished as state runnerup for the fourth time in five years. We accomplished this despite having only three participants in states, but what a great job they did! Ryan Nunamaker won a state title at 130 lbs. Steve Herceg had a great tournament to finish with a silver medal, and Dan Tashner, just a sophomore, got to the quarter final round, but failed to place.
The Dual Meet season was a tremendous success. Our final season record was 19-1-1. The only loss was to Northampton (25-33), but we came back to defeat them in the District Duals (34-20). Although we did not lose a meet, we lost the District XI Duals on criteria to Easton with a 29-29 tie. The championship was decided by most bouts won! It should be noted that we beat Easton 35-19 earlier in the year.
We also beat Phillipsburg, NJ 36-17 and St. Mark's, Delaware 41-20.
Nazareth had a strong performance in the District XI Tournament as we won for the fourth consecutive year. Ryan Nunamaker, Steve Herceg, and Mark Madson won District Championships.
Nazareth had a good tournament in the Northeast Regionals to finish second. Williamsport had a great tournament and won the Regional Title. We had two Regional Champions in Ryan Nunamaker and Steve Herceg.
Nazareth won the Colonial League Championship for the twelfth year in a row. The last time Nazareth met defeat in the league was January 10, 1980 to Saucon Valley.
The Junior Varsity team coached by Rusty Amato also had a very successful year going 14-1-1. They also won both the Northampton and Tasmanian Invitational Tournaments.
The Nazareth Junior High Team led by Jody Werner and assisted by Kevin Brown and Chuck Madson had an equally successful year losing only two matches in the State College Duals. The Junior High team also won two tournaments: The Tasmanian Invitational and the Pine Grove Tournament.
The future of the Nazareth Wrestling Program continues to look promising. We now have three varsity teams in our midget program with the addition of the Lower Nazareth team. The number of participants for the program is outstanding and the support for wrestling in the community is unbelievable. The "Circle of Success" continues to roll!