30th Season 22-2 (389-85-7 career record)
Team Captains Adam Colombo, Mark Madson, and Eric Rice
From the program's season outlook:
The Blue Eagles look forward to continuing the tradition of outstanding wrestling at Nazareth H.S. Last year the Blue Eagles were State Runnersup for the fourth time in five years. They were also District XI Champions and Colonial League Champions for the twelth year. Graduating for the Blue Eagles were State Champion Ryan Nunamaker, State Runnerup Steve Herceg, and solid veterans in Chad Feichtel, Ben Fry, Matt Silimperi, and Dennis Condomiti.
The 1992-93 schedule is, without a doubt, the toughest schedule Nazareth has ever wrestled. The Blue Eagles open the season with New York State Champion and nationally ranked Longwood, NY. On the same day they wrestle perennial West Virginia power, Parkersburg South and Southeast Pennsylvania power Methacton. Add New Jersey powers Phillipsburg and Delaware Valley. The Pennsylvania AAA and AA State Champions are also on the schedule, Canon McMillan and Wilson. Of course, right in our own Lehigh Valley are state powers Northampton, Easton, and Catasauqua. Throw in another state power, Shikellamy, and you understand this year's motto: "Accept the Challenge".
Coach Nunamaker feels this year's team is ready to "Accept the Challenge" as a well-balanced team returns.
The seniors are led by Adam Colombo (27-10), 3rd Districts; Mark Madson (20-5-1), District Champion; and Eric Rice (27-9), 4th Districts. Senior letterwinners Andy Buskirk, Nick Calantoni, and Scott Hacker offer valuable experience. Eric Curtis, Paul Klotz, Don Lockard, and Jeremy Shive provide additional experience.
The juniors are led by Dan Tashner (30-9-2), District Runnerup; Mark Getz (25-9) 4th Districts; Sean Topping (18-8), 6th Districts; Ben Duelley (2-1). Look for strong performances from Pete Eckhart (20-1), junior varsity; Bryan Haas, Matt Novach, Jeff Smith, and Darrell Snyder.
The sophomores are an impressive group: Brian Tashner (33-7), 4th Districts; Nick Donello (19-3), junior varsity; Travis Doto (21-2), junior varsity; and Justin Hoff (18-1), junior varsity. Add junior high standouts Shane Topping, Zach Musselman, and Todd Rosko and you have some talent for the future.
Coach Nunamaker says the key to the season will probably depend a great deal on the first two weights and keeping everybody healthy. He feels the middle and upper weights are well-balanced and have plenty of talent. He says, "We are ready to accept the challenge and plan to give you something to cheer about once more in Hershey."
Dual Meet Results:
- Nazareth 53; Methacton 6
- Nazareth 59; Parkersburg, WV 6 (17th in the nation)
- Nazareth 38; Longwood, NY 9 (undefeated in New York, 3 year NY dual winning streat and ranked #21 in the nation)
- Nazareth 61; Pocono Mountain 6
- Nazareth 49; Easton 12
- Nazareth 35; Phillipsburg, NJ 18
- Nazareth 47; Wilson 18
- Nazareth 36; Canon McMillan 27 (Canon Mac's only loss of the season)
- Nazareth 28; Delaware Valley 19 (only other loss was to Jefferson Morgan on a DQ at 189)
- Nazareth 62; Saucon Valley 6
- Nazareth 60; Whitehall 7
- Nazareth 49; Freedom 6
- Nazareth 47; Pen Argyl 9
- Nazareth 23; Northampton 26
- Nazareth 46; Parkland 15
- Nazareth 61; Bangor 6
- Nazareth 78; Southern Lehigh 0
- Nazareth 40; Shikellamy 12
- Nazareth 58; Salisbury 3
- Nazareth 52; Liberty 10
- Nazareth 72; Palisades 0
- Nazareth 42; Parkland 16 (District Duals Prelim)
- Nazareth 19; Northampton 32 (District Duals Semis)
- Nazareth 53; Catasauqua 9
Valley Youth House Elite Duals - Bob Flounders of the Express-Times:
The organizers of the first Valley Youth House Elite Duals wrestling competition, held all day Saturday at Muhlenberg College, are already drawing up plans for the second one.
The question is, who's going to want to come, after what the three area powers did to national powers Longwood (NY), Parkersburg (WV), and suburban Philadelphia power Methacton?
Top ranked Northampton, second ranked Nazareth and third ranked Easton each went 3-0 on the day, and the only visiting team able to keep it respectable against the trio was the Long Island team, coached by Mike Picozzi. The Lions can come back anytime, after throwing a scare into the Konkrete Kids in the morning's opening round and taking the Red Rovers to the limit in the afternoon's second round.
The rest of the matches, though, were routs.
Northampton (3-0) rallied from a 15-3 deficit to beat Longwood 42-26, then crushed Methacton 56-3 and Parkersburg South 66-0.
Easton (3-0) started its sweep with 51-12 bombing of Parkersburg South, rallied from an early 17 point deficit to take Longwood 33-25, then closed things out by dusting Methacton 45-6.
But of the three local squads, the most impressive might have been Ray Nunamaker's Blue Eagles (3-0), who pounded Methacton 56-3 and Parkersburg South 59-6 in their first two matches, then posted a decisive 38-9 win over Longwood in the evening session.
And the highlight for Nazareth came against Longwood, where Eagles' senior Adam Colombo handed Lions' junior John Lange - the defending New York state 145 pound champ - his first loss in two years, reversing him into a pin in 4:27. It wasn't a fluke, either, the bout had been tied 5-5 after two periods.
Nazareth vs. Easton - Bob Flounders of the Express-Times:
If there was a silver lining for Easton's wrestling team after Nazareth dismantled the Red Rovers 49-12 Saturday night, it's that Steve Powell's team will likely get another crack at the Blue Eagles in the postseason District XI Team Duals competition.
But after what transpired in front of 1,500 at Nazareth's packed gym, you have to wonder if Easton (4-1), No. 3 in the Express-Times rankings, really wants one.
In one of the most dominating performances by an Eagles squad in recent memory, No. 2 Nazareth (5-0) won the first 10 bouts - six of them coming with bonus points - and clinched the match after 140, when one of Ray Nunamaker's newest stars, sophomore Travis Doto, put away Easton's Larry Gibson with a headlock in 2:29 in a battle of unbeatens.
"Doto was just amazing," Nunamaker said. "He's got some real horsepower. We just wrestled great and since the beginning of the season I've had a great feeling about these kids."
"I think it really helps that we have some guys in college - guys like Brad Silimperi, Mike Herceg, Steve Herceg and Dan Madson - who come back when they can and work out with the team."
"It helps, and we have a lot of our younger guys want to emulate the Silimperis and the Hercegs. This was a great start to the season."
Easton's first win didn't come until 171, where Eric Thompson ran up an 11-4 lead on Eric Rice before pinning him in 5:07.
We're not a bad team," Powell said. "But the roof fell in on us tonight."
Nazareth vs. Phillipsburg via Bob Flounders of the Express-Times:
The talk before Wednesday's Nazareth-Phillipsburg wrestling match was not about matchups, but about the site. To the dismay of Stateliner fans, and to the extreme dismay of coach Rick Thompson, the meet had been moved from P'burg's home, The Pit, to neutral, larger Liberty High School to accomodate ticket requests.
And as nearly 2,800 fans looked on; the Blue Eagles, No. 2 in The Express-Times rankings won 9 of the last 10 bouts to pull away from the fourth ranked Statelines 35-18. But while the P'Burg followers were unhappy with the unfamiliar atmosphere, most would probably admit Nazareth (6-0) is the better team, regardless of the surroundings.
The 'Liners and the Eagles could've wrestled in Thompson's basement and the final outcome would not have changed.
Nazareth vs. Delaware Valley.
Nazareth finishes 2nd to Northampton in the sixteen team Christmas City Tournament (278 - 243.5, 3rd place Freedom had 135.5). Nazareth's Justin Hoff and Adam Colombo finish 1st, Dan Tashner, Mark Getz, and Travis Doto were 2nd, Scott Hacker, Brian Tashner, Sean Topping, Ben Duelley, and Eric Rice are 3rd, Mark Madson was 4th, Pete Eckhart was 5th, and Matt Kleinle was 6th.
Nazareth vs. Wilson by Bob Flounders of the Express-Times (excerpts):
There was a scary side to Nazareth's 59-6 victory over Wilson in Wednesday nights Colonial League matchup. Yes, It could've been worse.
The Blue Eagles (7-0, 1-0), the second ranked team in the Express-Times area, took 11 of 13 bouts from the eighth ranked Warriors (3-2, 0-1) in Wilson's gym, eight by fall. With apologies to ninth ranked Pen Argyl and 10th ranked Catasauqua, the only thing that'll keep Ray Nunamaker's team from its 13th consecutive Colonial Leage title is injuries.
A great deal of injuries.
How impressive was Nazareth?
The Eagles held leads in the two bouts they lost. In one of them, Wilson senior Brett Werkheiser, the reigning PIAA Class AA 140 pound champ, had to get off his back in the first period against Nazareth senior Adam Colombo, eventually rallying for a 10-7 win in a battle of unbeatens at 160.
"That Werkheiser-Colombo bout was great," Nunamaker said. "I wasn't sure it was going to come off because I might've moved Adam, depending on how the match was going. But everyone wanted to see it."
"Realistically, maybe we had a shot at four bouts going in," said Wilson coach Dave Crowell, who held out two of his starters - 125 pounder Joe Anthony (4-3) and junior Brian Knott (7-1) - for disciplinary reasons. "But the facts are facts - we got our heads handed to us."
From Mark Wogenrich of The Morning Call:
They came with gleams in their eyes and upset on their minds, all 1100 of them, waving their green and white pom poms and screaming, "Go, Green Knights!"
Nazareth has seen this before, plenty of times. Pen Argyl, though, hasn't and that's one of the reasons it lost 47-9 in a hotly anticipated Colonial League wrestling match at home last night.
Of course, Nazareth's supremely gifted group of wrestlers had something to do with the outcome as well.
"They're the big dog of the neighborhood," Pen Argyl assistant coach Pete Stoetzl said, "and we're the little dog trying to grow-up. This will help us grow up."
For the Green Knights, this was the match of the season. The crowd was one of the largest ever in the school's gymnasium, with people lining the walls and sitting on the floor.
And both fan bases were whipped into a frenzy by an electric opening match at 103 pounds which Nazareth's Scott Hacker won in Overtime.
Then the Blue Eagles won again. And again. And again. Pretty soon, the score was 20-0, as if Nazareth was informing Pen Argyl gently, but firmly, "Not this year."
But the match also showed the Green Knights (1-1 league, 9-1 overall) how far they have come in the past few seasons. And it showed them what they need to do in the future.
"We're constantly getting better," Pen Argyl head coach John Piper said. "Now what we need to do is get in more meets like this, against this caliber of team, so we know how to handle it."
Nazareth (3-0, 13-0) obviously already knows. The victory gave the Blue Eagles the pole position in their drive for a remarkable 13th consecutive league championship.
But, maybe more importantly, it served as a throrough tune-up for Saturday night's main event, Nazareth vs. Northampton at Liberty.
"People sitting around the mat, cheerring and fired up, that's the way high school wrestling should be,"Nazareth coach Ray Nunamaker said. "We knew coming in that Pen Argyl was a quality team, and now that we got this, we can concentrate on Saturday."
From Charlie Schmidt of the Express-Times:
Colonial League wrestling is a variation of the game King of the Hill. Nazareth stands atop the heap and each year the other teams take their shot at pushing the Blue Eagles off...but they can't.
The past few years the leading contender has been Catasauqua. This year it was Pen Argyl's turn. The resurgent Green Knights, undefeated entering last night's match, had reason to be optimistic of at least giving Nazareth a tussle. Pen Argyl was playing to a packed, screaming Slate Belt crowd, and the Blue Eagles might have been looking past them to their Saturday night match against nationally ranked Northampton.
There was only one problem. Nazareth coach Ray Nunamaker hasn't won the last ump-teen league titles, plus a national reputation, by being unprepared. The Blue Eagles (13-0, 3-0), ranked No. 2 in the Express-Times region, handed the upstart No. 8 Knights (8-1, 1-1), a 47-9 whupping, leaving no doubt who was the better team and giving Nazareth a clear run to the league title.
Nazareth vs. Northampton by Ted Meixell of the Morning Call:
Just about every one of the 3,600 plus wrestling addicts who wedged themselves into Liberty's Memorial Gym last night for their annual Nazareth-Northampton fix knew they'd be treated to at least one shocking upset.
They were, by unheralded Northampton 160 pounder Rich Kutzler, whose shocking pin of the Blue Eagles' Pete Eckhart was the single most telling blow in the Konkrete Kids (15-0) scintillating - and, at that point, improbable - 26-23 victory in Pennsylvania wrestling's Super Bowl.
Nazareth wins the Colonial League (13th consecutive).
Nazareth is runner-up in the District XI Individual Tournament (216-194, Easton is 3rd with 116) to Northampton (Don Rohn wins COTY) and runner-up in the Dual Meet Tournament. Dan Tashner has the most falls in the least amount of time (3 in 6:20).
- Dan Tashner wins his first Title in his 3rd finals appearance at 125 over Jon Laudenslager of Pocono Mountain 5-2
- Mark Getz wins the District title at 130 with a 9-2 win over Allen's Mike Roth
- Adam Colombo wins his District title at 145 by fall over Pete Schemm of Allen in 3:51
- Mark Madson wins his second District title at 189 over Kyle Tarboro of Liberty 10-5.
- Travis Doto falls to Jim Reimert of Allen at 140 5-4
- Scott Hacker is 3rd
- Sean Topping is 4th
- Ben Duelley is 4th
- Pete Eckhart is 5th
Nazareth is runner-up in the Northeast Regional Championship to Northampton (141-117, Easton is 3rd with 76).
Dan Tashner, Mark Getz, and Travis Doto win titles and Ben Duelley and Adam Colombo finish second.
Dan Tashner defeats eventual 4x PIAA State Champion Bob Crawford (who had defeated Nazareth's Ryan Nunamaker in OT in the previous year's State Finals) in OT, while Adam Colombo falls in overtime to eventual state champion Scott Kurtz of Shamokin.
First article on NE Regionals from the Times Leader
Class AAA NE Regional Pairings
From the Morning Call on Tashner defeating 3x State Champion Crawford
Dan Tashner upsets Bob Crawford of Milton 7-5 in overtime at Regionals, ending Crawford's 133 bout win streak. Said Tashner, "It feels great to beat a 3-time state champ, but I would feel even better if this had been in the state finals." After losing to Crawford in the state finals, Tashner said, "Now I beat a 4-time state champ."
Nazareth is the AAA PIAA State 4th place finisher, Northampton is 1st followed by Hampton and Canon-McMillan (68-48.5-43.5-43).
Also in the PIAA Championships:
- Northampton's Dennis Liberto is 6th at 103.
- Northampton's Mike Tomsic is a state champion with a 45 second fall in the finals. Ironically, a friend of mine and I ran into some fans from Lamotta's town of Connestoga before the finals and mentioned he had a pretty mean cement job. They laughed at us saying that midget move couldn't get Jason. Parkland's Matt Roth was 4th.
- Whitehall's Whitey Chlebove finished 2nd at 119 and Northampton's Frank Mazzocchi was 3rd.
- Jon Laudenslager of Pocono Mountain is 3rd at 125 making it a sweep for the Northeast Region with Crawford and Tashner, 1st and 2nd.
- At 130 Easton's Tory Burgio was 6th and Mark Getz 3rd.
- At 135 Northampton's Jason Bursic was 5th and Freedom's Matt Zebertavage was 6th.
- Northampton's Steve Gaugler finished 4th at 152 and Stroudsburg's Craig Loebsack was 5th.
- Dieruff's John Sallitt was state champion at 171.
- Lehighton's Steve Hawk finished 3rd place at 275.
Nazareth is the PIAA AAA 2nd Place Dual meet team behind Northampton.
Ranked 5th in the nation by USA Today
Graduating in 1993 for the Blue Eagles (with 40 or more career wins):
- Adam Colombo 65-18 with 29 pins
- Mark Madson 56-26-2 with 35 pins
- Eric Rice 52-22 with 14 pins
From the Yearbook:
The 1992-93 Blue Eagle Wrestling team finished with an outstanding record of 22 wins and only 2 losses. This year's team was ranked 2nd in the state for dual meet teams and finished 4th in the state tournament. Nazareth was ranked 5th in the nation by USA Today. Another highlight of the season was winning the Colonial League Championship for the 13th straight year.
Nazareth was led this year by captains Adam Colombo, Mark Madson, and Eric Rice. Dan Tashner was a state runner-up at 125 pounds. Dan was also a District Champion and beat Bob Crawford, a four time state champion, in the Regional finals. Mark Getz placed 3rd in the state tournament and was a District and Regional champ. Travis Doto was a Regional champion and qualified for the state tournament. Adam Colombo was a District champ and Regional runner-up, and qualified for the state tournament. Ben Duelley was a regional runner-up and qualified for states. Mark Madson was a district champion, Scott Hacker placed 3rd in districts, Sean Topping placed 4th in Districts, and Pete Eckhart placed 5th in districts. Other starters include Brian Tashner, Justin Hoff, Eric Rice, and Matt Kleinle.
Coach Ray Nunamaker summed this season up by saying, "Truly, a group of hard-working individuals. Their dedication has paved the way for even greater success in the future."
Coach Nunamaker and assistants Greg Shoemaker and Rusty Amato also coached the JV team to a 10-3 record (6-0 league). The JV team will be looked upon to carry on Nazareth's winning varsity tradition.
J. Angeline: 1-1
N. Calantoni: 2-0
A. Colombo: 34-4
E. Curtis: 1-0
N. Donello: 2-3
T. Doto: 29-7
B. Duelley: 32-8
P. Eckhart: 24-9
M. Getz: 31-3
S. Hacker: 24-11
J. Hoff: 18-6
M. Kleinle: 9-15
J. Lichner: 1-0
M. Madson: 26-8
M. Novak: 6-3
E. Rice: 23-10
B. Rizzotto: 2-1
B. Seals: 1-1
J. Smith: 4-2
B. Tashner: 22-3
D. Tashner 36-2
Se. Topping: 26-10
Sh. Topping: 1-0
Mark Madson graduates tied for 25th in all time career wins (56) and Eric Rice is 34th (52)
The 1992-93 team sets the record for most wins (22), most points scored in a match (78), and most points scored in a (13 weight) season 1,177.
Dan Tashner finishes his career tied for 3rd with most wins per season (36), Adam Colombo is tied for 11th (34), Ben Duelley is tied for 17th (32) and Mark Getz is tied for 21st (31).
Dan Tashner sets the record for dual meet team points per season (122), Adam Colombo is tied for 3rd (109), Mark Madson is tied for 7th (103), Ben Duelley is tied for 13th (93), and Travis Doto is tied for 16th (90).
Ben Duelley is 8th for takedowns per season (113).
Dan Tashner is tied for 3rd most pins per season (21) and Mark Madson is tied for 17th (17).
Mark Madson is 12th for career pins (35).
Dan Tashner sets the record for fastest fall at 130 (0:19).
Ray Nunamaker's program summary:
Starting with the first day of practice, I had a good feeling about this year's team. They were a bunch of great kids with outstanding work habits. Their dedication was amazing.
Nazareth was ranked 5th best scholastic wrestling team in the nation by USA Today. We were also ranked second in te state as a dual meet team and 4th in the State Tournament.
Nazareth finished in the top five in the State Tournament for the sixth straight year. This year we ha five state qualifiers. Dan Tashner was state runnerup to four-time champion Bob Crawford. Mark Getz was 3rd at 130 lbs. Ben Duelley, Travis Doto and Adam Colombo all wrestled well, but failed to place.
Nazareth finished he dual meet season 22-2. The only loss was to the number one team in the nation, Northampton. Nazareth won some impressive dual meets; Longwood, NY (#1 in NY), Canon McMillan (only loss was to Nazareth), Delaware Valley, NJ (#1 in NJ), Easton (4th in PA), and Phillipsburg, NJ (ranked in NJ).
Nazareth was second in the Northeast Regionals with five wrestlers in the finals. Dan Tashner, Mark Getz, and Travis Doto won championships. Dan pulled the upset of the year by defeating Bob Crawford (Milton) in overtime. Ben Duelley and Adam Colombo were runner-ups.
Dan Tashner, Mark Getz, Adam Colombo, and Mark Madson were District XI Champions. Travis Doto was a runner-up as Nazareth advanced eight wrestlers to the Regionals.
Nazareth won the Colonial League Championship for the thirteenth 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 had a 10-3 record and won the Tazmanian Invitational Tournament.
The Junior High Team, coached by Jody Werner and assisted by Kevin Brown and Chuck Madson had an outstanding year. They won the prestigious State College Duals and the Tasmanian Junior High Tournament.
The future of Nazareth wrestling continues to look promising. Our problem now becomes one of keeping the wrestlers not starting happy. It is an enviable problem to have, however, and we will do our best to see that everyone feels a part of the program.