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The 1996 - 97 Season

 

34th Season 21-2 (468-95-7 career record)

Team Captains Marc Aber, Jason Bucchi, Andy Cote, Darren Danner, Jarret Hoff, Chuck Kimble, Jamie Rice, Rob Rohn, and Chris Vitale

 

Watch "Ray Nunamaker's Inside the Nazareth Wrestling Room" featuring the 1996-97 team.

From the Program's Season Outlook:

The Nazareth Blue Eagles and their fans look forward to another great season of wrestling. Coach Nunamaker returns for his 34th season at the helm and shows no signs of "easing up".

Once more the Blue Eagles have a power laden schedule. They return to the Elite Duals to wrestle last year's number one team in the country...Blair Academy. Also on the same day, they wrestle one of Western Pennsylvania's best...Greensburg-Salem.

Of course, the match that everyone will be waiting to see will be December 21 when Easton comes to Nazareth. It would be advisable to get your tickets early!

Nazareth once more returns to the Christmas City for the holidays. The Blue Eagles have chosen to compete in one of the most powerful high school tournaments...the Hurricane Tournament at Liberty High School. Competing in this top flight tournament will be host Bethlehem Liberty, Blair Academy, Northampton, Parkland, Phillipsburg, NJ, Walsh Jesuit, OH and many other top-notch teams.

After the holidays, the Blue Eagles return to Hampton, Virginia to defend their National Invitational Championship. This will feature many of the top dual meet teams in the country. In late January, the Blue Eagles take on one of the top teams in New Jersey,...Phillipsburg. Add in traditional powers Liberty, Northampton, Parkland and Shikellamy and you can see why the excitement is building.

The argument could be made that the 1996-97 season featured the deepest talent in District XI history, particularly considering the success these wrestlers had both in HS and college.

After the semi-finals and consolation semi-finals at the AAA PIAA state tournament Nazareth led Easton 77 to 74.5. Bald Eagle Area was the only team in the top 5 not from District XI as Parkland was 4th with 48.5 and Northampton 5th with 45.

The team finished #4 in the country with a 21-2 record, having lost by 1 point to Northampton in the dual meet and 26-15 to Blair, who finished #1 in the country - it was the lowest scoring dual meet of the season for Nazareth.

During the season, Nazareth defeated Easton, then ranked #1 in the nation and PA. They went on to defeat the top teams in Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey in dual meet competition.

Nazareth avenged the one point Northampton loss by winning 50-13 in the District Duals semi-finals.

In the District Duals final Nazareth defeats Easton again, this time 33-20 (compared to 31-28 regular season result).

With no dual meet state tournament, Nazareth is rated the top dual meet team by the PA Wrestling Rankings.

See below for a state tournament recap for the District.

Dual Meet Results:

  • Nazareth 65; Bangor 0
  • Nazareth 26; Liberty 26 (Nazareth wins on criteria)
  • Nazareth 54; Greensburg-Salem 10
  • Nazareth 15; Blair Academy 26 (Top 25 in the nation, #1 final ranking)
  • Nazareth 63; Freedom 12
  • Nazareth 69; Lehighton 0
  • Nazareth 31; Easton 28 (Top 25 in the nation, #1 at the time, 5th final rankings)
  • Nazareth 40; Shikellamy 15
  • Nazareth 64; First Colonial, VA 5
  • Nazareth 47; DeMatha, MD 13 (#1 team in MD)
  • Nazareth 34; Liberty 18
  • Nazareth 42; St. Mark's, DE 14 (Top 25 in the nation, #12 final ranking and #1 team in Delaware)
  • Nazareth 69; Stroudsburg 0
  • Nazareth 22; Northampton 23
  • Nazareth 62; Pleasant Valley 9
  • Nazareth 47; Wilson 10 (District XI AA Duals champion)
  • Nazareth 39; Phillipsburg 13 (#1 team in New Jersey)
  • Nazareth 51; Pocono Mountain 12
  • Nazareth 40; Parkland 9
  • Nazareth 69; East Stroudsburg 0
  • Nazareth 78; Bethlehem Catholic 0
  • Nazareth 50; Northampton 13 (District Duals semi-finals)
  • Nazareth 33; Easton 20 (District Duals finals)

Bangor at Nazareth

Nazareth opens the season with a 65-0 shut out of the Bangor Slaters. Bangor forfeits four matches and Nazareth has five pins in the match.

Nazareth at Liberty

The match ends 26-26. Nazareth wins on criteria.

6-0  Liberty's Mario Stuart wins by fall over Jeremy Messinger

10-0 Liberty's Mark Warner wins by major over Darren Danner

14-0 Liberty's Brad Washburn wins by major over Mason Messinger

20-0 Liberty's Darren Cerrato wins by fall over Mike Noll

20-3 Chuck Kimble puts Nazareth on the board with a decision over Derek Cox.

23-3 Liberty's Phil Reutlinger wins by decision over Chris Vitale 3-2

23-7 Steve Rohn wins by major over Matt Dudeck

23-11 Andy Cote wins by major over Jake Retos

23-14 Jason Bucchi wins by decision over Brandon Mihalko

23-17 Marc Aber wins by decision over Mike Garganta

23-? Jarrett Hoff wins, but the box score was cut off (can't believe dad did that).

       Rob Rohn

       Steve Itterly

During the season Liberty lost to Parkland 26-23, Northampton 25-19, Easton 40-14.

The Elite Tournament at Liberty

Nazareth vs. Greensburg Salem

Nazareth wins 54-10. Darren Danner lost by major to Greg Jones who finished 3rd in states at 103. Pete Topping fell by decision to state qualifier Bill Selembo, who would have his tournament ended with a 12-10 loss to Northampton's Tommy Rohn. Chuck Kimble loses by decision 5-2 to state qualifier Bill Smith, who finishes 6th at 125.

Nazareth vs. Blair Academy

Nazareth loses 26-15 to Blair. The combined 41 team points are the lowest total in any Nazareth dual meet all season. Nazareth vs. Northampton I had 45 and Nazareth vs. Parkland was lopsided but only 49 points were scored.

Jeremy Messinger lost by decision to Michael Carbonara who finished 5th in the National Prep tournament that year. Butch Miechur lost by major to George Cintron, Prep Nationals 2nd. Mason Messinger lost 4-2 to Jody Givricich. Chuck Kimble lost to John Giacchi, National Prep champion. Pete Topping lost 5-2 to Brad Denker, National Prep champion. Chris Vitale lost to Marat Tomaev, 4-3, National Prep champion. Sean Gray won by major over Steve Rohn, Gray won 1st at National preps. 

Andy Cote defeated Jimmy Hawthorne, a national prep champ, 5-2. Marc Aber defeated Jason Landis5-3 in OT who went on to finish 2nd at nationals. Rob Rohn defeated Matt Kenny10-6, who won the national preps.

During the season, Blair would defeat Easton 39-18, St. Edwards (OH) 50-15, Phillipsburg 51-9, Walsh Jesuit (OH) 32-30, Parkland 36-15, St. Marks (DE) 42-13), and Manheim Central 44-18.

From Tim Shoemaker of the Express-Times

What a difference three days made for the Nazareth wrestling team.

On Wednesday, the Blue Eagles won a dual match, but weren't happy with their performance.

On Saturday, Nazareth lost a match, but was happy.

The Eagles (3-1) nearly rallied from a 23-0 deficit, but lost a tough one to Blair Academy, 26-15 in the fifth annual Valley Youth House Elite Duals in Liberty's Memorial Gymnasium.

"I don't put everything on winning," Nazareth coach Ray Nunamaker said. "I thought we wrestled as well tonight as I've seen anyone wrestle Blair."

Nazareth beat Greensburg-Salem 54-10 in the afternoon session, which also saw Blair beat Northampton 41-16 and Liberty knock off District 9 Class AA power Brookville 27-23.

In the two other evening session matches, Easton ripped District 7's Greensburg-Salem 48-13 and Northampton edged Brookville 24-21.

Blair (3-0) which has won 66 straight duals over the last four years, won the first seven bouts against Nazareth to lead 23-0. But the competition was a lot closer.

Five of the bouts were decided by five points or less. Four were only three or fewer points apart.

"I don't know if we kicked butt," Blair coach Jeff Buxton said. "That was a great match right there. A lot of one point matches, a lot of matches going into overtime. Our kids wrestled hard. Their kids wrestled hard. It was a great match."

Only a team with the upper weight strength of Nazareth could not win a bout until 145 and still be in it.

Easton at Nazareth

  • 3-0   103:  Darren Danner 4-2 Andy Ciasulli (E)
  • 3-4   112: Willie Saylor (E) MD Brad Miechur
  • 3-10   119: Chris Kelly (E) Fall Mason Messinger
  • 3-13 125: Tom Ferraro (E) 6-2 Chuck Kimble
  • 6-13  130: Chris Vitale 4-2 Gary Rute (E)
  • 6-18  135: Bryan Snyder (E)  TF Pete Topping
  • 6-24  140: Jamarr Billman (E) Fall Steve Rohn
  • 10-24 145: Andy Cote MD Nick Morris (E)
  • 16-24 152: Jason Bucchi Fall Sean Bennett (E)
  • 16-28 160: Nick Rosado (E) MD Marc Aber
  • 19-28 171: Jarret Hoff 5-2 Chris Jones (E)
  • 25-28 189: Jamie Rice Fall Chris Carty (E)
  • 31-28 HWT: Rob Rohn Fall John Piergallini (E)

Listen to the radio broadcast by Doug Heater and Ross Nunamaker.

Read the article by Gary Blockus in the Morning Call.

During the season Easton defeats Greensburg-Salem 48-13, St. Edwards (OH) 33-25, Northampton 49-9, Parkland 31-18 and Phillipsburg (NJ) 37-30. The only losses are to Nazareth and Blair (39-18).

From Tim Shoemaker of the Express-Times:

Just as the Nazareth wrestlers were finishing their warmups Saturday night before their independent wrestling match against Easton, the school's fire alarm went off.

It was a false alarm.

What followed, however, was no drill.

Nazareth's 31-28 win over the Red Rovers was real.

Jamie Rice contemplated not even coming out for wrestling this year, but Blue Eagles fans are glad he did.

Rice, inserted into the Nazareth lineup at 189 when coach Ray Nunamaker made a switch, pinned sophomore Chris Carty in the second period in what turned out to be the night's most important bout.

All Rice had to do was win, but he caught Carty in a power half and turned him over 26 seconds into the second period.

It was the first bout of the year for both Rice and Carty. Rice went 2-4 on the varsity last year. It was Carty's first varsity bout.

"Jamie almost didn't come out this year because with Hoff, Rohn, Itterly and Kleinle there," Nunamaker said. "Only in this community would a kid, who didn't foresee a lot of action, come out to help the team. That's the type of people and tradition we have here. He'll remember this for the rest of his life, I'm sure."

 

The Hurricane Classic

Blair Academy wins the classic with 256.5 points over Nazareth 182.5, Walsh Jesuit, OH 161, Parkland 154.5, Liberty 131, Northampton 128, Phillipsburg 92.

  • 130 Chris Vitale defeats Jeremy Huddle 4-0 for the title.
  • 140 Steve Rohn defeats Marat Tomaev 13-11 for the title.
  • 145 Andy Cote defeats Jay Kotsko 10-8 for the title.
  • 189 Rob Rohn defeats Jon Trenge 13-6 for the title.
  • Steve Rohn wins the Outstanding Wrestler Award.
  • 152 Jason Bucchi finished 4th
  • 103 Jeremy Messinger finished 6th
  • 160 Marc Aber finished 5th
  • 171 Jarret Hoff finished 5th
  • 112 Darren Danner finished 8th
  • 119 Mason Messinger finished 7th
  • 135 Pete Topping finished 8th

From Tim Shoemaker of the Express-Times:

It was an unseasonably warm December day, with temperatures reaching the mid 40s on the last Saturday of 1996.

But in the third annual Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic, the Cold War was alive and well, if only for a few moments.

Blair Academy won the war, but Nazareth won the battles - including a memorable bout that perked up the crowd of 1,500 inside Liberty High School's Memorial Gymnasium.

Blair, ranked No. 1 locally and No. 3 nationally, easily won its second straight team title behind championships from George Cintron, John Giacche and Sean Gray.

But second-place Nazareth won more individual trophies. Chris Vitale, Steve Rohn, Andy Cote, and Rob Rohn each won championships in the 20 team field, one of the toughest in the country this year.

Walsh Jesuit of Cuyahoga Falls, OH despite missing two of its best wrestlers, finished in third. Parkland, Liberty, Northampton, and Phillipsburg rounded out the top seven.

Vitale's, Cote's and Rob Rohn's titles weren't surprising, but Steve Rohn's was.

His entertaining 13-11 win over Blair's Marat Tomaev , in which each wrestler was on his back, a penalty point was assessed against Tomaev and the wrong wrestler's hand was raised. That brought the lightest moment of the night.

Rohn was awarded the Frank Gutierrez Award as the tournament's outstanding wrestler by beating Tomaev, a Russian emigrant and freestyle whiz who is still getting accustomed to folkstyle.

From Gary Blockus of the Morning Call (excerpts):

Nazareth and Liberty went all the way down to Hampton, VA, to wrestle again while Southern Lehigh and Palisades merely traveled to Whitehall last weekend.

When all was done, Nazareth had its revenge and smoked the field at the Virginia Duals.

"It was very good for us," Nazareth coach Ray Nunamaker said of his team's trek to the Virginia coastline, where the Blue Eagles simply ravaged a field of nationally ranked teams. "I think winning the tournament with five nationally ranked teams and doing it handidly was very satisfying for us."

Five weeks ago, Liberty made a big noise by tying Nazareth 26-26, but losing on criteria seven matches to six. Nazareth didn't leave anything to chance this time en route to chalking up a 34-18 victory despite Liberty picking up wins at the 215 weight class and heavyweight.

The Manheim Tournament

Nazareth does not participate.

Easton 217, Bald Eagle Area 212.5, Manheim Central 142, Shikellamy 124, Downingtown 112, Greensburg-Salem 106.

The Reno Tournament

Nazareth does not participate.

Blair Academy (NJ) 211.5, Choctaw (OK) 191.5, Walsh Jesuit 159, Easton 155.5, Idaho Falls (ID) 118.5

The Ironman Tournament

Nazareth does not participate.

St. Edward (OH) 212.5, Blair Academy (NJ) 185.5, Easton 179, Walsh Jesuit (OH) 150.5, Calvary Chapel (CA) 145.5, Brookville 91, Parkersburg (WV) 74.5.

The Mid-Atlantic Classic

Nazareth does not participate.

Blair Academy (NJ) 294.5, St. Marks (DE) 190, Northampton 181, Neshaminy 158, Timberlane (NH) 130.5.

Nazareth 22 - Northampton 23

For the first time in 18 years, Nazareth does not win the league title as Northampton upsets the Blue Eagles at Liberty's Memorial Gymnasium.

  • 103 Darren Danner pinned by Adam Lutri
  • 112 Mason Messinger 2-5 dec. Tom Pasquariello
  • 119 Brad Meichur 9-16 dec. Tommy Rohn
  • 125 Chuck Kimble 4-7 dec. Josh Schmalzer
  • 130 Chris Vitale 9-3 dec. Stan Kish
  • 135 Steve Rohn 3-1 dec. Justin Haupt
  • 140 Andy Faust 5-10 dec. Mike Sommer
  • 145 Andy Cote 14-3 dec. Todd DeLucia
  • 152 Jason Bucchi 7-3 dec. Jason Swankoski
  • 160 Marc Aber 9-3 dec. Joe Pioli
  • 171 Jamie Rice 1-16 technical fall Christian Luciano
  • 189 Jarret Hoff 3-1 dec. John Bauer
  • HWT Rob Rohn 6-4 dec. John Hard

Northampton had dual meet wins over Liberty 25-19, Brookville 24-21, Phillipsburg 22-19, Dallastown 31-15, Manheim Central 33-27, and Shikellamy 50-12. They also had losses to Blair 41-16, Easton 49-9, and Parkland 26-17.

From Ted Meixell of the Morning Call:

For the first time in four seasons last night, Northampton had an equal number of Rohns on its bench as Nazareth had on its - that was certainly a factor in the Konkrete Kids' stunning 23-22 victory over the Blue Eagles before a large crowd at Liberty's Memorial Gym.

But when the duest cleared, what enabled Northampton (10-1 overall, 4-0 Mountain Valley Conference) to pull off a win that head coach Don Rohn described as, "the best - bar none!" was that its lineup contained one more Lutri than did Nazareth's.

The drama built all night long, and the outcome wasn't decided until the Blue Eagles' unbeated 1996 state runnerup, Rob Rohn (18-0), who moved up from 189 to 275, had to 'settle' for a 6-4 regular decision over the Kids' tough John Hard (18-2) a state qualifier himself.

Had Rohn been able to build a major decision to tie the mtach at 23, Nazareth would have been declared the victor based on having won more bouts (seven) than Northampton (six).

So it was only at that point that everyone realized the K-Kids' true hero was probably 103 pounder Adam Lutri - who provided the decisive bonus points by pinning the Eagles' Darren Danner in 1:18 with a Flying Cement Job. 

"Absolutely," Don Rohn said. "His bonus points ended up making us the winner. I was worried about Nazareth getting bonus points and wondered where we'd get any. But when you think about it, Lutri was the most likely; he's the best pinner on the team. This win tops them all, simply because we were definite underdogs. We've had big wins in the past, a couple that even resulted in national championships (1993 and 1994). But those weren't unexpected. This one was."

Nazareth vs. Wilson

From Ted Meixell of the Morning Call:

The good big guy beat the good little guy again last night.

Host Nazareth (14-2), which firmly believes it can use the upcoming (Feb. 8) District 11 Duals to again become the area's No. 1 "big" (Class AAA) team, warmed up for tomorrow's clash with another big guy (Phillipsburg) with an easy 47-10 victory over Wilson (10-2) which is, at this point, the Lehigh Valley's undisputed No. 1 "little (Class AA) team.

Nazareth vs. Phillipsburg

From Brett Hess of the Express-Times:

Nazareth's Andy Cote didn't have anything special planned for his 100th career victory Saturday night.

But his teammates did.

Cote, dropping down to 140 for the rest of the season, earned a technical fall against Phillipsburg's Aaron Piazza, breaking a 10-10 tie between the Eagles and Stateliners.

Then his teammates celebrated: by winning the next five bouts in rolling to a 39-13 victory in Liberty High School's Memorial Gym.

Nazareth, ranked No. 3 by the Express-Times and No. 9 in the country, improves to 15-2; Phillipsburg, No. 7 in the E-T region, falls to 7-4.

Nazareth vs. Parkland

Parkland, after upsetting Northampton (ranked #13 in USA Today), falls to Nazareth 40-9. In the match, Darren Danner defeats Troy Minarovic who is top ranked in the area, 3-1 and Jarret Hoff defeates Jon Trenge 6-5.

Parkland has dual meet wins over Northampton 26-17, Liberty 26-23 and Methacton 33-22 and losses to Blair Academy (NJ) 36-15, Dallastown 28-28 criteria, Shamokin 27-26, Walsh Jesuit (OH) 37-15, Manheim Central 28-21, and Easton 31-18.

District XI Team Championship at Liberty

Nazareth defeats Northampton 50-13 avenging the one point loss in January in the semi-finals and in the finals Nazareth defeats Easton again, this time 33-20.

Read the article by Gary Blockus of The Morning Call.

From Prep Wrestling Coast-to-Coast:

When Nazareth and Northampton last met in January, Northampton's lineup switches enabled them to pull off a 23-22 upset.

On Saturday in perhaps the toughest District 11 Duals in recent history, Nazareth made some lineup changes that paid off in its second consecutive District 11 Duals title, as the Blue Eagles avenged that January loss to Northampton and beat Easton for the second time this season.

Whereas Nazareth had beat Easton by just three points, 31-28 in December, this time the Blue Eagles won going away, by a 33-20 score.

The key lineup switches for Nazareth were moving standouts Chris Vitale from 130 to 125 and Andy Cote from 140 to 135. Both came up with key victories against Easton. Vitale, fifth in Class AAA last season, knocked off Tom Ferraro 4-0, and in the match of the day, Cote, the returning Class AAA state runner-up who started the season at 145, outlasted Easton's Bryan Snyder 4-2 in a battle of unbeatens.

With no dual meet state tournament, Nazareth is rated the top dual meet team by the PA Wrestling Rankings.

Nazareth is rated 4th in the country with Blair Academy at number one.

District XI Individual Championship at Liberty

Nazareth sets a new DIstrict XI tournament record for points scored with 264.5 and claimed the championship prior to the start of the finals. Easton was second with 210.5, Parkland had 163, Liberty 161.5 and Northampton 151.5. Nazareth advanced 11 to the regionals, Easton 9, Liberty 7, Parkland 6, and Northampton 4.

125: Chris Vitale wins 9-5 over Dieruff's Kohlby O'Donnell.

130: Andy Cote defeats Easton's Gary Rute 6-4

135: Bryan Snyder (E) defeats Steve Rohn 14-5

152: Derek Jenkins (P) defeats Marc Aber 9-4

160: Jarret Hoff defeats Jeff Siglin 11-4 (Lehighton)

189: Rob Rohn pins Nate Warke (Central).

287: Jon Hard defeats Steve Itterly 3-1 OT

Consolations Finals:

112: Paul Turk (WH) defeats Mason Messinger 2-0

119: Chuck Kimble defeats Sean Jenkins (P) 7-5

140: Andy Faust defeats Jens Hensen (PV) 10-1

145: Jason Bucchi defeats Mark Steckel (EM) 10-4

Darren Danner and Jamie Rice both place in 5th.

Northeast Regional Championships

Nazareth scores 132 points and advances 7 to states finishing as runner-up in the Northeast Regional Championship. Easton is first with 6 qualifiers and 136 points. Parkland is 3rd, Northampton 4th, and Shamokin 5th.

125: Chris Vitale wins by injury default over Jeremy Huddle (P)

130: Gary Rute (E) defeats Andy Cote 9-5

145: Jason Bucchi defeats Jay Kotsko (Hazelton) 7-6

160: Jarret Hoff pins Jeff Siglin (Lehighton)

189: Rob Rohn defeats Todd Hockenbrock (Shamokin) 6-2

Consolation finals:

135: Steve Rohn defeats Matt Fulmer (PM) 6-4

140: Andy Faust defeats Shane Paulhamus (Jersey Shore) 3-1

152: Walter Spotts (Jersey Shore) defeats Marc Aber 2-0

 

PIAA State Championships

Nazareth is the AAA PIAA State Runner-Up scoring 87 points to Easton's 88.5. In an unprecedented situation, Jarret Hoff wins by fall in overtime in the consolation finals and later the result was rescinded to be a regular decision costing Nazareth 2 team points that cost Ray Nunamaker a tournament championship.

District XI puts 8 wrestlers in the finals, crowns 5 champions, and the NE Region has 7 champions.

125: Kevin Mauer (Reading) defeats Chris Vitale 4-2

130: Andy Cote defeats Hunter Guenot (Bald Eagle Area) 7-2

189: Rob Rohn defeats Coy Wire (Cedar Cliff) 9-4 (Wire hadn't been taken down all season, went to Stanford on a football scholarship, and played in the NFL for over 10 seasons)

Consolation Finals:

160: Jarret Hoff wins by fall over Denis Alampiyev of Waynseboro in overtime, later the decision was over-turned and Hoff won 5-3 in OT, leaving Nazareth 1.5 points behind Easton.

Voted the #1 AAA Dual Meet team in PA by PA Wrestling.

Voted #1 fans by PA Wrestling News.

Ranked 4th in the nation by USA Today.

Surprisingly, given the outstanding group of graduating seniors, there was no representative from Nazareth in the Dapper Dan Classic, though one Cael Sanderson of Heber City, UT won by fall in 4:55 at 171.

Graduating in 1997 for the Blue Eagles (with 40 or more career wins):

  • Andy Cote 116-32 with 41 pins
  • Chris Vitale 112-32 with 30 pins
  • Rob Rohn 107-13 with 51 pins
  • Jarret Hoff 83-22 with 21 pins
  • Marc Aber 68-32 with 31 pins
  • Jason Bucchi 52-21 with 12 pins

Individual Results:

  • M. Aber 31-6
  • J. Bucchi 29-7
  • A. Cote 37-1
  • D. Danner 21-11
  • N. Deutsch 1-0
  • A. Faust 14-7
  • Ja. Hoff 36-4
  • N. Ilich 2-0
  • S. Itterly 20-10
  • C. Kimble 18-14
  • JP Kleinle 2-2
  • J. Messinger 13-6
  • M. Messinger 15-19
  • B. Miechur 2-9
  • M. Noll 3-5
  • J. Rice 7-3
  • R. Rohn 38-0
  • S. Rohn 29-6
  • P. Topping 11-10
  • C. Vitale 35-3

Andy Cote graduates with the 5th most career wins in school history (116), Chris Vitale is 8th (112), Rob Rohn is 10th (107), Jarret Hoff is 18th (83), Marc Aber is tied for 27th (68), and Jason Bucchi is tied for 47th (52).

Rob Rohn is 2nd in career history for wins in a season (38), Andy Cote is tied for 3rd (37), Jarret Hoff is tied for 5th (36), Chris Vitale is tied for 13th (35), and Marc Aber is tied for 35th (31).

Rob Rohn is 6th for career pins (51) and Andy Cote is 12th (41).

Rob Rohn is 6th for career pins and technical falls (57) and Andy Cote is 13th (47).

Rob Rohn is 4th for career takedowns (358) and Andy Cote is 6th (282).

Andy Cote is 10th all time for takedowns in a season (119), Rob Rohn is 13th (104), Jason Bucchi is 23rd (86) and Jarret Hoff is tied for 24th (85).

Rob Rohn sets the school record for pins in a season (26) and Marc Aber ties for 21st (17).

Rob Rohn sets the school record for team points in a season (128), Andy Cote is 5th (113), Marc Aber is tied for 9th (108), and Steve Rohn is tied for 22nd (24).

The team ties the record for most points scored in a match (78).

Marc Aber set the record for fastest fall at 160 pounds (0:16).

Coach Nunamaker Retires after 34 seasons with a 468-95-7, 2nd winningest wrestling coach in PIAA history (Bob Craig, who coached 40 years has 502 wins) and never had a losing season.

Nazareth is one of 15 schools with 500 or more wins in school history (511-191-9). Four District XI teams are in the top 16: Liberty (616), Easton (585), Nazareth (511), and Northampton (496). 

Nazareth has the sixth most consecutive years with a without a losing season, Easton is seventh. Only Cedar Cliff (36), Reynolds (35), Nazareth, Easton, Seneca Valley, Wilkes-Barre Meyers, Liberty, Shikellamy, Connellsville, West Greene, Wilkes-Barre Coughlin, and Stroudsburg have streaks of 20 or more seasons without a losing season.

Rob Rohn wins the NCAA National Title at Lehigh:

From the Yearbook:

Fourth in the nation.

Nazareth wrestling ended a ten year run on a highly respectable note. Head coach Ray Nunamaker has produced nine state champions in the last decade, more than any other team.

The 1996-97 team competed among the elite once again this year. The strong balance along with outstanding individuals made for a dominant season. With only two losses from Blair Academy (Nationally Ranked #1) and cross town rival Northampton, they used them as an incentive to accomplish their individual and team goals. With help from assistant coaches Rex Lutz, Adam Colombo, and Jason Magditch the team finished with a 21-2 record.

Nazareth found themselves at the top of the ladder when it came to tournament time. By placing 2nd in the Bethlehem Holiday Tournament, 1st in the Virginia Duals, 1st in the District Team Duals, 1st in the District XI Tournament, 2nd in the Northeast regional tournament, and 2nd in the PIAA State Tournament. Also the JV won the District XI Tournament with a superb performance.

There were seven of Nunamaker's Blue Eagles flying out at the PIAA State Tournament. They included Senior State Champions Andy Cote (130) and Rob Rohn (189); Senior Runner-Up Chris Vitale (125); Senior Third Place finisher Jarret Hoff. Joining them were Senior Jason Bucchi (145) and Juniors Steve Rohn (135) and Andy Faust (140); all state qualifiers.

Once again the Blue Eagles have been highly recognized for their impressive talents on the mat. They finished the season nationally ranked 4th.

1996-97 PIAA Individual State Tournament:

103: 2nd and 5th place

Parkland's Troy Minarovic defeats Emmaus' Brad Dillon 6-4 in the semi-finals, but falls to defending state champion Mike Khan of Harrisburg 4-4 OT rideout. Easton's Willie Saylor falls in the quarterfinals. Dillon comes back for 5th. In a crazy exchange of matches 35-0 Scott Moore defeats 29-1 Greg Jones in the o, pening round. Moore falls to Dillon. Jones defeats Dillon in the consolation semi-finals and finishes 3rd. Moore loses to Anderson who ousted Saylor and Dillon pins Moore for 5th.

112: 1st place

Easton's Chris Kelly dominates the weight class with 9-0, fall, 11-1 and 6-1 victories enroute to his title.

119: no placewinner

District XI doesn't have a placewinner, but Anthony Rivera of Shikellamy from the Northeast Regional is state champion.

125: 2nd place

Nazareth's Chris Vitale advances to the finals, but falls 4-2 to Kevin Maier of Reading.

130: 1st place

Nazareth's Andy Cote wins 9-4, 10-4, 11-4 and 7-2 over Hunter Guenot of Bald Eagle Area to claim his State Championship.

135: 1st place

Easton's Bryan Snyder wins by fall, 4-3, 2-1, and 7-4 over Jeff Rusak of Muhlenberg.

140: 1st and 4th place

Easton's Jamarr Billman wins with two falls, 15-5 and a fall in 0:23 in the finals.  Northampton's Mike Sommer finishes 4th after losing in the opening round. He records a fall, two OT wins, and a decision before falling in the consolation finals 10-0 to Chamie Hooks of Kittanning who entered the tournament 32-0.

145: no placewinner

152: 3rd 

Parkland's Derek Jenkins loses 4-1 in the semi-finals and wrestles back to win 4-3 in the consolation finals over John Cogan who had rallied from an opening round loss.

160: 3rd

Nazareth's Jarret Hoff lost 3-1 in the semi-finals and advanced to the consolation finals where in overtime he pinned Denis Alampiyev who also lost in the semi-finals. After the match was over and the wrestlers left the mat, coach Nunamaker was informed by tournament officials that the pin was rescinded and it was a 5-3 overtime win. The loss of points cost Nazareth what would have been coach Nunamaker's first and only state title.

171: 2nd

Northampton's Christian Luciano advanced to the finals, and fell 8-6 to Manheim Central's Joe Dougherty who entered the tournament 38-0. Parkland's Jon Trenge loses 5-1 in OT in the semi-finals. Trenge comes back for 3rd while Shamokin's Josh Wetzel who was NE Regional 3rd finishes 5th.

189: 1st

Nazareth's Rob Rohn defeats Coy Wire, who had not yielded a takedown all season (Wire went to Stanford on a football scholarship and played in the NFL from 2002-2010 for the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons). Rohn wins 9-4 in the finals. Rohn has a fall, 11-3 and 11-5 wins to advance to the finals. NE Region 2 Todd Hockenbrock of Shamokin finishes 3rd.

275: 4th

Northampton's John Hard loses his consolation finals bout in overtime 1-1, rideout.