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The Rivalry: 1993-94

Nazareth opens the season ranked No. 2 in USA Today's super 25 and Northampton is the defending national champion. At the time of the match, both are undefeated and ranked top 4 nationally, as well as 1 and 2 in the state.

Northampton wins the Christmas City Tournament over Nazareth 267.5 - 212.

The dual meet match is postponed due to snow four times and is ultimately contested on Valentine's Day at Lehigh's Stabler Arena.

The match is the first live TV broadcast of a wrestling match in the region exclusively by Service Electric. Both Service Electric and Twin County (today, RCN) have the match on tape-delay. WEST radio is also on hand.

From Tim Shoemaker of the Express-Times:

Someday, some way - some where - the Nazareth and Northampton high school wrestling teams are going to find their way to the same mat, even if it means not competing in the District 11 class AAA Duals.

The Nazareth-Northampton match, between the top two teams in the region, the state, and quite possibly the country, was postponed for the third and fourth times on Saturday.

Nazareth (15-0) is the No. 1 team in the Express-Times rankdings and Northampton (18-0) is No. 2. In the Keystone rankings (statewide), the order is reversed.

They're both in the top four in the national polls. Northampton was named national champion by USA Today last year. 

Officials of the two schools are negotiating for four potential sites - Lehigh University's Stabler Center, Kirby Fieldhouse at Lafayette College, Muhlenberg College's Life Sports Center and Memorial Gymnasium at Liberty High School - hoping to hold the event Monday night.

If all four of those sites fall through, the possibility exists that Nazareth and Northampton will skip the District 11 Class AAA duals on Saturday, Feb. 19, just to get it in s a last resort. The match is an advance sellout.

From Tex Meixell of the Morning Call:

Just about the time it seemed that the Lehigh Valley scholastic sports teams had clawed their way out of the drifts created by a couple of January snows, the schedule was clobbered again yesterday.

The entire card was wiped out by the snow, sleet and freezing rain combination that struck the area; and with the nasty weather continuing into the night, there was a good chance that today's schedule would be jeopardized, too.

But, according to Northampton High School athletic director, Mike Schneider, the wrestling match of the season in the area - and perhaps one of the best of the year nationally, too - will not be postponed again tonight, even if the schools involved are off today.

All the tickets are sold for the Northampton-Nazareth showdown. The schools had long since arranged to run buses from the high schools to Liberty's Memorial Gym, since parking in the area surrounding Bethlehem high school was next to impossible even before yesterday.

As of this writing, the best way to see the match might be to find someone who subscribes to Service Electric Cable TV, which has exclusive right to carry the event live at 8 o'clock on its dial 2. It will be retelecast at 9:30 tonight and tomorrow night by Service Electric, will also be tape-delayed on Twin County Cable and will be broadcast live by WEST radio.

From Tim Shoemaker of the Express-Times:

The area of the Lehigh Valley from Nazareth to Northampton has long been called the Cement Belt, named after the dominant industry.

Now, it could be called the Cement Belt for some other reasons.

Cement jobs. Flying cement jobs. Konkrete specials.

Whichever is your pinning combination of choice, it likely will be on display tonight in Liberty High School's Memorial Gym.

Nazareth-Northampton, the one everyone's been waiting for, is finally upon us. The wrestling match that has local, statewide and national impact starts at 7:45 p.m.

If you don't have a ticket by now, forget it. The match was sold out on January 15, a week before the originally scheduled date of January 22.

"We're going to have to get seven (wins)," Northampton coach Don Rohn says. "Bonus points are going to be hard to come by."

Nazareth is ranked No. 1 in the Express-Times rankings. Northampton is No. 2.

In the Keystone Class AAA poll, Northampton is No. 1 and Nazareth is No. 2.

In the rankings that Rob Sherrill of Center Mat Magazine does for USA Today, Northampton is No. 2 and Nazareth is No. 4.

Nazareth has three undefeated wrestlers - Sean Topping (17-0), Dan Tashner (17-0), and Travis Doto (18-0). Northampton has two - Whitey Chlebove (21-0) and Ryan Gumlock (22-0).

The winner can make a legitimate case for being the best team in the country. The current No. 1, Walsh Jesuit of Stow, Ohio, beat Canon-McMillan 24-22.

Northampton beat Canon-McMillan 45-16.

Pre-Match Capsule from the Express-Times:
 
Local Rankings: Nazareth No. 1, Northampton No. 2
State Rankings: Northampton No. 1, Nazareth No. 2
National Rankings: Northampton No. 2, Nazareth No. 4 (Center Mat Magazine/USA Today); Nazareth No. 2, Northampton No. 7 (Amateur Wrestling News)
Records: Nazareth 14-0; Northampton 18-0
Last year: Northampton won twice. The Konkrete Kids beat the Blue Eagles 26-23 in the regular season dual meet, then won 32-19 in the District XI Class AAA duals.
FYI: Northampton, last year's national champion in USA Today, has won 42 consecutive dual meets. Nazareth's only losses in the last two seasons are to Northampton. Nazareth is the last team to beat Northampton (32-20 in 1992 District XI Class AAA duals)...This won't be an independent match next year. Nazareth and Northampton are charter members - and the southern most teams - of the Mountain Valley Conference, which begins operation in September...Northampton has steamrolled all over the major obstacles and will win the East Penn Conference. Nazareth has one hurdle left in the Colonial League - Pen Argyl on February 16.
From Tim Shoemaker of the Express-Times:
Everyone waited more than three weeks, through about 40 inches of snow and through four postponements for Monday night's Nazareth-Northampton wrestling match.
 
Northampton junior Ryan Gumlock had been waiting much longer. For Gumlock, the wait for his rematch with Nazareth's Travis Doto was almost a year.
 
For everyone wearing Northampton's orange and black, however, everything was worth the wait. Northampton (19-0) the No. 2 team in the Express-Times rankings, knocked off No. 1 Nazareth 22-18 at Lehigh University's Stabler Center.
 
"All 13 of our wrestlers did a great job," Northampton coach Don Rohn said. "We didn't give up one bonus point. We wrestled our hearts out."
 
Northampton continues to roll along. The Kids were first in USA Today's national randings last year, graduated eight starters, and are looking just as good this year. The Kids are definitely all right. They've won 43 consecutive dual meets.
 
No. 1 Nazareth (15-1) wrestled their hearts out, too. The Blue Eagles won everything they had to win.
 
Almost.
 
"I think we wrestled real well," Nazareth coach Ray Nunamaker said. "I'm real proud of them. What can I say? It was two great teams, great officials, everyone wrestled down to the wire."
 
"The only thing I'm disappointed with is the final score."
 
Don't know the newspaper, but one had a recap bout by bout (Northampton wrestler listed first in each):
 
  • 103 Ryan Reph (Sr. 21-3) defeats Chris Vitale (Fr. 7-11) 11-4: Reph dominated Vitale in the neutral position. Vitale did an excellent job to avoid bonus points. Nazareth 0 - Northampton 3
  • 112: Dennis Liberto (Jr. 20-2) defeates Andy Cote (Fr. 13-7) 23-11: Liberto wore Cote down as this bout went on and picked up the only bonus points of the evening. Nazareth 0 - Northampton 7
  • 119: Dave Emili (Jr. 16-7) loses to Brian Tashner (Jr. 16-2) 7-5: Tashner used a five-point second period en route to victory. Had to fight off several shots for victory. Nazareth 3 - Northampton 7
  • 125: Whitey Chlebove (Sr. 22-0) defeats Sean Topping (Sr. 17-1) 3-2: Northampton strategy nearly backfired here. Topping narrowly missed the go-ahead takedown at the buzzer. Nazareth 3 - Northampton 10
  • 130 Tim Mazzochi (Jr. 19-4) loses to Dan Tashner (Sr. 19-0) 10-3: Tashner used eccentric moves to control Mazzochi throughout, but was unable to pick-up needed bonus points. Nazareth 6 - Northampton 10
  • 135 Chad Gerstenberg (Sr. 20-3) loses to Justin Hoff (Jr. 15-4) 9-4: Hoff used his strength to record an upset which put Nazareth in position to narrow the gap before pulling away. Nazareth 9 - Northampton 10
  • 140 Tom Menio (Sr. 15-6) loses to Mark Getz (Sr. 17-2) 7-1: Getz dominated Menio to give the Blue Eagles their first lead, but Menio did a good job to avoid bonus points. Nazareth 12 - Northampton 10
  • 145 Mike Keglovitz (Jr. 17-8) loses to Dave Cote (Jr. 12-2) 7-4: After an exciting first period which saw each wrestler on his back, Cote was persistent in giving Nazareth its biggest lead. Nazareth 15 - Northampton 10
  • 152 Jason Davis (So. 17-4) defeats Ben Duelley (Sr. 11-1) 9-4: Davis can be labelled as Northampton's hero. A five-point move in the first period was the difference and brought the Kids back. Nazareth 15 - Northampton 13 
  • 160 Ryan Gumlock (Jr. 23-0) defeats Travis Doto (Jr. 19-1) 6-5: A third period reversal was the difference in the bout of the night. Gumlock's strength warded off a near Doto takedown at the end. Nazareth 15 - Northampton 16
  • 171 Craig Fenstermaker (Jr. 22-1) defeats Pete Eckhart (Sr. 14-6) 10-6: Fenstermaker overcame a scare from Eckhart to give the Kids a little comfort. Eckhart's not giving up bonus gave Nazareth a last chance. Nazareth 15 - Northampton 19
  • 189 Rick Umstead (So. 17-5) defeats Jeff Smith (Sr. 9-7) 9-5: Umstead used a cradle in the second period to pull away after a first period Smith lead. This bout clinched for Northampton. Nazareth 15 - Northampton 22
  • HWT Matt Smith (Sr. 14-4) loses to Zach Musselman (Jr. 14-4) 7-3: Musselman showed great desire with the match already decided and had Smith in deep trouble in the first when Smith was hurt. Nazareth 18 - Northampton 22.
Northampton is 1st and Nazareth 2nd at Districts (244.5 - 168.5).
Northampton wins Regionals, Nazareth is 3rd (164.5, 98 - Williamsport, 95.5 Nazareth).
Northampton wins States and Nazareth is 5th.
 
Nazareth is 1st to Northampton's 2nd in both the Junior Varsity (256-214) and Junior High Districts (272-249).

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