Best Wrestler (ever) from each D1 Wrestling Program in PA

Chris Watts

Well-Known Member
Jan 9, 2020
76
277
1
And here’s the kick to the face story:

“Wade and I, as well as others from Clarion, had wrestled for the Erie YMCA (Tom Canavan) a number of times. We would catch rides with Tom or meet his entourage at the various tourneys and wear the Erie Y uniforms but we always pay our own entry. So for a few years, we had a local Clarion business man that created our own summer team (predecessors to today's more organized/sponsored clubs) and he provided transportation, travel expenses and entry fees (not so coincidentally, Wade and I had summer jobs in his factory). We had a lot of talent with many Clarion and Lehigh guys (e.g. Lieberman bros).

Tom Canavan was a bit upset because this was the first real organized competition he got in western PA and the big summer gig was always the Erie Open, Tom's baby. This was a big/tense showdown and his biggest guns were all the Carr brothers - Fletcher, Joe and Jimmy at that time; Nate was still very young. The match in question was Joe Carr vs Wade. One of the hecklers was an older Carr brother (Ed?) that wasn't wrestling. He was right on the edge of the mat. The referee was Ray Hartlee. He kept taunting Wade and mocking the team name, "Mean Machine" (the business guy had a thing for the original Longest Yard movie). I am not sure what was the last thing the elder Carr said but Wade had enough, he took a few steps and kicked him right in the face. Of course a fight resulted and people had to pull them apart. Years later, Ray Hartlee told me he had no idea how to handle this since DQ'ing Wade would have escalated things and he had heard what that guy finally said - he felt Canavan should have controlled the crowd (e.g. his Carr friends) better. But in the 70's and summer tournaments, politics ruled the day. Regardless, the match went on and Wade won (as did the Mean Machine!).”
My dad was on that Mean Machine team. I'm sure I could get some more details if you'd like them. :p
 

Chris Watts

Well-Known Member
Jan 9, 2020
76
277
1
And here’s the kick to the face story:

“Wade and I, as well as others from Clarion, had wrestled for the Erie YMCA (Tom Canavan) a number of times. We would catch rides with Tom or meet his entourage at the various tourneys and wear the Erie Y uniforms but we always pay our own entry. So for a few years, we had a local Clarion business man that created our own summer team (predecessors to today's more organized/sponsored clubs) and he provided transportation, travel expenses and entry fees (not so coincidentally, Wade and I had summer jobs in his factory). We had a lot of talent with many Clarion and Lehigh guys (e.g. Lieberman bros).

Tom Canavan was a bit upset because this was the first real organized competition he got in western PA and the big summer gig was always the Erie Open, Tom's baby. This was a big/tense showdown and his biggest guns were all the Carr brothers - Fletcher, Joe and Jimmy at that time; Nate was still very young. The match in question was Joe Carr vs Wade. One of the hecklers was an older Carr brother (Ed?) that wasn't wrestling. He was right on the edge of the mat. The referee was Ray Hartlee. He kept taunting Wade and mocking the team name, "Mean Machine" (the business guy had a thing for the original Longest Yard movie). I am not sure what was the last thing the elder Carr said but Wade had enough, he took a few steps and kicked him right in the face. Of course a fight resulted and people had to pull them apart. Years later, Ray Hartlee told me he had no idea how to handle this since DQ'ing Wade would have escalated things and he had heard what that guy finally said - he felt Canavan should have controlled the crowd (e.g. his Carr friends) better. But in the 70's and summer tournaments, politics ruled the day. Regardless, the match went on and Wade won (as did the Mean Machine!).”
Potentially true additional details from my dad.

  • "The Carr kicked was "Willie". Fletcher convinced Willie to not bring in [reinforcements] from Erie to deal with the Mean Machine."
  • "A few years back, Jimmy Carr and I, laughingly talked about the situation at the ceremony for the state wrestling Hall of Fame. This was shortly before Jimmy died."
  • Dad won the tournament beating an NCAA D1 champ in the semis and pinning in the finals.
  • The Erie Open was on Sunday and the Mean Machine also wrestled in (and won, of course) a tournament in Saratoga, N.Y. on Saturday, the day before. They traveled through the night to get to weigh ins for the Erie Open on time.
 

AgSurfer

Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2013
1,225
2,254
1
What about Doug Blubaugh? I don't know how it came about, but he visited with my team and what I remember most was that his glasses were as thick as the bottom of a coke bottle.

https://intermatwrestle.com/articles/8668
I met Doug Blubaugh personally way back in 1995, and yes, he was wearing the same thick glasses. He also had forearms that made him look like he had been laying heavy 3 hole cinder block for the last 30 years! The San Diego area has a Christmas time tournament called the El Cajon Invitational. Back in those days, it was a really competitive tournament with teams from all over the US showing up. Doug Blubaugh was coaching a junior college team in CA, so he was there to scout some of the wrestlers who were competing.

There was a pretty funny incident that took place. I was standing with a friend watching a match and Blubaugh was standing next to us. The ref called "no takedown" on a close attempt, and my friend said pretty loudly "That's BS!" Blubaugh looked at him and explained why the ref's call was correct. My friend started arguing about it to try to get his point across, but I pulled him away. Afterwards, I told him "Do you know that you were arguing with an Olympic Gold medalist about that takedown?" His jaw just dropped. I'll still never forget the look on his face.
 

Latest posts