LHHS/LHSC Wrestler, Jerry Swope, Inducted In PA Chapter Of NW HOF.

lockhavenlion3

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Nov 21, 2014
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https://therecord-online.com/site/a...OTYj9YYQ2GnkwYtxuksENT7K1I1YctySA5cFBkO88Utks

Great wrestler and a great guy. Went to elementary and high school with Jerry. He wrestled, I played football. Worked on his families farm one summer baling hay. Back in those days, LHHS was a very good District 6 team and had many great battles with BEN, Penns Valley, Bellefonte, etc. The 1961 team was very good winning 4 state championships in 10 weight classes. Given what we saw in Detroit, seems a little Penn Stateish:). Hoping to see Jerry at our 60th reunion in May.
 

hazeydave

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Oct 10, 2015
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I have a very brief but fun connection with Jerry Swope. My Dad wrestled him in the state final at Rec Hall in 1962. Jerry later coached at Warrior Run, the school that both my Dad and I attended. Twenty years after that 1962 state tournament, Jerry called me at our home to ask if I’d like to wrestle for him at Millersville. It’s been many years but as I remember it the conversation included the fact that he had beaten my Dad and, despite that, would I be interested in coming to Millersville. I said no. It didn’t feel right to do that….

I actually didn’t know much more about him than that at the time but certainly have come to appreciate what a great wrestler he was. Congrats to him on his induction.
 

oldcougar65

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Mar 11, 2015
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https://therecord-online.com/site/a...OTYj9YYQ2GnkwYtxuksENT7K1I1YctySA5cFBkO88Utks

Great wrestler and a great guy. Went to elementary and high school with Jerry. He wrestled, I played football. Worked on his families farm one summer baling hay. Back in those days, LHHS was a very good District 6 team and had many great battles with BEN, Penns Valley, Bellefonte, etc. The 1961 team was very good winning 4 state championships in 10 weight classes. Given what we saw in Detroit, seems a little Penn Stateish:). Hoping to see Jerry at our 60th reunion in May.
I was at the '61 state championships at Rec Hall. Lock Haven won 4 of 12 titles (not 10). That was one of the greatest states I ever attended. I was in 8th grade. Several went on to have outstanding NCAA careers, including Jerry Swope. Almost every winner was outstanding. (Except the one kid who won from my high school. He was kinda boring, to be honest.)
I thought it was cool that Jerry Swope and Gary Cook met each other in the NCAA consolation finals. I think Swope won. 2 guys from the same school. Pretty cool.
Bob Kopnisky from Shaler won Nationals for Maryland. Jim Nance of Indiana was 2x NCAA Champ for Syracuse. Mike Johnson was a finalist, but gassed big time in the finals (sucking too much weight imo).

1) Mike Johnson was kinda the god of wrestling in PA by '61. He was a 4xer.
2) The PIAA created the unlimited division for Jim Nance. He was one of the best wrestlers in the state and didn't have a weight class. (that was '60 I guess)
3) At a company I was consulting with pre-covid, a guy there wrestled for Clearfield in the late '50s. I asked if he knew Mike Johnson. He said, "Little Mikey. Sure. I beat his brother." Little Mikey? And I thought he was a god (see above).
I had a friend who lost to Lee Dietrich of Lock Haven in the semi's. He had Dietrick in a headlock for the last 10 seconds and got no points. I still think he was screwed, but it allowed Lock Haven to win 4 titles.

The post I quoted said there were 10 weight classes, and in reality there were 12 weight classes. But the was a 13th weight class slipped in as well. Believe it our not, it was 85 pounds! District 7 still was carrying that weight class in '61, so the WPIAL finalists, I think, had an exhibition bout at states. I was wrestling 85 pounds Jr Hi at the time. I remember insisting that "I could beat that kid." Yeah, right.

Lockhavenlion3:
A question that's been bugging me forever about Lock Haven. I was told that along with 4 state champs, all of whom placed at Nationals, there was a 5th LH wrestler who qualified for Nationals but didn't make states.
AND, I was also told that even with 4 state champs, LH didn't win their league.
Is any of that true?
 
Last edited:

lockhavenlion3

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Nov 21, 2014
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I was at the '61 state championships at Rec Hall. Lock Haven won 4 of 12 titles (not 10). That was one of the greatest states I ever attended. I was in 8th grade. Several went on to have outstanding NCAA careers, including Jerry Swope. Almost every winner was outstanding. (Except the one kid who won from my high school. He was kinda boring, to be honest.)
I thought it was cool that Jerry Swope and Gary Cook met each other in the NCAA consolation finals. I think Swope won. 2 guys from the same school. Pretty cool.
Bob Kopnisky from Shaler won Nationals for Maryland. Jim Nance of Indiana was 2x NCAA Champ for Syracuse. Mike Johnson was a finalist, but gassed big time in the finals (sucking too much weight imo).

1) Mike Johnson was kinda the god of wrestling in PA by '61. He was a 4xer.
2) The PIAA created the unlimited division for Jim Nance. He was one of the best wrestlers in the state and didn't have a weight class. (that was '60 I guess)
3) At a company I was consulting with pre-covid, a guy there wrestled for Clearfield in the late '50s. I asked if he knew Mike Johnson. He said, "Little Mikey. Sure. I beat his brother." Little Mikey? And I thought he was a god (see above).
I had a friend who lost to Lee Dietrich of Lock Haven in the semi's. He had Dietrick in a headlock for the last 10 seconds and got no points. I still think he was screwed, but it allowed Lock Haven to win 4 titles.

The post I quoted said there were 10 weight classes, and in reality there were 12 weight classes. But the was a 13th weight class slipped in as well. Believe it our not, it was 85 pounds! District 7 still was carrying that weight class in '61, so the WPIAL finalists, I think, had an exhibition bout at states. I was wrestling 85 pounds Jr Hi at the time. I remember insisting that "I could beat that kid." Yeah, right.

Lockhavenlion3:
A question that's been bugging me forever about Lock Haven. I was told that along with 4 state champs, all of whom placed at Nationals, there was a 5th LH wrestler who qualified for Nationals but didn't make states.
AND, I was also told that even with 4 state champs, LH didn't win their league.
Is any of that true?
I was at the '61 state championships at Rec Hall. Lock Haven won 4 of 12 titles (not 10). That was one of the greatest states I ever attended. I was in 8th grade. Several went on to have outstanding NCAA careers, including Jerry Swope. Almost every winner was outstanding. (Except the one kid who won from my high school. He was kinda boring, to be honest.)
I thought it was cool that Jerry Swope and Gary Cook met each other in the NCAA consolation finals. I think Swope won. 2 guys from the same school. Pretty cool.
Bob Kopnisky from Shaler won Nationals for Maryland. Jim Nance of Indiana was 2x NCAA Champ for Syracuse. Mike Johnson was a finalist, but gassed big time in the finals (sucking too much weight imo).

1) Mike Johnson was kinda the god of wrestling in PA by '61. He was a 4xer.
2) The PIAA created the unlimited division for Jim Nance. He was one of the best wrestlers in the state and didn't have a weight class. (that was '60 I guess)
3) At a company I was consulting with pre-covid, a guy there wrestled for Clearfield in the late '50s. I asked if he knew Mike Johnson. He said, "Little Mikey. Sure. I beat his brother." Little Mikey? And I thought he was a god (see above).
I had a friend who lost to Lee Dietrich of Lock Haven in the semi's. He had Dietrick in a headlock for the last 10 seconds and got no points. I still think he was screwed, but it allowed Lock Haven to win 4 titles.

The post I quoted said there were 10 weight classes, and in reality there were 12 weight classes. But the was a 13th weight class slipped in as well. Believe it our not, it was 85 pounds! District 7 still was carrying that weight class in '61, so the WPIAL finalists, I think, had an exhibition bout at states. I was wrestling 85 pounds Jr Hi at the time. I remember insisting that "I could beat that kid." Yeah, right.

Lockhavenlion3:
A question that's been bugging me forever about Lock Haven. I was told that along with 4 state champs, all of whom placed at Nationals, there was a 5th LH wrestler who qualified for Nationals but didn't make states.
AND, I was also told that even with 4 state champs, LH didn't win their league.
Is any of that true?
cougar, some great memories there. i was at rec also, but have to say that the answers to some of the questions you asked are a bit scrambled now. most days, i can't remember what i had for breakfast by noon
:). all 4 champs wrestled in college; mike(pitt), lee(mich.), gary(e.stroud) and jerry(lhstc). i don't recall there ever being more than 10 weights or a 5th wrestler, but could be wrong. i also can't recall about winning the league, but i wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. there were some great teams from district 6 year in and year out. our team may not have been as balanced others. sorry i couldn't be more accurate. maybe someone else out there could help an addled brain :), thx for responding.
 

oldcougar65

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Mar 11, 2015
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cougar, some great memories there. i was at rec also, but have to say that the answers to some of the questions you asked are a bit scrambled now. most days, i can't remember what i had for breakfast by noon
:). all 4 champs wrestled in college; mike(pitt), lee(mich.), gary(e.stroud) and jerry(lhstc). i don't recall there ever being more than 10 weights or a 5th wrestler, but could be wrong. i also can't recall about winning the league, but i wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. there were some great teams from district 6 year in and year out. our team may not have been as balanced others. sorry i couldn't be more accurate. maybe someone else out there could help an addled brain :), thx for responding.
that's what I'm talking about. The league they were in was brutal. I was trying to imagine how good the other teams were that there was even a question.
Here are the finals for '61:




that's 12 weights.
Bob Bell, at 103 was returning champ. He beat my brother with a reversal in the last second at regional finals in '60, then beat my bro again in '61 by 2 points at Regions. I'm not going to admit who won States in '61 from my HS.

As per suffering from CRS syndrome. I can't remember what I had for breakfast either. I usually have to look at my calendar app several times a day to determine the day of the week. But things that happened 50-60 years ago seem clear as a bell to me. Funny how that works.
 

Creek Side

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Jan 20, 2016
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https://therecord-online.com/site/a...OTYj9YYQ2GnkwYtxuksENT7K1I1YctySA5cFBkO88Utks

Great wrestler and a great guy. Went to elementary and high school with Jerry. He wrestled, I played football. Worked on his families farm one summer baling hay. Back in those days, LHHS was a very good District 6 team and had many great battles with BEN, Penns Valley, Bellefonte, etc. The 1961 team was very good winning 4 state championships in 10 weight classes. Given what we saw in Detroit, seems a little Penn Stateish:). Hoping to see Jerry at our 60th reunion in May.
Lock Haven just produced studs back in that time frame. I remember the pictures lining the walls around the gym entrance, I just didn't appreciate the history of it all at the time. Didn't Paul Powell also graduate from LHHS? He won the NC fot Pitt in 58'.
 
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Pennstate1985

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Lock Haven just produced studs back in that time frame. I remember the pictures lining the walls around the gym entrance, I just didn't appreciate the history of it all at the time. Didn't Paul Powell also graduate from LHHS? He won the NC fot Pitt in 58'.
LHHS had great teams in the 70s under Tom Elling. Is he still alive?
 

lockhavenlion3

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Nov 21, 2014
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Lock Haven just produced studs back in that time frame. I remember the pictures lining the walls around the gym entrance, I just didn't appreciate the history of it all at the time. Didn't Paul Powell also graduate from LHHS? He won the NC fot Pitt in 58'.
yes.
LHHS had great teams in the 70s under Tom Elling. Is he still alive?
yes, he wrote the article ;).
 
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lockhavenlion3

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Nov 21, 2014
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Lock Haven just produced studs back in that time frame. I remember the pictures lining the walls around the gym entrance, I just didn't appreciate the history of it all at the time. Didn't Paul Powell also graduate from LHHS? He won the NC fot Pitt in 58'.
Sorry, Creek. Thought I'd answered this. Yes, Paul was from LHHS, also.
 
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mhs103

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Jan 26, 2020
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Sorry, Creek. Thought I'd answered this. Yes, Paul was from LHHS, also.
One of Powell's most noteworthy collegiate victories occurred at Thomas Fieldhouse when he handed three time NC champ and 2 time Olympian Gray Simons of LHSC his only varsity loss. Also competing that night were NC' Joe Solomon and Olympian and NC Larry Lauchle, both of Pitt. I capped off that night with a few beers at the Buffalo Inn, so my memory may be a little fuzzy. In any event, LHSC put some great wrestling on the mat during those years.