West York Wrestling

 

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Feature...Interview

Q&A with "KRW"
Keith R. Warehime


Keith Warehime (left) at the 2003 Juniata Veterans Tournament.
westyorkwrestlingalumni.com interview
11/04/09
Interview w/Keith Warehime



Keith R. Warehime Bio
Ben Ricci Photo


  Keith R. Warehime (KRW on PennLive's Wrestling Forum) is a 1979 graduate
of Littlestown High School and a life long wrestling supporter.  Keith created
the YAIAA Wrestling Website, which was infamous for it's YAIAA rankings and
results in the 2000's.  Keith is never shy about expressing his views, so Don
Lehman of westyorkwrestlingalumni.com got together with Keith for a Q & A!

Keith Warehime Interview
... by Don Lehman

DL
- Keith, the 2009/10 high school and college wrestling season is coming soon!  Are you excited?
KRW - Yes, I always get excited with the upcoming seasons as they approach.  This year especially, since Pennsylvania has probably one of the better "senior" classes we have had in a long time!  There are so many of the nations top 10 wrestlers in PA with the Alton twins (Andrew & Dylan), Josh Kindig, Josh Dwieza, Marshall Peppelman... and it will be real nice to see this group very soon!
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DL - I know you wrestled at Littlestown High School back in the day!  Can you pick out a special match that still comes to your thoughts, and what was the outcome?
KRW -
My most memorable match came in 1978 at the Sectionals.  I was wrestling in just my second year, and it was my first varsity year!  I was entered in the tourney as the 4th seed.  I made it to the semi-finals where I faced the top seed, Craig Melhorn, from New Oxford... who had pinned me earlier in the year (in less than a minute) during the season dual meet.  My LT Coach, Tom Weikel, told me to make sure you stay out of that "headlock" since that's what he caught me with earlier in the year.  Well, I went out and proceeded to get caught again in that headlock, but I managed to survive the first period and found myself down 5-0.  I thought to myself, "hey, he isn't that tough - he just has that one move!"... so, I started to fight back and found that I could score on him.  I got through the second period and pushed the score back to 9-5 by the end of the second period.  I then noticed Craig was not used to wrestling into the third period and was looking tired.  I was in pretty good shape myself as far as my endurance, so I proceeded to put several cradles on him and scored at will through the end of the third period and secured the win at 14-9!  That was my first of two sectional finals.  This ('78) was the match that I truly fell in love with the sport!  Before, I was just wrestling for something to do in between football season... but afterwards, I started to really follow it and like I said - fell in love with it!
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DL - What did you learn from wrestling that you have taken into your life?
KRW -
Hard work, toughness, physical strength, endurance... all pays off in the long run. Plus, like that old "Karate" commercial said -  nobody ever bothered me after I started to wrestle... I wonder why?
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DL - After high school, and even within the last couple of years, you continued to compete at some open tournaments.  And, you even tried a shot at the infamous
Beach Wrestling .  You have to love the sport to put your body through that kind of torture competing in the world's toughest sport!
KRW -
Well, I haven't competed in  a few years.  In 2005, I went to the Veterans Nationals and finished first... and, the same year competed at Beach Wrestling's first nationals at Long Beach, NY.  Also, I competed at the Keystone Games for several years in the Open division.  The problem with it all is very few men my age actually show up, so you have to wrestle mostly "20-something's" and that can be taxing!  I have always gotten nice comments from the younger guys just for showing up.  I haven't competed recently but might get back to it when I hit "50" in a few years.
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DL - Before wrestlers like Mike Anderson and Cory Beaver excelled for the Bolts... Warren Robertson stood out as a special wrestler at Littlestown.  What can you tell me about Warren? (W. Robertson placed 2nd at the 1976 PIAA AA States @ 167lbs. and 3rd at the 1977 PIAA AA States @ 167lbs.)
KRW -
Well, I spent my first year wrestling for the Bolts on the same team as Warren Robertson.  Warren was the first really good wrestler at Littlestown since the program was started in the middle 60's.  We had a few good ones, but none who were considered one of the top wrestlers in the state.  Not like West York or the other area teams who had long histories!  Warren was Littlestown's first elite wrestler.  He had an "all out" style.  Warren was very quick and surprisingly strong for a 167 pounder and it was his junior year that he was in PIAA State finals!  That encouraged me go out for the wrestling team the following year.  Warren's winning percentage will likely never be matched.  He only lost 5 matches back when you were lucky to wrestle 25 matches in a year.  Of those five, three were in his sophomore year.  He only lost to PIAA "state champions" his last two years!  In Warren's junior year '76 - he lost in finals to Fritz Bleich (Hanover Area).  And when everyone thought he was shoe-in for the '77 State Championship in his senior year, he ran into a wrestler from (Milton), Charlie Heller, who was not only the returning 155 champ from 1976 - but turned out to be 3x All-American in college as well! Not bad for a kid (Heller) who didn't pick up wrestling until he got into Junior High School.  Warren lost to him in Penn State's Rec Hall in the semi-finals, 4-3, in a week that he was sick (with the flu) and then finished 3rd.  I went with my brother to PSU that year and it turned out to be my first of many PIAA State Championships I have attended over the years.  Warren Robertson went to *Delaware Valley for college and he not only wrestled all four years at Del Val, he also lettered in two other sports (Football and Track/Javelin) all four years!  Warren was quite the overall athlete!  I don't think you will ever see that again in today's world.  *note - Warren is a 1988 Delaware Valley College Hall of Fame inductee for Football, Wrestling & Track/Field.  Warren graduated from Del Val in 1984.
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DL - Wayne Beaver, father of 2007 PIAA State AA 171lb. Wrestling Champion - Cory, (who is now wrestling at Penn), and himself, (Wayne Beaver) a 3rd place finisher at the 1981 PIAA State AA Championships at 185lbs. (New Oxford) - developed an extremely detailed and outstanding Littlestown Wrestling website.  What happened to that great website and how can we get it back online! (Wayne also created PA Youth Wrestling!)
KRW -
I believe Wayne has moved on to other projects - the last I heard.  Cory is at the University of Pennsylvania and I guess he doesn't have the time to keep the Littlestown site going.  I have said I'd host his site and keep all the records he compiled for the Littlestown wrestling website going strong, but he never took me up on the offer.
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DL - You developed the YAIAA Wrestling website - 10 years ago.  I remember waiting EVERY week for your updated YAIAA wrestling rankings!  I also spent time reading the daily box scores of the many dual meets and tournaments you published.  I know with the NWCA and NHSCA daily online results, as well as local newspaper also publishing results online, it's not the same world.  But - those rankings were the deal back in the day.  What's the status of the website these days?
KRW -
I am not sure... I have kept it up and functioning for the past two years, but my work situation has prevented me from doing the job I used to do in the past!  It is hard to get out and see the matches and weekend tourneys.  Since the website never generated incremental income, I had to take priority with my job, which I am sure your readers understand!  I'd love to do my YAIAA rankings again, but I feel if I can't do them the right way and put the kind of time into them that is needed - then it is not fair to the kids or my fans.  So I haven't done them the past few years.  But, things change and maybe someday I can get them back online.  I had great success with the rankings and compiling them was one of my favorite things I did with the YAIAA Wrestling site over the past ten years.
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DL - If you had to choose - Folkstyle, Freestyle or Greco-Roman... what is your favorite type of wrestling and why?
KRW -
As I grew older and more nuanced with the sport, I have grown to like Freestyle and Greco-Roman more than today's Folkstyle.  I am not a big fan of today's Folkstyle with the emphasis on mat-wrestling with tilts.  As a wrestler today, I like Greco Roman more than the others, since at my age, it is a bit less demanding on the body!  But, I have to admit that I am not that strong in the upper body - so I am at a disadvantage in that style!!
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DL - I believe you coached Littlestown elementary wrestling at one time.  What advice would you give to the young wrestlers of today and their parents?
KRW -
To the young wrestlers of today - I will give the same advice I gave those kids I coached in 2003-2004.  The big matches are won on your feet!  You have to be able to take your opponent down to win.  True story... I would have this drill at end of practices in what I called the "takedown tourney."  You would line em' up with the smallest to largest kids and the first one to get a takedown won - and you stayed out to wrestle the next kid.  All the time I'd preach "Someday in a big match, you're going have to have a takedown to win!"  We had some nice young kids that year who were coming out for the sport for the first time.  Tyler Zittle, Troy Ruppert, Tanner Mitz and many others (who I am sorry I can't name here).  There was one kid though, who was great at this drill and would almost always win every night!  His name was Cory Beaver and when he took down Jon Fausey in the last seconds to win Littlestown's first ever PIAA State Wrestling Championship... I couldn't help but think I had a very small part of it.  I was mat-side that day and I was the first to jump up after that thrilling state victory!  To the parents... all I can say is not to pressure the kids too early.  Not every kid matures at the same rate, so the sport in the early years should be about learning "how to win and lose" and to get the proper technique down.  Losing is a part of the sport and should not get the kid down.  Who knows how a kid develops in the future... and what you don't want is for them to give up the sport years before their bodies develop.  They will never have the real chance to get the most out the sport if they get frustrated and quit.  Very few ever wrestle in college, but I have never met anyone who wrestled through high school and didn't think it was one of the best experiences they had in sports and in life!!
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DL - What ingredients in this modern era make up a "good wrestling coach?"  Do you think that a coach having high school and college wrestling experience or having a teaching position at the school... makes a difference these days?
KRW -
That's hard to say.  I think you can get a good coach either way.  Having the teaching experience helps with handling kids, but you can do it (coaching) without it.  My brother coaches with the Littlestown Football Team (for many years) and Bob is not a teacher, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better line coach in the YAIAA area!  Does it help to have wrestled somewhere in your career along the way?  I don't think you have to have had wrestled in college... although it does help!  With the lack of college programs today, I think you will see less college wrestlers coaching.  I think a good coach is part-technician, part-drill sergeant, part-mentor and in today's world, part-counselor.  In the YAIAA, we have been blessed with many excellent coaches over the years... all of whom I have the utmost respect for.
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DL - Pick out a couple of local YAIAA wrestlers and coaches that you have had the pleasure of watching throughout the years... list them, and tell me why they stood out?
KRW -
Wow!!  There have been so many over the years!  Terry Conover of Hanover was actually the coach of both wrestlers I lost to at Sectionals in '78 and '79, so I got to see him from early to late in his great career.  The Henson Brothers (Josh/Joe) were both very fun to watch in the day! The Henson's were ones I pointed my boys to watch when they were elementary wrestlers coming up.  I was always impressed with Coach Dave Gable of Dallastown.  Gable always reminded me of a coach who could take his and beat yours, then take yours and beat his!  Dave Gable was a wonderful coach who I never saw get overtly emotional during a match or dual meet.  Coach Dave Bowersox of Littlestown taught me that it is "still high school sports" and that all the kids should have fun.  Dave was an excellent bench coach and someone who always had great relationships with his wrestlers.  Coach Cox and Greg Sprenkle of Southwestern, along with Coach Biff Walizer of Red Lion, have always treated me nicely when I would ask them a question and they were always willing to help out a "bothersome" webmaster looking for some arcane stats!  Wrestlers??  Oh so many - Cory Beaver, Tyler Zittle... I mentioned already, but I loved following those two since I coached the both very early in their years.  Gary Mayfield and Tommy Slaugh from Hanover were always nice to me when I'd talk to or email them.  That's just a few and I'm sorry if I didn't mention all, but there were so many over the years who I've had the pleasure to befriend and get to know... that I can't remember them all!
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DL -  How nervous did you get when your son, James Ortiz, wrestled for the Littlestown Bolts?  And, can you remember an Ortiz match that stands out?
KRW -
No, not really, not any more than any parent gets.  His mom was always much more so.  Most memorable match?  Well I'd have to say it was just a regular match and home dual meet in his senior year against Dover.  The Bolts hadn't beaten Dover in my memory... in quite a few years.  James was a 189lb'er, and as many know - goes about all of 5'3".  The Bolts Thunderdome was rocking!  Fans were quite loud as the match came down to last few matches and it was close all the way!  Coach Dave Bowersox bumped James up to 275lbs. to wrestle the Dover wrestler.  The guy looked like we was about 25 years old, if you know what I mean.  He went every bit of 230lbs. and was a real brawler of a wrestler.  The name slips me for now, but James went out with the Bolts needing a win/bonus point to win.  James got pretty much man-handled the first period by the much larger wrestler, but James, who was always a fan favorite, got the crowd's support and fought his way back and took the match into the third period.  James was still losing, but he kept after the Dover wrestler... and with the crowd screaming for him all the way - managed to get the fall!  The place went nuts and it was the loudest I ever saw a crowd in the old gym.  I have that pin on tape somewhere and even I couldn't contain myself when he pinned the Dover kid!  I was told by a another wrestler on Dover's team (who was a buddy of mine) that he was glad James won - even though it meant Dover lost the match - because that wrestler wasn't well liked by his teammates and as it turned out... he quit the team the next day.
                                                               
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DL - James just returned from a tour in Iraq.  I want to thank him for his service to the country.  It had to be a relief when he returned home safely!

KRW -
Yes, that's for sure!  We are glad no one from the local batteries got hurt and we are glad that they did their mission and came home in one piece!
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DL - If Keith Warehime was the NFHS or PIAA "Czar" for a day, what changes would you implement at the High School level to enhance the sport of wrestling?
KRW -
If I was Czar for the day... I would institute a rule that states you can't step out of the circle.  A push-out rule, where you lose points if you step out of bounds (like they do in international styles).  I think it would keep the action going and keep it more in the middle, instead of floating around trying to score cheap points on the edge of the mat.  I would institute more rules to bring high school wrestling more in line with international styles.
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DL - When I wrestled in the early seventies and in college, we had riding time.  It's still at the college level, but it has been eliminated for some time at the high school level.  Would you like to see riding time come back to high school wrestling?
KRW -
No, not really.  Like I said earlier, I am not big fan of mat wrestling.  I would rather see the action on their feet.
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DL - Pennsylvania High School Wrestling is arguably the best in the nation.  District III has really been a force at the PIAA State Tourney lately.  I know you look forward to the post season and the PIAA State Tournament.  Who are the names that stand out to you this year to capture a state title at the AA & AAA levels?
KRW -
Well, if you don't mention Josh Dwieza, Josh Kindig and the Alton Twins... along with Nick Roberts at 103lbs., and either Spencer Myers or Nate Gaffney up top - you not an AAA fan today!  I would also pay attention to CD's Kenny Courts and of course, CD's great Marshall Peppelman!  I don't think there are as many "shoe ins" in AA this year, but I will be watching the locals from Biglerville and Delone Catholic to make some noise statewide.  Laike Gardner of Biglerville and Tyler Small of Delone Catholic have the best chance.

One kid to keep an eye out for NEXT year will be Chance Marsteller of Kennard Dale.  He is very competitive as an eighth-grader and if he stays healthy and keeps up the hard work - Chance could be quite the high school wrestler for Kennard Dale!!


Kennard Dale's Chance Marsteller (top)
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DL - You are a frequent poster of the Penn Live Wrestling Forum as "KRW".  Some thoughts on this popular modern wrestling medium?
KRW -
Well, it's been a little over ten years since I've been posting on PennLive's Wrestling Forum under my moniker "KRW."  Anyone who knows me realize "KRW" are my full initials.  I really don't give out the middle name!  Only my truly closest friend and family knows that secret.  Anyway, I found PennLive forums early in the "Internet Boom" back when everyone had 26K dial-ups!  Getting wrestling results were hard to get.  Not one of the great sites of today were around.  Wrestling results were non-existent, and you were lucky to find them.  The results were often big JPEG scans from the newspapers.  If you had a typical phone modem connection, then it took forever to upload and view them.  That's if you could find what you were looking for!  I started posting on PennLive in 1999 (I think) because I was looking for an alternative to the District III site at the time.  At first, it was great!  But like many non-registered sites back then, "flamers" were abundant.  I have never liked adults picking on high school kids who were participating in a sport.  PennLive took notice and started to monitor the site... and with that - the popularity grew!  It is a great place to get good info and still today, one of the fastest ways to get info about Pennsylvania High School Wrestling and wrestling in general.  You still get others who choose to berate and demean high school kids, but they are often "self policed" on the site.  I think the Wrestling Forum is one of the best PennLive has... and that is a testament to the many people who use it!
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DL - What are some of the other wrestling websites you visit daily to get the most up-to-date information?
KRW -
The Mat, InterMat and Tom Fortunato's Web's Best of Amateur Wrestling site, as well as all the wrestling related sites that are out there.  Flowrestling is becoming pretty good, too... with the video aspect.
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DL - There have been some huge changes at the coaching levels in the YAIAA the past couple of years.  Gone are Dave Gable at Dallastown, Terry Conover at Hanover, Dave Bowersox of Littlestown, the recent Central York change, etc.  What do you see this year in the YAIAA as a "new breed" of head wrestling coaches take the reins?
KRW -
YAIAA Division II will be mostly the same and the top teams won't see much of a change.  In YAIAA Division II... who else but Bermudian Springs, Biglerville, Delone Catholic and Littlestown coming up fourth again.  Hanover will be the best of the rest in DII.  With Neal Dutterer taking over Hanover, I don't see a big program change since a Conover left.  Coach Dutterer has been at Hanover a long time!  In YAIAA Division I, expect the same "Big Four" - Dallastown, Spring Grove, Red Lion and Southwestern...  along with Central York and Kennard Dale being the best of the rest in YAIAA DI.  It will be very interesting to see how Dallastown does without Coach Dave Gable at the helm!
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DL - Who individually stands out in the YAIAA this upcoming season?
KRW -
In AA - Tanner Coyle from Bermudian Springs and Laike Gardner from Biglerville have bright years ahead of them, as does the Delone Catholic duo of Josh Ruppert and Tyler Small!Matt Wolf (Bermudian Springs) and Danny Thomas (Biglerville) will lead the pack along with Dylan Ferguson from Fairfield.  In AAA - New Oxford's very tough Jordan Conaway and the Southwestern duo of Drew Rebling and PIAA place-winner Cameron Throckmorton will be back strong!  And, I say to keep an eye out for Dallastown's Phil Sprenkle and Dave Quackenbos from Red Lion... as well as Billy Randt from your West York!  There is always a surprise wrestler, and I'm sure I have forgot his name!
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DL - Lastly, do you follow NCAA college wrestling?  And, do you have a favorite team or wrestler in college?
KRW -
No, not as much as I follow high school wrestling - but I do follow the Top Ten NCAA teams and I keep up with Top 20 in each weight class.  I like to follow all the kids from Pennsylvania at that level... and of course, I watch the NCAA finals each year now on ESPN.  I will be curious to see the changes Cael Sanderson brings to wrestling on the  East Coast!  I strongly believe that East Coast wrestling has gone from great to EVEN BETTER because of Cael Sanderson coming to Penn State University!
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DL - Keith, thank you so much for sharing your memories with the westyorkwrestlingalumni.com readers, and most of all, thank you for being such a big part of the YAIAA and the Littlestown wrestling family!
KRW - No, Don - thank you.  I have always admired your work (website) and am so glad you still keep it up after all of these years!  Excellent site!

 You can e-mail Keith Warehime HERE!
 
or, check him out on PennLive Wrestling Forum as "KRW"



▪ Littlestown's Keith Warehime (top) takes his position at the 1978
Sectional
Tournament semi-finals versus the tourney's #1 seed.
The Bolts' Warehime won 14-9 over New Oxford's Craig Melhorn
and advanced to the finals @ 185lbs., finishing 2nd!


  ▪
Littlestown's Keith Warehime (top) rides NO's Craig Melhorn at the
'78 Sectional
Tournament semi-finals.  Melhorn was the #1 seed.
K.
Warehime won 14-9 and advanced to the finals, finishing 2nd!
▪ Keith's mom is standing in the white coat in background...


Jubilation after Warehime knocked off the #1 seed Melhorn, 14-9 @ 185lbs.!



(L-R) Keith Warehime, Scott Miller, Randy Blasdell, Tom Rost.
THE 2007 WY ALUMNI GOLF CHAMPIONS!!!
by Don Lehman

 



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