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MARK BOWERSOX
Feature Wrestler/Coach
Interview


Mark Bowersox
"A Great Coach..."


WRESTLING



2013
Q&A Interview with former...
Spring Grove HS Wrestler...
York College of PA Wrestler
South Western Wrestling Coach

MARK BOWERSOX

 
 



MANASSAS PARK COUGAR WRESTLING
FORMER STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP COACH
 




WRESTLING
FORMER DISTRICT III AAA CHAMPIONSHIP COACH
 



SPRING GROVE ROCKETS WRESTLING
1975 PIAA Class A Qualifier @ 145lbs. SC 2nd Place.
 




YORK COLLEGE OF PA WRESTLING 4-YEAR LETTERMAN

 

                                                                                                        
                  
 1988 PIAA District III AAA Wrestling Championships

                                                   
                                   (L-R)  South Western's Frank Lecrone (138lbs-3rd), Joey Wildasin (119lbs-1st),
                         
       Steve Elicker (145lbs-1st) with West York's Don Lehman (Steve Elicker's cousin).
                                               ▪ Lecrone, Wildasin & Elicker... coached by Mark Bowersox


                                                                                           
                                   South Western's Joey Wildasin (132-1) - 3-time PIAA State Champion
                                                                         coached by Mark Bowersox
 

      


Mark Bowersox Interview
by Don Lehman

The Mark Bowersox Short Bio
▪ Former South Western HS Wrestling Coach Mark Bowersox Bio...
Mark, a former great wrestler and championship coach agreed to do an interview with WYWA's
Don Lehman
.  Mark is 56 years old and a teacher in the South Western School District.  He is in
his 34th year of teaching.  Mark graduated from Spring Grove High School in 1975 where he was
a PIAA District III AAA Regional finalist and PIAA State qualifier @ 145lbs.  Mark is a 1979 graduate
of York College where he was a four-year letterman.  Mark spent his first six years of coaching at
Manassas Park High School in Virginia where his teams won four Virginia State Team titles.  During
that time, Coach Bowersox produced
fourteen State Champions!  In 1985, Coach Bowersox came to
South Western where his teams were very successful!  During his tenure at South Western... Mark
produced 23 YCIAA Sectional Champions, 10 District III Champions, 16 PIAA State Qualifiers, and
7 PIAA State place-winners including 3-time PIAA State Champion, Joey Wildasin.  Mark and his wife,
Brenda, have two children... Erik & Hanna.  They reside in Abbottstown, PA. (2013)
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 ▪ Some thoughts...by former Dover Coach - Charlie Jacobs


   Don, I have these thoughts about Coach Mark Bowersox...
"Mark was full of energy and able to get his wrestlers to
perform at a very high level.  He always appeared to really
enjoy leading his teams and they reflected that same feeling
towards him.  Probably the Dover/South Western match which
I remember the best - was one contested at South Western on
February 4, 1988.  Mark's team included Joey Wildasin, Frank
Lecrone, Steve Elicker, Scott and Craig Weismantel and many
others.  We developed a strategy before the match which involved
the possibility of moving two boys up to higher weight classes
depending on how the match was progressing.  One of the boys who
moved up had wrestled at 145lbs. in previous matches.  On this
night he competed at 167lbs. and won!  The match was tied 18-18
after 155lbs.  By making the move we were able to win the last three
bouts and claim a 31-18 Dover victory."  Charlie Jacobs - Dover HS.

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 ▪ Some thoughts...by Frank Lecrone SW '89
 

   Hi Don
... a few thoughts about Coach Bowersox - he was always
very positive, pushing us and wanting us to continuously improve.
To this day I feel he has positively impacted me.  He's half-crazy,
but in a good way
!  He kept the whole team in good spirits.  You just
didn't want to lose for the guy.  Coach Bowersox is the perfect guy to
show you that a positive attitude will make a huge difference on how
successful you'll be in life!  Frank Lecrone SW '89 ▪ PIAA State Qualifier.
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 ▪ Some thoughts...by Steve Elicker SW '89      '94


   Mark was not your prototypical coach.  Mark was very upbeat and had
a positive outlook on life.  He used this approach in coaching to bring
out the best in his wrestlers...both mentally and physically.  He had a
unique ability to be stern when needed and lighten the mood when
things got too intense.  This was a tough task with all of the different
personalities
on the teams from the late 80's and early 90's!  Mark used
many resources to get the best instruction for his wrestlers.  He will tell
you that he was never the best technician, so he went out and found
good wrestlers to bring into our room to help out.  I now realize how important and difficult this was.  Most coaches have large egos and don't
want to relinquish control of their rooms, but not Mark, as he always
wanted what was best for each individual.  I personally know that I
would not have been as good without some of the extra help I got from
former college wrestlers that Mark brought in.

   I truly feel blessed for having Mark as a coach, mentor and friend.  To
this day his coaching still has an effect on all the positive things I have
done and continue to do in life.  Sometimes when things get really tough
with everyday life, I sometimes close my eyes and go back to those days
I spent with him and my teammates...and no matter what - it brings a
smile to my face as it was truly a great time in my life in large part to
Mark Bowersox. Steve Elicker SW '89 2-time SC Region Champ
- PIAA 4th.
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 ▪ Some thoughts...by Neal Kemper SW '89

   Hi Don... "Mark Bowersox was a great coach!  He always had an
unbelievable story to tell that would make you laugh.  Mark Bowersox
is one of a kind!"  Neal Kemper SW '89
 



A Mark Bowersox Interview... by Don Lehman

∙ WYWA Interviewer Don Lehman, WY '73
Webmaster, Archivist & Owner of westyorkwrestlingalumni.com


▪ "DL" Interviewer Don Lehman w/ "MB" Mark Bowersox

DL  - Mark, thanks for doing an alumni wrestling interview!  As a teacher at South Western's Emory Markle Intermediate School, you are on a summer break.  How do you spend the summer months... and, how did your 2012-13 school year go?
MB -
I had a fantastic 34th year of teaching!  I spend my summer months re-energizing and working my DJ business, particularly weddings and class reunions.
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DL  - Do you miss being a wrestling coach?  Why?
MB -
There are times when I miss it, especially when the post-season begins.  I miss the YCIAA matches that were always sold out.  Dover Coach Charlie Jacobs had an outstanding team in 1989.  Dover's gym was too small for the public demand so the match was moved to York Vo-Tech.  The hype from the local newspapers, Cable 4 was televising it, the electricity in the crowd and the ferocity that both teams showed that night was very special.  That same year, Cedar Cliff and South Western were ranked #1 and #2 in the District III rankings.  We wrestled Cedar Cliff Coach Bob Craig's team up there and beat them 41-19 in front of a SRO crowd!  My sophomore heavyweight, Matt Hladio, had been sick and only weighed 179lbs.  He had to drink enough water to make the minimum 188lbs.  He pinned senior CC wrestler, NFL's Kyle Brady... in the first period with his deadly cross-face cradle to end the match.  Those are the things I miss when I think back.  I got out of wrestling when my children were young.  I have no regrets about giving up coaching.
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DL  - You came from a "wrestling family."  Older brothers Eric and *Dave were excellent wrestlers for Spring Grove High School.  Eric was a District III and Southeastern Regional Champion in 1967, losing close in the PIAA State semi-finals to Reynolds' James Gollner.  Eric went on to wrestle at York Junior College and Coach Cummings.  Dave was a District III YCIAA Sectional Champion in 1971 and 1972 and went on to wrestle at West Chester State for Coach Milt Collier.  Talk about both your brother's influence on you... and I'm sure the living room rug and furniture took a beating when you guys were growing up!  I'm guessing there was strong parental support, also!  note: *Dave Bowersox was the head coach @ Littlestown HS - and was in the corner for PIAA State AA Wrestling Champion - Cory Beaver of Littlestown in 2007.
MB -
Eric got the rest of us in the sport.  When my family traveled to State College (Penn State's Rec Hall) to see Eric wrestle in the PIAA '67 State Tournament and seeing thousands of fans cheering, I was "all in!"  I was 10 years old at the time and just starting in Spring Grove's elementary program.  Dave was in junior high and beating just about everybody except West York's Guy Boyer!  I had no choice but to go for it.  My younger brother Jim had a very promising career going undefeated in 9th grade.  His only blemish was a tie with West York's Alan Silar.  A back injury in high school ended his wrestling.
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DL  - Mark, you had an excellent career at Spring Grove High School.  You were a SC Regional runner-up in 1975 and a PIAA State Qualifier, going into the state tourney with a 21-2 record against a first round opponent from Lock Haven High School, Carmen Capro.  Who were your most influential coaches at Spring Grove?  Did you have a wrestler or two that you looked up to during your junior high and high school days?  And, who was your toughest opponent that you faced in high school and why?  What was the result of the wrestling match?
MB -
My wrestling coaches from elementary through junior high were Clarence Barnhart, Larry Luckenbaugh and Tom Trone.  Joe Johnston was my high school coach until my senior year when Gary Grim took over the helm.  Gary was a tough customer, fresh out of a great wrestling career at York Junior College and West Virginia... who also was my workout partner.  I took valuable things from each of those guys!  My three losses in my '75 senior year were to Susquehannock's Doug Krebs ('75 AA PIAA State Champion), Jeff Allegar - 8-4 in South Central Regional finals and Don Corman (2-time PIAA State finalist) in the 2nd round of the '75 PIAA State Tourney.  My match with Doug Krebs, one of my best friends since, was incredible.  We both came into the dual match in February '75, undefeated, in front of a standing-room only crowd @ Spring Grove.  Krebs was so quick that when the whistle blew, I sugar-footed on my right leg while Doug ducked under my right arm and spun all around my body before I even moved another muscle.  There he was, facing me again.  He came at me again.  This time I jacked him to his back with a pancake.  He gets to his base but I spun around for the first takedown.  That would be the first time he was taken down that year.  I was winning the match 5-4 with 15 seconds left.  He tied the match with 9 seconds left and got a 4-point move at the buzzer!  I lost 9-5.  Doug said his mother passed out during the match and his girlfriend threw up!
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DL  - What are some of the most memorable dual meets you remember from your YCIAA days and why?  Were your Spring Grove Wrestling teams competitive and talk about some of your teammates you battled with in the wrestling practice room?
MB -
Walking into the gymnasiums of West York, Dallastown and Dover seem to stay in my memory banks.  Just knowing that I had to tangle with somebody from those great programs created an adrenaline rush.  One nightmarish memory was in my junior year.  It had snowed all day Friday and school was canceled.  There was no practice and I was cutting a lot of weight to wrestle at 132lbs.  I was sure that our match on Saturday with West York would be postponed, so I ate way too much!  It turned out that the match was not postponed.  When I weighed in at our scale, I was four pounds over.  I had to put on a rubber suit and run in place on the bus ride to West York while spitting in a cup (you know the routine).  When I got on West York's "livestock scale", I was still three and a half pounds over.  Coach Johnston was steaming!  He had me running around the gym doing wind sprints and push ups until I made weight.  My opponent was none other than Jeff "the animal" Meckley.  Meckley was laughing as he watched me run around the gym losing weight.  I lasted until the middle of the second period when he slapped on a double chicken wing and ran me to my back for the pin.  That was my only dual meet loss that year.  To make matters worse, the photo of me getting stacked appeared in West York's 1974 yearbook.  Spring Grove was in a rebuilding mode from the seasons of 1972-75, so the duals were not as memorable.  I had to wrestle off with seniors Steve Guthrie and Bob Hoover @ 132lbs. my sophomore year.  They were both returning lettermen.  Those wrestle-off's were more intense than most of my matches!  Other tough guys in the Spring Grove room like Jim Grim, Dave Myers and Alan Graybill were excellent competitors that benefited my experience.  Gary Grim was my BEST workout partner my junior and senior year.
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DL  - Mark, did you participate in other sports at Spring Grove?  What are your thoughts on the present day trend for a one-sport year-round athlete versus participating in multiple sports?  Do you still go to sports contests at South Western or Spring Grove?
MB -
I played football for the Rockets as a running back and as a kick and punt return specialist.  I played baseball in the summers from age 6 to age 15.  As a coach, I always encouraged my wrestlers to participate in multiple sports.  I believed it kept all of the sports fun and would be excellent training for the other sports.  I understand the need for "specializing" in today's world because the level of competition is so much greater.
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DL  - After High School, you went on to wrestle at York College.  Why did you chose York College of PA, and who was your coach?  Talk about your wrestling experience at York.  What was the biggest difference between high school wrestling and college wrestling?  Can you pick out your most memorable match?
MB -
I was hearing from many of the Pennsylvania State University coaches and my brother Dave was wrestling at West Chester.  My first choice was West Chester until YCP's Rich Achtzehn called and changed my mind.  I loved the idea of wrestling and going to school close to home.  Rich was an outstanding coach.  I loved his style, his dry humor and the intensity that he created in the practice room.  York College of PA was ranked in the top 20 of NCAA Division III schools and being an independent, we got to wrestle many Division I schools.  My most memorable match would be the finals of the York College Tournament in my sophomore year.  I had missed practice for several days with strep throat and was supposed to weigh in at 160lbs.  At weigh-ins I was a pound over with little time to lose the weight so the coach entered me @ 170lbs.  Somehow I won four matches that day.  I had to go into overtime in the semi-finals and overtime against a kid from Temple who had beaten my brother Dave in a match against West Chester the year before.  I won the match and clinched the team title for York College!  York College had many great wrestlers in the wrestling room, many I have stayed in touch with.  We always have a lot of laughs about those great times!
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DL  - After graduating from York College... what was your first job?  Did you know you wanted to be a wrestling coach after graduation?  Why?
MB -
When I graduated from York College, Doug Krebs ('75 PIAA State B Champion) and I had talked about traveling around the USA before settling into a teaching job.  I had played the piano since age five and Doug was an excellent, formally trained drummer.  We thought we could get some gigs playing here and there!  I had siblings spread out all over the country.  I went down to Virginia to visit my brother Dave who was teaching and coaching in Manassas.  I ended up getting hired to teach and coach at a rival school down there.  That ended our plan!  Besides, I didn't like the idea of lugging a piano all over the country.  Krebsy still brings it up that I backed out!
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DL  - What were the early days like at South Western per your coaching days?  Was the program in good shape on arrival and what changes did you make as a young coach?  Were your facilities adequate for the wrestling program and was your administration support a positive?
MB -
I was fortunate to have gotten an opportunity to come back to York, PA after six years in Virginia.  Wes Keffer had the South Western program in great shape.  Our facilities were less than ideal, but I adapted to the conditions and the late time slots.  I had great parental support which developed into a "SW Family" dynamic.  My wrestlers and their families have mentioned how important that was to them over the years.
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DL  - Talk about your very first match as a head coach.  Were you nervous?  What do you remember from that match and what was the outcome?  After the first season as a coach, what did you learn and what changes did you feel were necessary for the following season to be even more effective?
MB -
One of my first dual meets at South Western was against Terry Conover's 1985-86 Hanover team.  I had to shuffle the line-up from 138lbs. & "up" a weight class to have a chance at winning.  We won by one point!  Steve Hladio was wrestling Hanover's Mike Miller at Hwt.  A Hladio decision would give Hanover the win, a major decision a tie and a superior or fall for us to get the win.  With less than a minute in the match, Terry gets a time-out for Miller's asthma.  Hladio is only winning 6-3.  We decided to have Hladio cut Miller loose and try a lateral drop... cut him again and try another lateral drop and so on.  He did exactly that.  When he got the last takedown, the score was 18-6.  We win 26-25.  The "standing room only" crowd went nuts!  I loved that Mustang-Nighthawk rivalry.  By the last couple of seasons when I coached, South Western and Hanover were the top schools in District III which made those events very special.  Both teams had full JV line-ups and the crowd was wild before the varsity match even started!  Usually, Ralph Hartlaub and the late Stan Dutterer were the PIAA officials.
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DL  - If you were to speak to a modern day wrestling coach that is securing his first head coaching position, what would your advice be if asked?  And, on the flip side, what advice would you have for coaches with experience as their career progresses?  It (wrestling) is a changing sport.  What would you change from your past days as a wrestler and a coach?
MB -
I would encourage young coaches to get involved in the whole life of their wrestlers.  Be aware of their nutritional, psychological, sociological, spiritual and academic trends.  Know their families and friends and keep them focused on their individual as well as team goals.  I would advise "experienced" coaches to keep doing it as long as the passion was there and never sacrifice their family's needs.  Turn the honor of coaching over to new blood coming in.  Most coaches know when it is time to move on!
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DL  - What were your off-season workouts as a wrestler... and, did you implement an off-season program for your wrestlers in your coaching days?  Do you recommend camps and off-season tournaments?  What are your thoughts on wrestlers learning freestyle and greco-roman styles and participating in Olympic-style tournaments?
MB -
I was always involved in some other activity in the off-season.  I played a lot of pool, hung around the Lake Club or Zimmy's Lincolnway pool.  I did not do a lot of summer wrestling until after my junior year.  I was aware of the opportunities that the West York kids were involved in but opted to pass on it.  As a coach, I held summer camps and took my teams to Floyd "Shorty" Hitchcock's Millersville Team Camps.  Some of my wrestlers went to intensive camps.  Joey Wildasin and Steve Elicker went to Dan Gable's Intensive Camp.
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DL  - Let's talk about South Western and the great teams you had in the 80's and 90's.  How about some great moments and "not so" great moments?
MB -
When I came to South Western, my wrestlers came through the Hanover "Y" program and the Manchester, Maryland program.  Our secret weapon was the training they got from the Manchester coach, *Jack Day.  Jack mentored the likes of Joey Wildasin, Craig & Scott Weismantel, Dwayne Albin, Brandon Wingert, and many more.  I often brought in Jack in as a clinician to drill our kids in "chain" wrestling.  Wes Keffer had beefed up our schedule with teams like Mount St. Joe's of MD, Robinson HS in VA, Cedar Cliff, Manheim Central, Cumberland Valley and Susquenita.  We wrestled those power teams year after year.  We were in the Manheim Central Christmas Tournament and the California of PA University Tourney.  Those tournaments featured some of the best teams in Pennsylvania and the country!  One great moment came in 1988-89 when we broke Dallastown's 77-match win streak.  That year, South Western won its first YCIAA Championship when we defeated Dallastown again in the "last" season for the East/West Championships held at York High.  We also won the first District III Team Tournament in 1990.  We also won the '90 District III/SC Regional Tournament - having five wrestlers in the finals and ending up with three champions!  We also had seven YCIAA Sectional Champions that year!  We finished that '89-90 season undefeated at 19-0, as there was no PIAA State Team Tournament, yet.  I guess that some not so great moments were when we lost the DIII Regional Tournament Title by one and two points!  The kids were really disappointed!

   

WRESTLING
note: *Jack Day (above) was a 1961 & 1962 PSAC Wrestling Champion for Lock Haven State College.
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DL  - The wrestling room at South Western had to be intense at times in those days.  What was a typical practice like in your room and how did you manage all of the different personalities and wrestling styles?
MB -
We had a lot of fun before practice and after practice but when practice was in session, it was all business!  I stayed on the mat, grappling most of the time while my assistants were blowing the whistle.  We drilled fundamentals a lot!  I set each kid up with an alumnus or retired champion to push the every day.  The Riley boys, Rick, Bruce and Pete kept things intense.  A couple of times a week I would bring in guest clinicians with "their" bag of tricks.  I worked them hard with fun agility type competitions.  Every agility drill was timed and competitive.  Your cousin, Steve Elicker, had the record for sitting on the mat and climbing the ropes all the way up to the gym "beams" and tapping it before descending!  The kids were getting in great shape while having a blast.  When practice was over, we would cool down and talk about the psychological end of things.  The wrestlers treated each other very well... for the most part!
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DL  - Per the YCIAA and out-of-area dual meets - who were the toughest teams and coaches that your teams competed against?  Who was your biggest rival?  And, can you pick out one dual meet that was the most memorable for you and why?
MB -
Obviously, the YCIAA coaches like John T. Toggas w/assistants John Sprenkle & Billy Luckenbaugh (later a WY head coach) were tough - there was Dover's Charlie Jacobs w/assistant Randy March... Dallastown's Bill Bence w/assistants Albert Owens & Ed Adams... Terry Conover and Greg Albrecht of Hanover... and of course - Spring Grove's Gary Grim with assistants Steve Gantz and Tony Miller!  Also, Joe Dominick from Susquehannock.  I'm probably missing some, but the YCIAA had great coaches!

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DL  - You coached some GREAT wrestlers in your career!  You had many Sectional Champions, District/Regional Champions, PIAA State qualifiers and medal winners... and one of the very best in PIAA history with Joey Wildasin (132-1 career record and a 3-time PIAA State Champion).  Talk about your best memories of the "greats" and was Joey Wildasin one of the best ever from this area?

              


1990 - SW's Joey Wildasin (3-time PIAA State Champion)

MB -
I don't believe a day has ever gone by since Joey Wildasin graduated in 1990 that someone has not brought up Joey's name!  When Joey was a "freshman", he got into some academic eligibility problems the week of our opening quad-match at South Western.  That Monday, I had to break the news to Joey that he would not be in the line-up.  Joey was cutting a lot of weight to make 112lbs.  The event was Saturday and by Thursday he let his weight get up to 123lbs.  On Friday, it was determined that he was now eligible.  He lost 11 pounds in the next 24 hours!  We were fortunate to have our own physical therapist, Al Weismantel, working with our wrestlers.  Al stayed up with Joey all night and supervised his workout.  He made weight but now had to face a National Prep Champion from Mount St. Joe's, a returning AAA State Champion from Virginia and a very tough wrestler from Cedar Cliff HS.  Joey buzz-sawed everyone of those guys that night!  At that point, I knew that Al Weismantel was correct when he told me that Joey Wildasin would be a multiple PIAA State Champion!  Some name of the outstanding wrestlers I coached are many... I could write a chapter of a book on everyone of them!  Names like Wildasin, Talerico, Feeser, Hart, Mathias, Hladio brothers, Weismantel brothers, Herman brothers, Seidenstricker brothers, Novak brothers, Lecrone, Elicker, Wingert, Albin, Reindollar, Geiman, Dell brothers, Daugherty, etc., and on and on!  Great stories of guts, courage and character!
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DL  - Have you seen Kennard Dale's Chance Marsteller wrestle?  Chance will be looking to become the 11th PIAA wrestler to win "four" state mat titles... this season - along with Solanco's Thomas Haines who could become the twelfth!  What an accomplishment for a YAIAA wrestler and both are from District III!  This area... and District III has really become a force in the PIAA.  Why is that - and do you see any comparisons between a wrestler like Chance Marsteller... (below photo) and your ex-grappler, Joey Wildasin?


CHANCE MARSTELLER (3-time PIAA AAA State Champion)
above... 2013 PIAA AAA photo courtesy of the great... Tom Elling of PA Wrestling

MB -
Many people used to say "there will never be another Joey Wildasin" to come out of York County or District III for that matter.  I would say yes "there will be!" - but not for at least twenty years.  Exactly twenty years later, in 2010 I heard of this young kid from Kennard Dale who was beating much older, quality wrestlers.  I thought to myself, here he is... the next Joey Wildasin.  When I saw him (Chance Marsteller) compete, I recognized the same qualities in his style that made Wildasin unbeatable.  They look like twins in the hip area of their bodies.  The way they use their hips is a HUGE part of their common styles.  If we could bottle those other qualities that make them great, we could beat Penn State University!  It is incredible that Chance Marsteller and Thomas Haines were able to win multiple state titles at heavier weights than the typical young lighter champions.
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DL  - You had wrestlers go on to college after their careers at South Western.  Did you follow their careers in the NCAA and what were you most proud of?  What do you remember per the recruitment process involving Joey Wildasin? 
MB -
I always saw wrestling as a means to prepare an athlete for the challenges of life.  I was very proactive in helping my wrestlers get in to college.  When I retired from coaching, I spent a lot of time going to see them compete when I could.  I got to personally know or correspond with the likes of Wade Schalles, Floyd "Shorty" Hitchcock, Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, and most of the head coaches of the Pennsylvania Wrestling Conferences and their recruiters.  My wrestlers benefited greatly by having great, talented and hard working athletes in the practice room everyday!
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DL  - Mark, looking back as a teacher and a coach... what are you the most proud of and why?
MB -
I am proud of the many championships that our teams accomplished.  I am proud of the hand-full of my wrestlers that never got to wrestle on the varsity level because of the tremendous talent in the practice room - that went on to wrestle in college... some ending up as a college captain!  Also, when I retired after the 1990-91 season, we had "fifty" kids on the wrestling roster and a 35 dual meet match win streak in tact!  Most of all I am proud of the many wonderful relationships that I still have with my former wrestlers and their families.  I would not trade that experience for anything.
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DL  - I was a small part of your days at South Western in the late 80's.  You asked me to come into the room to "roll around" with my cousin, Steve Elicker, as well as some of your heavier wrestlers like Joe Geiman, Jim Novak and Matt Hladio.  You had a pretty good staff helping you both at the Junior High and Senior High levels.  Who were your assistant coaches and how did they make a difference in South Western's success?
MB - Dean Geiman was my assistant the first two years at South Western.  He and his brother, the late Glenn Geiman were two of the best wrestlers to ever wear a "Mustang" uniform.  When Dean retired, I brought in Rick Riley from Susquehannock.  It was a package deal that included the voluntary help of his younger brothers Bruce and Pete.  The Riley's were exceptional wrestlers with strong backgrounds in Freestyle and Greco-Roman.  That move also brought in the Bilbie's and Jimmy Marchio.  I made a habit of bringing in all of the greats that I knew and were willing to come into our wrestling room.  Jack Day and Wes Keffer came in from time to time.  WY's Kevin McCleary came in often.  Kevin trained several of our wrestlers in the off-season.  Doug Krebs joined my staff and was our head junior high coach before taking a job at Dallastown.  Don, I loved when you came in and talked and worked with my kids!  WY's Tom Toggas and brother Dave Toggas prepared your cousin Steve Elicker for his post-season success.  I tried to expose my wrestlers to a wide, diverse influence of greats because I knew the kids respected that and it served us well.  The only credit that I want for the success of my teams is for the effort I gave to each one of my wrestlers to help them be the best they could be.  I believe that I and my staff created an optimum environment for individual and team success.

                                                                                        ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪
DL  - Mark, thanks for sharing your thoughts and... keep in touch.  Maybe we can hook up at a match this season or share a lunch with Skip Martin.
MB -
Don, I can't tell you how valuable your website is.  The tradition of West York Wrestling will always be alive and well because of you and the other contributors to this website.  Thank you for the opportunity to share my stories!
                                                                                        ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪                                                                           



West York Wrestling

∙ You can e-mail Mark Bowersox
HERE! & Don Lehman HERE!


State Champs from York PA's
YCIAA/YAIAA
Divisions...(40)
PIAA Finals '38-'73   PIAA Finals '74-'10 A/AAA   PIAA Finals '74-'10 B/AA
PIAA Finals 2011   PIAA Finals 2012   PIAA Finals 2013   PIAA Finals 2014
another www.westyorkwrestlingalumni.com feature
"Below" list as of 2015 season... UPDATED LIST

State Champ School Weight Year
∙ Dana Luckenbaugh  West York 112 1965
∙ Bill Luckenbaugh  West York 127 1969
∙ George Myers  Dallastown 145 1969
∙ John Sprenkle  West York Hwt 1969
∙ Dick Hartman  Dallastown 180 1970
∙ Keith Smith  Dover 132 1975
∙ Doug Krebs  Susquehannock 145 1975
∙ Keith Smith  Dover 132 1976
∙ Mark Noll  Dallastown 126 1983
∙ Shaun Smith  Dover 138 1983
∙ Mark Egloff  South Western 155 1983
∙ Tony Koontz  Delone Catholic Hwt 1983
∙ Tony Koontz  Delone Catholic Hwt 1984
∙ John Johnston  Biglerville 138 1985
∙ Mark Banks  York Vo-Tech 155 1986
∙ Trevor Byers  Bermudian Springs 119 1986
∙ Joey Wildasin  South Western HS 119 1988
∙ Joey Wildasin  South Western HS 125 1989
∙ Joey Wildasin  South Western HS 130 1990
∙ Neil Barnes  Dallastown 160 1993
∙ Chris Marshall  Biglerville 125 1994
∙ Ken Haines  Gettysburg 189 1995
∙ Joe Henson  Hanover 140 1996
∙ Joe Henson  Hanover 140 1997
∙ Josh Henson  Hanover 160 1997
∙ Shain Leggett  Biglerville 103 1999
∙ Dana Gingerich  Delone Catholic 130 2003
∙ Gary Mayfield  Hanover 112 2004
∙ Brian Polashuk  Spring Grove 125 2006
∙ Rickey Schmelyun  Bermudian Springs 140 2006
∙ Cory Beaver  Littlestown 171 2007
∙ Clay Gable  Dallastown 171 2009
∙ Tyler Small  Delone Catholic 125 2010
∙ Jordan Conaway  New Oxford 112 2011
∙ Chance Marsteller  Kennard Dale 152 2011
∙ Chance Marsteller  Kennard Dale 160 2012
∙ Chance Marsteller  Kennard Dale 160 2013
∙ Ian Brown  Hanover 132 2014
∙ Tristan Sponseller  Bermudian Springs 195 2014
∙ Chance Marsteller  Kennard Dale 170 2014
       

__________________________________________________

                                                   
 1988 PIAA District III SC AAA Champions

__________________________________________________

                                                                                       
                                         AAA

 
  '89 DIII SC CLASS AAA ▪ Front (L-R) Troy Longenecker (G. Mifflin), Mark Eckenrode (Dover),
Scott Forry (Spring Grove), Joey Wildasin (South Western HS), Brian Willoughby (Red Land),
Jeff Witmer (Garden Spot).
  ▪ Back Row (L-R) Tom Stallings (McCaskey), Chad Pines (Cedar Cliff), Jeff Martin (Warwick),
Steve Elicker (South Western HS), Terry Naugle (Juniata), Tac Thomas (Red Lion),
Jeff Hollenbush (Lower Dauphin).
    photo submitted by Charlie Jacobs
__________________________________________________

                                                   
 1990 PIAA District III SC AAA Champions


__________________________________________________

    

Joey Wildasin - - (above) was a 3-time AAA PIAA State Champion
and had a career overall record of 132-1...@ South Western High School!
Coached by Mark Bowersox


1989 District III AAA Finals - SW's Joey Wildasin (far right).
note: (L-R) West York's Dave Maday with coaches, John Toggas and Tom Toggas;
Dover's Mark Eckenrod
e with his coach, Charlie Jacobs in back of Mark; and...
Spring Grove's Scott Forry with his coach, Gary Grim, next to SW's Joey Wildasin.

▪ photo submitted by David Maday
__________________________________________________

    

Steve Elicker... graduated from South Western High School in 1989...
and East Stroudsburg University in 1994. 
Steve Elicker Interview
Coached by Mark Bowersox  (S. Elicker - '89 PIAA AAA 4th place)

Steve Elicker is President of SRE Building Associates in Vail, Colorado.
The SRE Website... & - phone contact (970) 376-1536.
__________________________________________________

                                                
   1967 PIAA Southeastern
    
  Regional Wrestling Champions

  ▪ Front (L-R) Stu Hogentogler (Columbia), Chris Black (Susquehanna Twp.),
Barry Leventhal (Neshaminy), John Miller (Elizabethtown),
Allen Uyeda (Conestoga Valley), Jay Ebersole (Lower Dauphin.
  ▪ Back (L-R) Andy Matter (Upper Darby),
*Eric Bowersox (Spring Grove),
Larry Nolan (Cumberland Valley), Bill Landis (Hershey),
Ed Wilson (Lansdowne), Mason Staub (Cumberland Valley).

Spring Grove's Eric Bowersox (above) & *Mark's older brother
was a 1967 145lb. YCIAA Sectional Champion for Spring Grove High School,
District III Champion,
and Southeast Regional Champion...(above '67 pic)
and lost to eventual PIAA State Champ - James Gollner, from Reynolds
High School, 4-2 - in the 1967 PIAA State semi-final round!  Eric went on
to wrestle @
York Junior PA College & Coach Cummings.

__________________________________________________

         1972 YCIAA District III
 
 Sectional Wrestling Champions
                              (YCIAA Lower Bracket)


 '72 DIII YCIAA Section Wrestling Champs (Lower Bracket)
 
▪ Front (L-R) John Nelson (E), Larry Pequignot (D), Bill Gilbert (S), Dave Myers (C),
Brian Dowell (D) & Neil Bupp (WY).
  ▪ Back (L-R) Mario Shockley (YH), Todd Strickhouser (NE),
*Dave Bowersox (SG),
Jamie Stock (YH), Mike Stambaugh (WY) & Jeff Mitchell (DT).
                                                                    

 *Dave Bowersox (above) is Mark's older brother & went on wrestle @ West Chester State.

                              (YCIAA Upper Bracket)

 '72 DIII YCIAA Section Wrestling Champs (Upper Bracket)
 ▪ Front (L/R)  Greg Burg YS, Paul Mulay WY, Brad Warner DT, Joel Hoffman DT,
Kevin McCleary WY & Joe Myers, DT.
 ▪ Back (L/R)
 
Ed Baker DT, John Wendt C, Scott Callahan WY, John Weston DT,
Bob McNabb SW & Don Lehman WY.

 

 

                                                            
                 www.westyorkwrestlingalumni.com links...
     InterMat Penn Live Tom Elling's PA Wrestling Elling's News GametimePA Wrestling

 


            
 Don's Q & A Interviews:
       Billy Randt, Rod Stough, Jeff Wolfe,
Bruce Stambaugh,
       Keith "KRW" Warehime, David Maday & Jason Abel Turnbull,
       Mary Jane & John T. Toggas, Jon Trenge, Randy Blasdell,
       Wilmer Pressel, Dr. Bill Welker, Mike Stambaugh,
John Reiber,
       Todd Reynolds, Gary Narber, Fred & Matt Callahan
,
       Brian Kuntz, K.C. McCleary,
Charlie Jacobs, John Reiber,
       Dr. Perry Tallman, Brian Gross, Skip Martin, Justin Wilkins,
       Eric & Todd Lehman, Steve Elicker, Brian Gross/Wilmer Pressel.

     
West York Wrestling Alumni Interview Page

 


YORK PA'S
PIAA STATE CHAMPIONS

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