On this day 53 years ago, the wrestling squad won the Ivy League Championship for the second consecutive year, emerging victoriously from the seven-team field. The Brookers totaled 62 points, placing them ahead of host Riverdale (45), Horace Mann (44), St. Paul’s (24), and three other teams.
The Blue and White had four individual champions on the day including Jack Emery (123 lbs), Pete Rodgers (130 lbs), Bill Johnson (183 lbs), and Demetri Papadakos (Unlimited).
Emery won his title by besting Riverdale’s Levine, a former champion, 3-0. Rodgers, who was seeded sixth at the start of the tournament, made an incredible run to the Ivy crown by defeating the top three seeds. In the finals he faced Riverdale’s top seed, Trochez, topping him 5-1 in overtime after gaining a late tie in regulation. Johnson pinned his first two opponents before taking down Raffe of Horace Mann in the final bout by a score of 3-0. Papadakos showed a warrior’s spirit throughout the day, overcoming a chronic nosebleed and an eye injury sustained in his second match to pin St. Paul’s Frazer in the finals.
The Brookers produced three runners-up that helped put the team championship out of reach of their Ivy League rivals. Ralph Johnson (106 lbs), Warren Hannas (115 lbs), and Bill Kennedy (157 lbs) all made it to the second tier of the podium for the Blue and White. Additionally, third place winners were Steve Geiger (157 lbs) and Johnny Vassilaros (141 lbs) and Dave Oakes (136 lbs) earned a fourth place slot.
Something should be said about the enthusiastic support given our wrestlers by a bus-load of Brookers. Our students, given the unprecedented privilege of accompanying the wrestlers, justified that trust and behaved themselves as true sportsmen.
~ March, 1962 Blue and White