April 23, 2011
The 1959-60 Division Avenue High School wrestling team photo; sons of Toby Rutner and Jim McGrath are standouts in their dads' sport
Front row: Jay Citrin, Jim McGrath, Toby Rutner, John Phillips, Bob Gifford, Mike Connelly
Middle row: Bob Bonacci, the late Ralph Del Piano, Al Williams, George Fox, Richie Humbert, coach Richard Wright
Back row: Tom Lux, Ed Gifford, Thom Dubose, Bill Stanley, Pete Henaghan, Don Farrell
Toby Rutner and Jim McGrath were key members of the Blue Dragons' wrestling team. Jim was one of the best in Nassau County. Both have sons who recently completed outstanding wrestling seasons. Here is what the proud fathers had to say:
TOBY WROTE ABOUT HIS SON CALEB
Caleb was undefeated this year winning the Manitoba Provincial Championships for the third straight year. The highlight of his season was winning the 2011 Canadian National Championship and being named Most Outstanding Wrestler. There is nothing more I can teach Caleb. I am now learning from him.
JIM McGRATH WROTE ABOUT HIS SON NICHOLAS
I retired from teaching and coaching in June of 2005. Nicholas was ending his 5th grade year at that time. I did help coach him in 7th and 8th grade, but once he got to high school I could no longer be his coach.
Much emphasis in wrestling in Nebraska is placed on wrestling many matches at an early age. Early on, I only allowed Nicholas to wrestle in a few tournaments trying to avoid burning him out. He had to catch up in high school
Nicholas made the Varsity team as a freshman at 103 pounds, my high school weight. He had a fantastic year winning 32 matches and qualifying for the state meet. Thirty wins in a season in Nebraska is fantastic.
His sophomore year he moved up to 112 pounds and again won 30 matches. He was rated first in his district but lost and did not qualify for state. A tremendous disappointment which weighed on Nicholas all year.
He worked and worked during the off season and came back at 112 pounds for this his junior year. All of his hard work and dedication paid off with a 6th place medal in the Nebraska State Championships. He led the team with 35 wins which puts him on target for 100+ career wins. Each of his three years he cut 20-plus pounds to make weight. He begins his weight management three months before the season.
Nicholas is lifting every day getting ready for his senior year. His goal is a state championship. Nicholas also runs track, cross country and plays baseball at the high school. He is also an honor student carrying a 4.2 grade point, second in his class.
Photo from 1960 yearbook
Note from Frank Barning:
This is the 300th post (story) on the Early Levittown blog. When it premiered in July 2010, I never expected it to last this long.
The best way to see previous posts is via the "Labels" section on the upper right of this page. Various story topics are listed. Pick a topic and click on the orange letters. The number is parenthesis is the total stories under that topic.
Posted by Frank Barning at 4:26 PM