Here’s a look back at the 1962 Northern Virginia tournament and it looks like it was a real barn-burner!
This was the 2nd ever “regional” tournament that qualified wrestlers to the state tournament. The Arlington schools were the dominant teams in the area – Wakefield, Washington-Lee, and Yorktown, but going into this meet upstart Annandale was thought to have a chance to take the crown. In all, there were 13 teams represented.
The championship came down to the last two weight classes of the tournament, 175lbs and HWT. Wakefield had the lead and two W-L wrestlers would both have to pin to capture the team title.
As the article below states, in the short history of the tournament, there had never been even one pin in a championship bout.
Jim Spicer was up first in a head to head matchup against defending champion Tom Lamone of Wakefield. An upset pin in the 2nd period, put the team race in a tie, going into the final match.
W-L’s defending champion Brian O’Donnell faced Tony Bennett (3rd in the state) of James Madison and pinned him in the second period to give W-L the go-ahead point to win the team title.
There are many other great and familiar names that were part of this event. Vic Blue, the legendary Wakefield coach and Sherman Vandevender, Sr. the WL coach, among many others.
Coach Vandevender is part of the Granby dynasty and was a 3x state champ in 52, 53 and 54. He’s also the father of some Robinson standouts in the early 80s including state placer, Sherman Jr. and state champ, Greg Vandevender.
One of the coach’s wrestlers, Larry Grove, produced another two generations of wrestlers at Yorktown.
Paul Wellstone went on to be a U.S. Senator from Minnesota, and the list goes on.
From father to son and generation to generation, wrestling makes champions in life. Let’s keep it going.
Thank you Dick Rickbeil (McLean’s 1st state champ) for the article from the Northern Virginia Sun.
1962 Northern Virginia Tournament Results
|Year||Weight||Region||State||First Name||Last Name||School|
|1962||127||2nd||Toshihiko||Nobe||R.E. Lee – Spr|
|6th||Falls Church||34||Charles Sherwood|
|12th||R.E. Lee – Spr||9|
If you have updates or history on any of these wrestlers or coaches, please add it in the comments section. I’m particularly looking for the first name of Jage from Groveton High School.