1962 Northern Virginia Tournament aka Regions

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.

1962 Northern Region 1 1962 Northern Region 2

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 95 1st 4th Dick Bowen J.E.B. Stuart
1962 95 2nd Bill Compton McLean
1962 95 3rd Bob Hetzer Washington-Lee
1962 95 4th Frank Wasuta Mount Vernon
1962 103 1st 3rd Paul Wellstone Yorktown
1962 103 2nd Mark Mugaas Annandale
1962 103 3rd 4th Neil Fink Wakefield
1962 103 4th John Shreves Fairfax
1962 112 1st 2nd Dicky Rickbeil McLean
1962 112 2nd 3rd Jeff Lipsey Washington-Lee
1962 112 3rd Donald Smith Annandale
1962 112 4th Bill Sunda Yorktown
1962 120 1st 1st John Soukey Mount Vernon
1962 120 2nd Clayton Takagi Wakefield
1962 120 3rd Don Ruths Annandale
1962 120 4th Jage Groveton
1962 127 1st Jerry Callahan Falls Church
1962 127 2nd Toshihiko Nobe R.E. Lee – Spr
1962 127 3rd 4th Dan Price Annandale
1962 127 4th John Eisenhart Washington-Lee
1962 133 1st Gary Misenheimer Groveton
1962 133 2nd Bruce Blatz Falls Church
1962 133 3rd Bud Reynolds Yorktown
1962 133 4th 3rd Tom Lamanna Washington-Lee
1962 138 1st Neil Smith Yorktown
1962 138 2nd Tom Swan Annandale
1962 138 3rd Keith Douglass Wakefield
1962 138 4th Larry Grove Washington-Lee
1962 145 1st 1st Vahan Khoyan Washington-Lee
1962 145 2nd 4th Michael McKelvie Mount Vernon
1962 145 3rd Ron Eld J.E.B. Stuart
1962 145 4th Karl Veit Wakefield
1962 154 1st 1st Jim Jenkins Mount Vernon
1962 154 2nd Robert Jacobs Groveton
1962 154 3rd 2nd Mike Chapman Wakefield
1962 154 4th Jerry Mullins Annandale
1962 165 1st 1st Bill Darnall Wakefield
1962 165 2nd Ronnie Coburn Yorktown
1962 165 3rd 2nd Dan Jones Annandale
1962 165 4th Ron Tankersley Fairfax
1962 175 1st 1st Jim Spicer Washington-Lee
1962 175 2nd Tom Lamone Wakefield
1962 175 3rd 2nd Bob White Fairfax
1962 175 4th Francis Oxley J.E.B. Stuart
1962 HWT 1st Brian O’Donnell Washington-Lee
1962 HWT 2nd 3rd Tony Bennett James Madison
1962 HWT 3rd Steve Sears Annandale
1962 HWT 4th Ned Garber Wakefield

Team Placement

Region School Points Coach
1st Washington-Lee 79 Sherman Vandevender
2nd Wakefield 78 Vic Blue
3rd Annandale 67
4th Yorktown 57 Chuck Harris
5th Mount Vernon 51
6th Falls Church 34 Charles Sherwood
7th Groveton 30
8th McLean 27
9th Fairfax 22
10th J.E.B. Stuart 21
11th James Madison 17
12th R.E. Lee – Spr 9
13th Osbourn 5

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.

1 thought on “1962 Northern Virginia Tournament aka Regions

  1. It was a treat to find this write-up and your comments about the 1962 Northern Va. Tourney. I am Jim Spicer and it was a thrill to win that tournament for the team (with the help of my late buddy and wrestling partner Brian O’Donnell), and then go on and win at State, Something I read suggested that there is video of this tournament? Please let me know if any visuals exist. I do have the article you pictured and my uniform(!) Every year or so I say I am going up to the state tournament (I live in Florida) but have yet to do it. Maybe in ’15. Do you know where it wil be?

    Thanks for posting and if I can offer any assistance let me know.
    Jim Spicer

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