Bridging the gap between today’s wrestlers with its prestigious past Montrose will celebrate its alumni between a dual match Saturday, Jan. 29 at the high school. Celebrating its 60th year of Montrose wrestling, past wrestlers will be honored and celebrated between matches.
The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with a junior high match between Blue Ridge and host Montrose. Around 10:45 a.m., all Montrose wrestling alumni present will be called mat side and introduced.
At 11 a.m., the Blue Ridge and Montrose varsity teams will square off. At the conclusion of that match, an Alumni Lounge will be available in the school cafeteria for alumni to eat and reminisce about Montrose’s past.
At 1 p.m., the day will conclude when Montrose hosts Lackawanna Trail for a Lackawanna League varsity wrestling match.
“We wanted to link the past with the present,” said Assistant Coach and event organizer Wade Robinson. “Any successful program tradition is important.”
Posters will recognize the over 450 wrestlers who have participated in program through the past 60 years. Also being recognized are the coaches who have led the Montrose program.
Special recognition will honor the five state medalists – Mike Cole who was state champion at 126 pounds in 1984 and his teammate John “Pip” Flaherty who was second at 167 pounds that same year. Mike’s brother Dan Cole who placed fifth at 135 pounds in 1991 along with eighth-place medalists Jesse Bonnice (145) in 2000 and Joe Hester (132) in 2019.
Along with those five medalists, nine other Montrose wrestlers earned a trip to the PIAA championships a list that includes John Sorber, Ron Kiefer, Jack Raynor, Jeff Ford, Maverick Wilcox, Bob Thorne, Phil Yeomans, Charlie Welch, and Andy Hawley.
“There has been a high level of success in all the years of the program,” said Robinson. “We want to show today’s wrestlers that while honoring those who have built that success.”
Along with numerous league titles and individual championships, Montrose also won nine District 12 team championships and finished third in the state in 1984.
Event organizers have also sold t-shirts commemorating the event. Anyone who did not preorder or unable to attend the event can still purchase a shirt at https://www.customink.com/fundraising/montrose-wrestling-60th-anniversary, which Robinson said includes the opportunity to have the shirt shipped directly.
Robinson said the current wrestlers are looking forward to the weekend event.
“We have some current wrestlers who have fathers who were part of the program,” noted Robinson. “So, there’s that connection