Redbank Valley Christmas Tournament 1996

December 27-28, 1996


Team Points

        Finals   Prior to finals   Prior to C-finals   After 1/4s
1 Greenville             189        175               172                46
2 Redbank Valley         148        140               134                48.5
3 Burrell                145        130               130                48
4 Sharon                 113        102                91                33.5
5 Oil City                98.5       95.5              87.5              34
6 Cranberry               87         81                78                40
7 Johnsonburg             63         59                57                20
8 Brockway                62         62                59                22
9 Elderton                48         48                45                26
10 Punxsutawney           28         28                23                12
11 A-C Valley/ Keystone    4          4                 4                 0

Weight Class Results!


1st Ryan Ross - BUR            12-2
2nd Scott Cornelius - Gnv
3rd Josh Davis - OC              2:40
4th Tim Rowland - CR


1st David Ligo, Gnv             8-0
2nd Matt Boozer- RV
   3rd Brian May - S                3:40
4th Jim Kline - BW
1st Anthony Adams, RV           6-2
2nd Kurtis Holzshu, Gnv
3rd Steve Fairman, P              3:15
4th Eric Waters, OC


1st Ryan Yates, BUR              4:16
2nd Miles Hinderliter, Gnv
3rd Jayson Blews, Eld              2-1
4th Shawn Smith, RV


1st Jared Moss, S                 18-8; Brotherhood of Wrestling Award
2nd Mitch Reckner, BW
3rd Kirk Shimshock, Gnv             7-5
4th Matt Brinker, RV


1st Kyle Spiegel, Gnv              7-3
2nd Josh Julius, Eld
3rd Nathan Gourley, RV               4-2
4th Randy Rowland, Cr


1st Lenny McNeal, RV               5-4 Brotherhood of Wrestling Award
2nd Todd Shimshock, Gnv
3rd Aaron Rendos, BW                 2-0
4th Craig Griffin, S


1st Ben Brinker, OC                14-8
2nd Tim Dynys, BUR
3rd Jeff Meyers, S                   3-2
4th Shawn Wadding, RV


1st Tony Casilio, JB                3-2 
      Bryan Henry Outstanding Wrestler Award! (Dist IX champ!)
2nd Joel DesLauriers, BUR 
      (District VII Champ, PIAA 3rd!!)
3rd Erik Rupp, RV                     5-3 
      (District IX runner-up)
4th Brian Britton, OC 
      (District X Champ!)


1st Ben Miller, Gnv                   10-2
2nd Todd Dinger, RV
   3rd Bill Keneske, JB                    6-1
4th Dane Park, BUR


1st Brock White, BUR                   8-1
2nd Norm Skakalski, Gnv
3rd Lane Biddle, Cr                      3-2
4th Mike Willyoung, OC


1st Luke Carothers, Cr                 5:26
2nd Derek Merrifield, BUR
3rd Eric Mausser, S                      8-4
4th Nick Barber, BW


1st Brian Griffin, S                   3:09
2nd Scott Kaltenbaugh, Gnv
3rd Josh Knight, OC                       6-4
4th Rob Launer, JB

The 27th Annual Redbank Valley Christmas Tournament took place on Friday and Saturday, December 29/ 30, 1996. Despite some initial jitters among the support staff caused by lost and misplaced items from the flood last summer, the tournament came off smoothly.

The highlight of the weekend had to be the 152 class, featuring five serious contenders. Joe Moss of Sharon scratched at the last moment for unstated reasons and would have made a sixth. Jaben Benoel of Greenville, despite a lackluster record, is reported to have recently defeated Eric Britton of Oil City - and indeed held Britton to a 6-4 decision in the consy semis. This weight class had tremendous depth and provided the fans with wonderful semifinal and consolation matches, capped by an outstanding finals match.

The host Redbank Bulldogs took an early if slim lead Friday night, but could not hold back the wave of Greenville points as the returning champions placed 10 in the semi-finals and advanced 9 to the finals. With the team title almost decided, it became an interesting battle for second between Burrell and Redbank. RV stretched a 4-point lead to ten with a couple of wins in the consy finals and then traded matches with Burrell in the finals to hold a three-point lead at 189. Cranberry's Luke Carothers pinned Derek Merrifield and nailed the 2nd place position for Redbank. The spread wouldn't have been as close without a costly mishap at 130, when Miles Hinderliter of Greenville (with his match well in hand) pinned himself in an attempt to turn Ryan Yates of Burrell. Miles was distraught - and the Redbank coaching staff certainly shared his pain...

Not surprisingly, Tony Casilio took home a well-earned Bryan Henry Outstanding Wrestler Award for his efforts. The Brotherhood of Wrestling Awards from Ron Garrison's BOW Foundation were given to Lenny McNeal of Redbank and Jared Moss of Sharon. McNeal earned his largely on the basis of a gutsy never-say-die last minute finals win over Todd Shimshock of Greenville, while Moss impressed the head table with his dark-horse performance, knocking off the 2nd, 3rd, and 1st seeds on his way through the bracket to the title.

The Brotherhood of Wrestling Awards are handed out at select tournaments on the basis of:

1. A winner in the finals.
2. Aggressive wrestling, working for the fall.
3. Exemplary behavior, both on and off the mat.

Prior to the finals, there was a touching moment when a memorial plaque was presented by the officials of the North Central Wrestling Officials Chapter of the PIAA in honor of a recently deceased and well-loved fan, Mrs. Patricia Kundick. Mrs. Kundick was the wife of retired coach Ben Kundick, mother of four, grandmother of more, secretary at Redbank High School, and known far and wide as a devoted fan of the sport. No one recognizes a good fan more than the referees! We are all lessened by her passing, but the entire gym took a moment Saturday night to recognize and celebrate her life. Thanks for everything, Pat!

All teams expressed a desire to return next year, with the 1997 tournament tentatively scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Dec 29/30. Redbank would like to expand the tournament to a full sixteen teams, taking advantage of the recently constructed auxiliary gym and additional locker room space. We use two mats in one gym currently; we can lay a third - and if necessary, a fourth - mat in the new gym. Ft. LeBoeuf expressed an interest last year, as did Southmoreland and Thomas-Jefferson. Those teams will certainly be contacted, but any other teams that are interested, please contact the athletic director, Mr. Gene Smith @ Redbank High School, 910 Broad St. New Bethlehem, PA 16242, 814-275-2424. Feel free to E-mail your request to and it will be forwarded. We are primarily looking for strong AA teams, but will certainly welcome AAA teams.

Entry fee is $100, and trophies or plaques are awarded to the top three places at each weight, as well as the top three teams. In addition, the Redbank Valley Wrestling Club, which sponsors the tournament, awards a Champion jacket to the winner at each weight along with the wall chart. Food is available from our cafeteria, naturally, and lodging is available at several motels fifteen miles away in Clarion for those who wish to stay overnight. The tournament is computer-scored using MacTournament, so current scores, results, updated brackets, etc. are always available. A complete tournament summary is provided to every coach, including the results of every match wrestled by his team, the grade and record of those opponents, and a completed set of brackets. If you can't wait around after finals (and who wants to?), we'll mail them to you. Weigh-ins, times, bracketing, etc. are governed by standard PIAA rules regarding in-season tournaments. We've been told we run a first-class operation are are always looking for ways to make it better, so we welcome suggestions.

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