Monday, January 28, 2013
SEELEY ON WRESTLING: Golden memories for Pottstown program
By Don Seeley
POTTSTOWN — Roger Bechtel had no idea who Lee Bohner was, no concept whatsoever of what wrestling was all about, when he started his sophomore year at Pottstown High School in 1963. But he sure got to know the Trojans’ first coach in a hurry, and a lot about wrestling shortly thereafter.
“It was (Bohner’s) first year here, and he was going around the hallways and classes recruiting kids he felt could physically handle (wrestling),” Bechtel recalled.
Bechtel, 120 pounds or so soaking wet at the time, thought he’d give it a try.
“The prerequisite for getting a practice uniform was climbing the rope, all the way to the top, with your hands only,” he said. “That wasn’t so easy for some guys.
“The toughest part was trying to get kids out to wrestle. We may have had 18 kids that first day, and not every one of them hung around long. So we had to get others involved.”
Others did get involved, of course, and when Pottstown celebrated the 50th anniversary of its wrestling program last week prior to the Trojans’ match with visiting Pope John Paul II, more than 150 of those “kids” — most a little older and wee bit heavier now — were on hand to share in the festivities.
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