West York Wrestling



Feature Interview


Q&A with
West York Wrestling's
Brian Kuntz '70

West York Wrestling's Brian Kuntz '70
▪ An overall West York Wrestling Career Record of... 48-11.
York HS Wrestling YCIAA Sectional Champion (1970).
1969-70... West York High School Wrestling Team Captain.



West York Wrestling's Brian J. Kuntz - graduated from West York in 1970...
and states that when "he wrestled"... there were no second chances in sectionals and districts ("one loss and out with no classifications such as AAA/AA!").  And, there were no weekend tournaments as numerous as there are today.  But, that didn't hinder Brian's love for the sport of wrestling.  His loss in the 1968 YCIAA Sectional Finals (sophomore year) and a heartbreaking riding time loss to Mike Anstadt in his (junior year) at the 1969 Sectionals hurt.  But, "life goes on."  Brian wanted to take his losses and build on them.  You always continue to learn in wrestling and you take the ups and downs in stride.  Brian Kuntz went on to win the 1970 YCIAA Sectional Title... and, if you look at the above photo, there are three champions that Brian defeated during his career! (Vasellas, Anderson & Grove).

  After graduating from West York, Brian chose Lock Haven State College (University) and obtained a 1973 (December) BS Degree in Computer Science.  Brian "walked on" at Lock Haven State Wrestling and won a starting job for the 1972-73 season.  Brian finished with an 8-6 record and finished 4th at the prestigious Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships @ 118lbs.  Brian also got hooked on running and was a member of the Lock Haven State Cross Country Team in the fall of 1972.

  After Brian graduated from LHU in 1973, he went to work in the computer science field and has been at AWI for the last 30 years.  Brian also was a PIAA Wrestling Official for 13 years and an assistant wrestling coach at West York in the early eighties.  Brian's brother, Mark, was a West York wrestler and is still officiating in the area.  In 1974, Scott Callahan '72 hosted a social gathering at his spring house... and Brian met his wife, Sue.  Sue worked at Briarwood Golf Club and Brian soon took up the great game of golf.  Brian and Sue were married in 1976 and have 3 children - Curt, 24 who is working in Oakland, CA - MariBeth, 21 who will be a senior at the University of Pittsburgh - Tori, 16 who is a junior at Spring Grove High School.  When son Curt was at Spring Grove High School, he was a cross-country runner... so,  dad Brian got back into running and Brian has competed in 45 marathons! - including the Boston Marathon from 1990-1999.  The latest was the Long Beach Marathon in October of 2009 with Curt.  Now, Brian plays more golf than running and likes to savor every minute of life.

  Please take a look at a photo of a "YCIAA Wrestler Results Scrapbook" - of every county wrestling team during the '68-70 seasons!  It was made by Brian's mom - HERE!

  I asked my friend Brian Kuntz... to complete an interview for the West York Wrestling Alumni website and fans.

Don Lehman
Don Lehman
Webmaster & Owner of westyorkwrestlingalumni.com

2010 Brian Kuntz Interview... by Don Lehman

DL - Brian, which is harder... your work, golf,  bringing up your family or running in the Boston Marathon?
BK -
That's a loaded question, Don!  You have to balance them all or nothing will work.
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DL - How is everyone doing in the Kuntz family these days?
BK -
Everyone is doing good.  Mom and Dad are living over at the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA.  My kids are growing up!
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DL - Brian, when and how did you get into the sport of wrestling at West York... and who were your early mentors and coaches?
BK -
I can't remember exactly when I started (the mind is the first thing to go) but I think taking up the sport of wrestling had something to do with living within a few blocks of Billy Luckenbaugh, Larry Haas and Danny Dixon.  Bob Brown (former 3-time West York District Champion) played a big part in the beginning because we practiced in his glass shop (Brown's Glass).
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DL - What did you learn at an early age that contributed to your mat success at West York and Lock Haven?  What would you tell kids at an early age these days with regard to taking up the sport of wrestling?
BK -
From wrestling... you learn that its you and you alone against your opponent.  You get the help and direction in the wrestling room, but when you go on the mat - its only you!  With regard to taking up the sport today, I would tell the kids to have fun and enjoy it!  You will only get out of the sport what you put into it.
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DL - You wrestled at a time when there was some pretty good wrestlers and teams at West York.  Obviously, the names of Bill Luckenbaugh and John Sprenkle come up ('69 PIAA State Wrestling Champions)... but, there were other outstanding West York athletes, especially in the lower weights at practice where you competed nightly.  Who are some of the names that come to mind and what were the practices like at West York with these outstanding young men?
BK -
I remember getting into "round robins" with Larry Haas, Frankie Vega, Jack Kunkle and Kevin McCleary.  Talk about some head-banging workouts!
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DL - Brian, your mom kept a very nice and detailed scrapbook that had the results of every YCIAA county wrestler from 1968-70.  It sounds like you had some great family support during your athletic days... how important was that support?
BK -
You never have too much support.  You know you have support when your dad wanted you to be a "swimmer" but, he was always there cheering me on at every meet.  When they knew  I was cutting weight, my mom helped me with my diet.  In college (Lock Haven), my parents made it to just about every match... especially the Western PA road trip.  They were there to see me defeat two top notch wrestlers.  What a trip!
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DL - What did Coach John T. Toggas and assistant Coach Robert Bowers mean to you as an athlete at West York High School?
BK -
How do you answer something like that?  Coach Toggas and Coach Bowers were always there for every wrestler no matter what the circumstance... they were like family.
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DL - Brian, you made the decision to further your education at Lock Haven State College and continue your wrestling career for the Bald Eagles and Coach Dr. Ken Cox.  Give us a couple of highs and lows while competing in a very tough and storied program (Lock Haven University) and PSAC/NCAA competition?
BK -
I guess the low was when I went to Lock Haven State College and Gray Simons (91-2 career at LHU with 3 NCAA Championships as a wrestler!) was supposed to be the coach... but, he left for Indiana State.  That was real downer... I guess the main high was on a Lock Haven State road trip to the western part of the state (PA).  I wrestled state runner-up Carlos Bryant from California State, PA. - and got a last second takedown to beat him 4-3. And then, the next night while wrestling at Waynesburg University - I wrestled Dale Graham, who was a senior and a highly ranked junior college transfer.  I pinned him.  It was a good way to start both of those matches since everyone considered me the underdog.
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DL - I remember, as a freshman at East Stroudsburg State, traveling to Lock Haven State College for a dual meet in 1973 (12/16/73) with a couple other West York'ers - Keith Lichty, Bill Luckenbaugh and Mike Stambaugh.  I couldn't believe the fantastic atmosphere at the Haven... an overflow crowd and a band!  Our coach, the late Clyde "Red" Witman, wanted to beat Lock Haven and Dr. Cox so bad!  And we did... 29-20 with the help of a fall by West York Wrestling Alumnus 126lb. Keith Lichty over defending PSAC State Champion, Rob Johnson (3:14) - West York Wrestling Alumnus 158lb. Bill Luckenbaugh with a fall over another defending PSAC State Champion, Don Eichenlaub (4:27) - West York Wrestling Alumnus 177lb. Mike Stambaugh's 9-8 decision over Ron McMurray - and... West York Wrestling Alumnus Heavyweight Don Lehman's draw (6-6) with Lock Haven's NCAA DII All-American (5th-'73) , Jim Schuster.  What a thrill for us as it was the first time ESU beat Lock Haven in seven years!  West York'ers accounted for 17 of ESU's 29 points!  Did you compete in the match (forgive my memory) and what was it like to see so many former West York athletes compete at the college level?
BK -
No, I did not compete that particular semester because I ended up graduating in December.  And thinking back on it - "bad idea" graduating early because I could have started that year '73-'74... (I think).  Its great to see local athletes compete, especially at the national level.  There are so many great Pennsylvania wrestlers competing for NCAA DI schools!
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DL - What are the biggest differences between competing at the high school level and the collegiate level?  What would you do "different" in your preparation regimen if you had another chance to wrestle at West York High School and Lock Haven State?
BK -
There are big differences from when we wrestled and now.  When we wrestled, there was constant action... but now, it seems like a waiting game.  To me, it gets a little boring these days.  Today, personally - I wouldn't change a thing!  I am a "get down and do it and push the pace person"... so, I guess I wouldn't make it in today's mat world!
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DL - Brian, I know you were an assistant wrestling coach at West York during the 80's... tell me a little about that experience?
BK -
Boy, that was different!  I wasn't a real technician or anything like that.  I was just a coach that would help with the conditioning aspect because that is what I emphasized when I wrestled (back in the day).
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DL - Do you follow West York Wrestling and Lock Haven University Wrestling these days?
BK -
I don't follow wrestling much these days.  I read the paper, but that is about it.
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DL - It was nice to get together a couple of weeks ago with some fellow West York Wrestling Alumni at Randy Blasdell's Bulldog Open at Iron Valley Golf Club.  Do you keep in touch with other former teammates from West York and Lock Haven?  (I think we need to get together a West York Wrestling Golf Reunion before we get too old!)
BK -
I see former West York Wrestlers - Skip Martin '74 and Steve Toggas '77 in the Monday Night Golf League at Honey Run Golf Club.  Bob Banfill, who I wrestled with at Lock Haven State, is the director of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters in York, PA.  I also see West York and Lock Haven State alumnus (and great football player)... Wayne Hoffman, a few times a month on the golf course.
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DL - Brian, what did wrestling teach you when it comes down to this very tough thing called "life?"
BK -
You need to take everything "head on" and give it your best... and whatever the results are - you need to live with it!
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DL - Brian, I want to thank you for sharing some great memories with me and the westyorkwrestlingalumni.com website readers!
BK - Thanks, Don.
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You can e-mail Brian Kuntz HERE! & Don Lehman HERE!

The 2010 Bulldog Open Champions with a score of (-10) 62 were:
(L-R) Stanley "Skip" Martin,
Randy Blasdell & Brian Kuntz.
(match of cards and an 'eagle" was the deciding factor)
∙ photo by Dr. Perry Tallman

1969-70 West York Varsity Wrestling Team
▪ Front Row (L-R) Paul Mulay, Brian Kuntz, Terry Lehr, A. Scott Callahan,
James Haas, David Albright.
▪ Back Row (L-R) Michael Stambaugh, Charles Halloran, Guy Boyer, Gary Bates,
Richard Newcomer, Kenneth Shaffer, Jack Myers.

∙ ∙ ∙  '70 WY Wrestling Captains - Gary Bates & Brian Kuntz.
1969-70 - West York Wrestling Outstanding Wrestler Award

The 1970 YCIAA District III
Sectional I Wrestling Champions

▪ Front (L-R) Jack Ruhlman (Hanover), Brian Kuntz (West York),
Steve Grove (Red Lion), Lowell Anderson (Red Lion).
▪ Middle (L-R)
Charles Bruce (Eastern), Mike Koons (Eastern),
Harry Vasellas (Red Lion).
▪ Back (L-R) Bryant Meckley (Hanover), Don Barshinger (Eastern),
Glenn Geiman (South Western), Bill Trostle (South Western),
Robert Costa (Dover).



1972 Lock Haven State College Wrestling

▪ LHSC's Brian Kuntz - 5th Row - far right.

1973 Lock Haven State College Wrestling

1973 Lock Haven Wrestling - Brian Kuntz - 1st on left ▪ back (standing).

1974 Lock Haven State College Wrestling

▪ Missing from 1974 photo - LHSC's Brian Kuntz.

1973 PSAC Wrestling Championships
      @ Shippensburg State College
PSAC '73 118lb. Championship Podium

'73 PSAC 118lbs. (L-R) Joe Hill (Kutztown State), Brian Kuntz (Lock Haven State),
Craig Turnbull (Clarion State), Jack Spates (Slippery Rock State),
Dave Whare (Millersville State), Carlos Bryant (California State).
1973 PSAC 118lb. Championship Podium - (larger photo)

West York Area High School
1981 Selinsgrove Tournament
Team Champions!

Front (L-R) Kevin Hannigan, Cary Gerace, Brendt Gladfelter,
Todd Kern, Jon Luckenbaugh.
▪ Back
(L-R) Coach John T. Toggas, Steve Culver, Michael Ott,
Coach John Sprenkle, Tom Toggas, Rob Eyster,
Coach Brian Kuntz.

1983 West York Wrestling Dual Meet vs. Central York
▪ (L-R) Coaches John T. Toggas with son "Moc", John Sprenkle, Brian Kuntz
and standing in back is assistant coach, Kevin McCleary.

1983 West York Wrestling Coaching Staff
(L-R) Brian Kuntz, John T. Toggas & John Sprenkle.


Other Archived Q & A Interviews:

Billy Randt, Rod Stough, Jeff Wolfe, Keith "KRW" Warehime, Randy Blasdell,
David Maday & Jason Abel Turnbull, Mary Jane & John T. Toggas, Jon Trenge,
Wilmer Pressel, Dr. Bill Welker, Mike Stambaugh, Todd Reynolds, Gary Narber,
Fred & Matt Callahan, K.C. McCleary
& MORE!.

A High School Scrapbook
of Match Results!
THE YCIAA...'68-'70

by Brian Kuntz's Mom

The 1970, 1972 & 1973 WY Wrestling Gang!
(L-R) Carl Stambaugh, Don Lehman, Brian Kuntz & Mike Stambaugh.
Briarwood West #17 photo by Danielle Scheivert
2013 Bulldog Wrestling Open @ Briarwood West



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