WOA History 1965 - 1970

1965 – 1966

The WCOA Executive Council met September 23, 1965 at the home of President John Spencer.  In attendance were Spencer, Leo Bernabi, Earl Fuller, Art Connorton and Frank Marotta.  Secretary Bob Terbush had informed the other officers that he was resigning.  Frank Marotta was asked to accept the position for the 1965-1966 season.  Frank reluctantly agreed.  This was the first season that Section 5 required the wrestling officials to be “drawn” for varsity assignments just as they were in basketball.  As acting WCOA Secretary, Frank was assigned to send each member a copy of the proposed revision of the WCOA Constitution and obtain availability from officials learn about the draw process as well as to be prepared for our first draw. The first draw took forever, but paved the way for significant changes such as a master draw chart and copies for each person who was selecting officials and having 2 representatives from each league so that each could draw half the schedule.

The 1965-1966 rules changed the referees’ attire to a black and white striped shirt, black pants and black shoes. Most referees were very happy to see the end of wearing white pants and white shirts.  All takedowns were once again worth two points and a wrestler could earn a maximum of two points riding time per match. The method of announcing the winner was changed so the referee would order the wrestlers to shake hands, touch the shoulder of the winning wrestler and raise his own arm. The rule for overtime matches in tournaments was changed so there would be a 1-minute rest if a match ended in a tie and this would be followed by 3 periods of 1 minute each, with the first period on the feet.  Only the points and time advantage in the overtime counted and if there was still a tie, the winner was determined by signed ballots of the referee and 2 judges.  Prior to this change, only 2 overtime periods were wrestled and both started from the referee’s position.

The WCOA Fall meeting was held on November 12, 1965 at RIT.  All officials took the exam and the business meeting was conducted afterward.  The new WCOA Constitution was officially approved.  A schedule of interpretation meetings to be held throughout Section 5 and an interpreter would be designated for each one.  When officiating assignment sheets from the first draw were distributed, several members expressed discontent because they received few matches.

WCOA CERTIFIED OFFICIALS 1965-1966 SEASON (List includes inactive officials who meet certification requirements)

*Probationary and J.V. – includes first year officials, JV officials and officials who did not meet 5-point plan in previous year or were returning from inactive status


Austin, Blaine, WellsvilleDimitroff, Tom, Corning*Huff, Tim, ChurchvilleOrdiway, John, Dansville
Baier, Joe, Henrietta*Dollar, Tom, RochesterIncardona, Frank, RochesterPalmieri, Tony, Rochester
Bentivegna, Seb, RochesterDrake, Lee, North Rose*Johnston. Dan, Rochester*Petri, Gill. Pittsford
Bernabi, Leo, Spencerport*Everling,Jerry, HenriettaLaMonica, Tony, SpencerportPicciarillo, Joe, Andover
*Bonnes, Bob, BrockportFuller, Earl, RochesterLays, Bob, Rochester*Pogal, Ira, Rochester
Boylan, Glen, AddisonFurano, Don, GenevaMahan, Don, Painted PostQuethera, Lou, Geneva
Boyle, Bill, CanandaiguaGanley, Tom, HiltonMarotta,Frank, Rochester*Shafer, John, Rochester
Capone,Ralph,Seneca FallsGentile, Al, Ontario*Maxwell, Mike, BrockportShaw, Henry, Wellsville
Cook, Clesson, Bath*Giagios, Mike, RochesterMolino, Carmon, GrotonSmith, Ron, Castile
Curry, Bob, RochesterGilfilian, Gordon, WaterlooMolino, Joe, BataviaSnider, Gordon, Rochester
*Curtice, Alex, RochesterHackemer, John, WarsawMills, Robert, BathSouthard, Ray, Attica
Daniels, John, PittsfordHackett, Harold, AlmondMoracco, Francis, GenevaSpencer, John, Rochester
Davis, Ken, RochesterHagberg, Len, East RochesterMorgan, Dean, BathTerbush, Bob, Webster
*DeBottis.Pete, Seneca FallsHill, Harry, OntarioNelson, Kelly, GainesvilleTrauscht, Mike, Attica
Weisenredder, Gerald, Ontario   

The WCOA Spring meeting was held on April 1, 1966 at RIT.  Vice President Leo Bernabi suggested some improvements be made in the probationary officials program such as judging performance at a JV tournament at the conclusion of the season, a 2 year probationary period, officiating a minimum of 20 matches, a minimum age of 21, wrestling experience and establishing a maximum number of varsity officials. These recommendations were referred to committee by President John Spencer.  There was considerable discussion about the draw and the need to make improvements.  The draw was used by other sports and was implemented by Section 5 at the request of many coaches and officials.  It was pointed out that the draw was really a selection process and not a random picking of officials, that coaches needed to discuss their preferences in advance with their representatives and that officials had to make known their time and travel restrictions.  Once again the topic of officiating fees and the difficulty in getting Section 5 approval was discussed. In accordance with the new constitution, officers for the next season were elected as follows:  President, Leo Bernabi; Vice President, Art Connorton; and Executive Secretary, Frank Marotta.   For the divisional vice presidents: Coaches Division – Walt Teike and Officials Division – Francis “Chico” Morracco.

1966 – 1967

The 1966-1967 rules required wrestlers to weigh in without clothing.  The overhead double arm bar and headlock without the arm included were illegal.  To declare the winner of a match, the referee was required to lift the arm of the winning wrestler.  Prior to this time, the referee ordered the wrestlers to shake hands, touched the shoulder of the winning wrestler and raised his own arm.

At the Fall Meeting in 1966, President Leo Bernabi proposed that the WCOA award Life Membership to those people who were not longer active in the association but had contributed to the association’s success over the years.  The membership approved and the first Life Members, Tony Beisman, John McNab and Frank Reddy, were selected and were to be honored at the Spring Banquet in 1967.

Under the provisions of the new WCOA Constitution, the Coaches and Officials conducted separate divisional meetings.  Divisional Vice President Walt Tieke presided over the Coaches Division on November 10, 1966 at Eastridge High with 30 coaches in attendance. This was a far greater number than in the past. The coaches agreed that they wanted to remain part of the WCOA but would pay an additional $1 for Coaches Division expenses.  There was discussion of the idea of an area wrestling newspaper that would include the results of individual bouts with names of winners and losers, league standings and JV scores and would require the cooperation of all coaches.  Wrestling Clinics were set up at Eastridge, to be conducted by Earl Fuller and at Rush Henrietta, to be conducted by Jim Howard.  Terry Mather was in charge of a party for coaches to be held at Bishop Kearney in January.

In 1967, the WOA Executive Council established a list of requirements for all wrestling officials. These included that candidates had to complete 3 training session and pass a written exam. There was a minimum one year probationary period.  A JV official had to have a minimum of 15 meets but could have fewer if he had years of coaching and wrestling experience.  To be considered active, an official had to work a minimum of 5 meets but could work fewer if coaching.

(List includes inactive officials who meet certification requirements)

*Probationary and J.V. – includes first year officials, JV officials and officials who did not meet 5 point plan in previous year or were returning from inactive status

Bentivegna, Seb – RochesterDollar, Tom – RochesterHackemer, John – WarsawMoracco, Francis – Geneva
Bernabi, Leo – Spencerport*Elter, John – WebsterHagberg, Len – East RochesterOrdiway, John – Honeoye Falls
Bonnes, Bob – Brockport*Feuz, Al – BrockportIncardona, Frank – RochesterPalmieri, Tony – Rochester
Boyle, Bill – Canandaigua*Focht, Ron – Seneca FallsJohnston. Dan – RochesterQuethera, Lou – Geneva
Connell, Ray – LivoniaFuller, Earl – Rochester*Kenny, Ray – Geneva*Serafine, Ralph – Spencerport
Capone, Ralph – Seneca FallsFurano, Don – GenevaLaMonica, Tony – SpencerportSmith, Ron – Castile
Curry, Bob – RochesterGanley, Tom – HiltonMarotta, Frank – RochesterSouthard, Ray – Attica
Curtice, Alex – Rochester*Gathard, Jim – Victor*Maxwell, Tom – East RochesterSpencer, John – Rochester
Daniels, John – PittsfordGentile, Al – Ontario*McElligott, Bill – Rochester*Stelljes, Mike – Rochester
*Dart, Roger – ChurchvilleGiagios, Mike – Rochester*McLaren, Tom – RochesterTrauscht, Mike – Attica
Davis, Ken – RochesterGilfilian, Gordon – WaterlooMolino, Joe – BataviaWeisenreder, Gerald – Ontario

The Spring Meeting was held on April 14, 1967. This was a meeting of the Officials Division.  The varsity fee of $15.50 and JV fee of $7.50 approved by the Section 5 Council was approved by our membership.  President Leo Bernabi reported on getting an insurance program for officials, the criticism of some officials for turning back assignments at the last minute and the fact that invitational tournament officials would not be drawn and could be hired in advance of the draw. The current officers – Leo Bernabi, Art Connorton and Frank Marotta were reelected.  Al Gentile was elected as Vice President of the Officials Division.

1967 – 1968

The rules for 1967-1968 recommended 12 inch red and green arcs on the 10-foot circle where wrestlers started the match (mandatory the following season), made the properly cut one-piece uniform legal, required all personnel other than the actual participants to be in a restricted area at least 10 feet from the mat area and scoring table and provided for a one team point deduction when a coach, contestant or spectator was removed from the premises for flagrant misconduct.  N.Y. State adopted a 215 lb. class.

The Officials Division meeting was held on November 16, 1967 at East Rochester High and was presided over by Vice President Art Connorton because President Leo Bernabi was in Europe.

Once again the draw was a major topic because lesser known officials did not draw as many assignments as other officials. The same complaints were aired but it was pointed out that the draw did a better job of distributing matches than had existed in prior years and that it did succeed in preventing some officials from working too many matches and from always working at the same school. Clarifications were needed about procedures such as confirmation of acceptance of assignments in writing, officials never sending his own substitute, the difference between a tournament and a double dual in terms of fees and payment of a varsity fee for each match if an official does both varsity and JV. The latter was to encourage the hiring of a separate official for JV meets.  Al Gentile reported on the 3 practical sessions held for new candidates.

(List includes inactive officials who meet certification requirements)

*Probationary and J.V. – includes first year officials, JV officials and officials who did not meet 5 point plan in previous year or were returning from inactive status

Baker, Bob – ScottsvilleDeBottis, Peter, Seneca FallsHackemer, John – WarsawMolino, Joe – Batavia
*Bentivegna, Seb – RochesterElter, John – WebsterHagberg, Len – East RochesterMoracco, Francis – Geneva
Bernabi, Leo – Spencerport*Feuz, Al – BrockportHill, Roger – Rush HenriettaOrdiway, John – Honeoye Falls
Bonnes, Bob – BrockportFuller, Earl – Rochester*Imhoff, Charles – WilliamsonPalmieri, Tony – Rochester
*Boyle, Bill – CanandaiguaFurano, Don – GenevaIncardona, Frank – Rochester*Quethera, Lou – Geneva
Capone, Ralph – Seneca FallsGanley, Tom – HiltonJohnston. Dan – Rochester*Shafer, John – Rochester
*Cargoni, Jim – RochesterGathard, Jim – VictorLaMonica, Tony – SpencerportSmith, Ron – Castile
Connell, Ray – LivoniaGentile, Al – OntarioMarotta, Frank – RochesterSouthard, Ray – Attica
Curry, Bob – RochesterGiagios, Mike – RochesterMaxwell, Mike – East RochesterSpencer, John – Rochester
Curtice, Alex – RochesterGilfilian, Gordon – WaterlooMaxwell, Tom – East RochesterStelljes, Mike – Rochester
Daniels, John – Pittsford*Granzin, Dave – Rochester*McElligott, Bill – RochesterTrauscht, Mike – Attica
Davis, Ken – Rochester*Green, Harold – RochesterMcLaren, Tom – RochesterWeisenreder, Gerald – Ontario

Discussion at the March 18, 1968 Spring Business meeting was centered on the WCOA’s financial situation.  There were fewer members, increased costs and increased expenses despite the “free” items we have be fortunate to get and this was a concern.  The members agreed to amend the WCOA By-laws to increase the dues for all active members to $20 and $10 for probationaries.  Dues included cost of rule book, association membership, state membership and the annual dinner.  It was also voted to give the Executive Secretary a stipend of $200 per year.  It was announced that Executive Council had decided to honor Pete DeBottis and Bob Terbush at the spring banquet and present them with Life Membership.  The following officers were elected: President, Al Gentile; Vice President, John Ordiway; Executive Secretary, Frank Marotta and Officials Division Vice President, Ken Davis.

Leo Bernabi was elected to serve as President of the NYSWOA from 1968 to 1970.  He was he first person from Section 5 to serve in that capacity and this was the start of a “rotation of the NYSWOA presidency” so that all sections would have the opportunity to hold that office.  Leo was also the N.Y. State Official Rules Interpreter during his presidency and set the standard for disseminating information by future interpreters.  He also was part of the NYSWOA Executive Committee from 1966-1972.

1968 – 1969

The 1968-1969 rules required contestants to be clean shaven, required the minimum weight of 175 lb. for the Unlimited Class and revised the starting position of the offensive wrestler that required only one knee on the mat. The college rules provided for 2 consultant officials to assist the referee in tournament championship and consolation matches.  In future years, they were called mat judges.

President Al Gentile conducted the Fall Business meeting at RIT on December 9, 1968.  Members expressed concern that not enough meetings were available to meet the 5 point plan.

Officials would be having an additional meeting to prepare as table workers for the State Tournament which would be at RIT in March.  As in the past, there were concerns about the draw.  Leo Bernabi was commended for traveling to the various areas to give official interpretations and for the first time, Section 5 agreed to pay the official interpreter’s mileage for this. The secretary was instructed to contact the Section 5 Chairman to request the use of 2 judges and 1 official on Sectional Tournament Finals.   Because of John Ordiway’s death and the desire of the membership to honor his memory, the members agreed to present an Ordiway Memorial Award at the Section 5 Championships. A committee was appointed to establish criteria. Bill Boyle was appointed chairman and other members were Gerald Weisenreder and Frank Incardona.

(List includes inactive officials who meet certification requirements)

*Probationary and J.V. – includes first year officials, JV officials and officials who did not meet 5 point plan in previous year or were returning from inactive status

Baker, Bob – ScottsvilleConnell, Ray – LivoniaHackemer, John – WarsawMcElligott, Bill – Rochester
Bentivegna, Seb – RochesterDavis, Ken – RochesterHagberg, Len – East Rochester*McLean, Roy – Pittsford
Bernabi, Leo – Spencerport*DeBadts, Don – GeneseoHastings,Roscoe – Rochester (from Sec. 2)Molino, Joe – Ontario
*Billitier, Jim – RochesterFeuz, Alfred – BrockportIncardona, Frank – Rochester*Moore, Dave – Warsaw
Bonnes, Bob – BrockportFuller, Earl – Rochester*Jermyn, Dick – RochesterPeterson, Paul – Rochester (from N. Eng.)
*Boyle, Bill – CanandaiguaFurano, Don – GenevaJohnston. Dan – Rochester*Richelson, John – Rochester
*Brown, Bob – PittsfordGanley, Tom – HiltonLaMonica, Tony – SpencerportSmith, Ron – Castile
*Capone, Joe – NewarkGathard, Jim – Victor*Long, Bob – RomulusSpencer, John – Rochester
Capone, Ralph – Seneca FallsGentile, Al, OntarioMandelare, John, Geneseo (from Sec. 6)Stelljes, Mike – Rochester
Cargoni, Jim – RochesterGiagios, Mike – RochesterMarotta, Frank – RochesterTrauscht, Mike – Attica
*Clintsman, Richard – RochesterGilfilian, Gordon – WaterlooMaxwell, Mike – East Rochester*Urbanski, Stan – Rochester
*Churchill, Doug – Ontario*Habecker, Steve – MarionMaxwell, Tom – East RochesterWeisenreder, Gerald – Ontario

The Spring Business meeting was held on March 18, 1969 at Rush Henrietta Sperry High. President Al Gentile commended Bill Boyle for the find job designing the John Ordiway Memorial Plaque which was presented to Mike Duffy of East Rochester at the Section 5 Finals at Hobart College.  The membership requested that a committee be established to review the process for selecting the Outstanding Wrestler and to establish criteria for the award.  Other reports were made as follows: need to establish new tournament fees and guidelines on the number of mats to be used was referred to Executive Council, reelection of Leo Bernabi as NYSWOA President and praise for the WCOA members who worked as timers and scorers at the State Tournament. The officers for 1969-1970 were elected as follows: President, Al Gentile; Vice President, Dan Johnston; Executive Secretary, Frank Marotta and Vice President of the Officials Division, Tom Ganley.

1969 – 1970

The 1969-1970 rules required wrestlers to wear protective headgear.  The out of bounds rule was simplified to allow wrestling to continue if either wrestler had supporting points inside the boundary line. Continually grasping or interlocking hands around one leg and causing a stalemate was to be interpreted as stalling.  Wresting was to continue while warning and penalizing the defensive wrestler for stalling.

The Mat Judge Procedure was more clearly defined.  They were to be seated at opposite sides of the mat and the rules indicated how they should indicate disagreement with the referee. There were some changes in the weight classes starting with 98 lb. and 250 lb. replaced Unlimited.

The Fall Business meeting was held on December 10, 1969 at Rush Henrietta Sperry High. The members agreed that all varsity officials would wear a specially designed WCOA patch on the left shoulder.  President Al Gentile reported that there were problems implementing increased tournament fees for the coming season.  Officials Division Vice President Tom Ganley reported that 6 men successfully completed the training course for probationary candidates.

(List includes inactive officials who meet certification requirements)

*Probationary and J.V. – includes first year officials, JV officials and officials who did not meet 5 point plan in previous year or were returning from inactive status

Baker, Bob – ScottsvilleDavis, Ken – RochesterHagberg, Len – East Rochester*Neill, Donald – Marion
Bentivegna, Seb – RochesterDeBadts, Don – Geneseo*Harris, Jim – Rochester*Niedzwick, John – Caledonia
Bernabi, Leo – SpencerportDrake, Lee – E. Bloomfield (transfer)Hastings,Roscoe – RochesterPeterson, Paul – Rochester
*Billitier, Jim – RochesterEaton, Bob – GeneseoHenzler,Fred – Rochester (transfer)*Piscitelli, Ron – Seneca Falls
Boyle, Bill – CanandaiguaFeuz, Alfred – BrockportIncardona, Frank – Rochester*Quethera, Lou – Geneva
*Brown, Bob – PittsfordFuller, Earl – RochesterJermyn, Dick – Rochester*Richelson, John – Rochester
*Capone, Joe – NewarkFurano, Don – GenevaJohnston, Dan – RochesterSmith, Ron – Castile
Capone, Ralph – Seneca FallsGanley, Tom – HiltonKrach,Fred – Rochester (transfer)Stelljes, Mike – Rochester
Cargoni, Jim – RochesterGathard, Jim – VictorLaMonica, Tony – SpencerportTrauscht, Mike – Attica
*Chadwick, Brian – RochesterGentile, Al, Ontario*Long, Bob – Romulus*Traver, Don – Webster
*Choffin, Phil – GenevaGiagios, Mike – RochesterMarotta, Frank – RochesterWeisenreder, Gerald – Ontario
*Clintsman, Richard – RochesterGilfilian, Gordon – WaterlooMcElligott, Bill – Rochester*Widener, Pete – Spencerport
*Churchill, Doug – OntarioHabecker, Steve – Marion*McLean, Roy – Pittsford 
*Cole, Tom – East RochesterHackemer, John – WarsawMolino, Joe – Ontario 

The Spring Business meeting was held at Rush Henrietta Sperry High on March 25, 1970.

Ordiway Award Chairman, Bill Boyle, reported that the Outstanding Wrestler and the A vs. B State Qualifier was determined by a point system. The voting committee consisted of Lynn Tewksbury, Steve Habecker, Ed Ahonen, Bill Boyle and the meet officials.  Don Jones of Canandaigua won the award.  It was reported that new varsity tournament fees would go into effect and the Executive Council would work to establish JV Tournament fees. It was recommended that future meetings be held each week on alternate Mondays and Tuesdays, that we spread out meetings geographically in an effort to reach more coaches, that some meetings be held at RIT and MCC so we could use their wrestlers for demonstration purposes and that officials be given lists of coaches and phone numbers in the event of emergencies.  Al Gentile, Dan Johnston and Frank Marotta were reelected to their WCOA offices.  Joe Molino was elected as Vice President of the Officials Division.

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