Niagara Gazette


March 9, 2010

HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: Several locals honored at luncheon

The Western New York Wrestling Coaches Association held its sixth annual Luncheon of Champions this past Sunday. The event honors wild card recipients, sectional champions, state champions, divisional team champions, coaches, Hall of Fame inductees and many more.

This year’s Hall inductees were Walt Thurnau, Dick Lang, Don Schoch, Bob Sloand and Ryan Needle.

Thurnau amassed a record of 297-97 during a 28-year stint as head coach at Southwestern. He also spent nine more years as an assistant coach. He coached 17 state qualifiers and two state champions. His teams won three sectional titles and was named Coach of the Year by several organizations. He then took the reins at Jamestown Community College for six seasons. He’s currently an assistant at JCC. While there, Thurnau has coached 19 NJCAA qualifiers and two all-Americans. He was also named the NJCAA Man of the Year in 2004. Also involved in the Southwestern Kids Wrestling Club for 25 years.

Lang spent 29 years coaching at both Royalton-Hartland and Newfane. His career record was 294-43-4 with 17 Niagara-Orleans League and three sectional championships to his credit. He coached 96 N-O champions, 20 sectional champions, 12 state qualifiers, five state place finishers and two state champions. He earned several Coach of the Year awards, was inducted into the Orchard Park Hall of Fame and earned a Special Recognition Award from the WNYWCA. He’s also a past president and current advisor to the WNYWCA and a member of Wrestling Review of Western New York. Lang founded both the Roy-Hart and Newfane Junior Wrestling Clubs.

Schoch amassed a career record of 64-5 at Williamsville High School from 1955-58. He was a three-time sectional champion before moving on to the University at Buffalo, where he was 28-0 in his one season.

Sloand won a state championship in 1972 at Niagara-Wheatfield. The three-time sectional champion was also a two-time runner-up at the state tournament.

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