Eagles News · History Flashback – 1966 Wrestling State Champions


With no sports going on right now, we decided to bring you content highlighting the rich history of John Adams Athletics.

Our second flashback takes us to the second State Championship that John Adams won – the 1966 Wrestling team.

We hope you enjoy this flashback in time and we look forward to bringing you more content soon!

A PDF copy of his article is available for download as well at 1966 Wrestling State Champions


1966 Wrestling State Champions

Wrestling was becoming one of the most popular sports in Indiana in the mid 1960s, and the John Adams Wrestling team was one of those teams that could come to be one of the most competitive teams in the area during that time.

During the 1965-1966 season, the Eagles finished its best season in program history, finishing the season 12-0 and won championships in the South Bend City Championships, Northern Indiana Conference, Sectional, and Regional, all on their way to be crowned the IHSAA State Champions.

The State Championships in 1966 were held at Southport High School in Indianapolis. The tournament was the largest field assembled up to that point. John Adams won the State Championships with 28 points. The Eagles had an impressive roster in the 1966 State tournament. Adams had one individual State Champion and two State Runner Ups.

Individual Performances

John Mosby capped off the perfect senior season, going undefeated as he wrestled at 127 pounds. Mosby was victorious in the Championship Round of the State Finals, winning by decision with a score of 7-4. Prior to that Mosby had been crowned the South Bend, Northern Indiana, Sectional, and Regional Champion during the 1965-1966 season.

There were also two State Runner Ups in 1966 as well. William Hill finished his senior season as runner up at 133 pounds. Hill, who had won individual Sectional and Regional Championships in the weeks before lost in the championship round by decision with a score of 7-3.

Horris Russell fought hard in his match in the Championship round before getting pinned in the final period to finish as the State Runner Up. Russell, wrestling at 112 pounds won individual Sectional and Regional championships in the 1966 season. A year later, during the 1967 tournament, Russell went on to win Sectional, Regional and the State Championships while wrestling at 120 pounds.

Sectional and Regional Champions

The Eagles had just capped off a perfect regular season when they hosted the 1966 Sectional. Adams won the SB Adams Sectional with a total of 88 points. There were three individual champions for Adams, one runner up, and four third place finishers.

Horris Russell – 112 Pounds – 1st Place

John Mosby – 127 Pounds – 1st Place

William Hill – 133 Pounds – 1st Place

Don Ramsey – 154 Pounds – 2nd Place

William Rothkepf – 103 Pounds – 3rd Place

Timothy Shaw – 120 Pounds – 3rd Place

Thomas Kruyer – 180 Pounds – 3rd Place

Van Groth – Heavyweight – 3rd Place

A week later at the Lafayette Regional, Adams tied for first with Elkhart HS. Both teams scored 38 points. The win was the only Regional Championship for Adams in program history. Russell, Mosby, and Hill were all individual champions in their respective weight classes.

Northern Indiana Conference Champions

John Adams was also crowned the 1965-1966 Northern Indiana Conference Champions. The title was the third of five team titles that the team has won in program history and the third NIC Championship in a row for the team. Adams finished the conference season with a perfect record of 6-0. The Eagles had regular season conference victories over SB Central, Mishawaka, LaPorte, Elkhart, SB Washington, and SB Riley.

At that time in conference history, it was the regular season record that determined the conference championship. Adams also finished as the 1966 Northern Indiana Conference Championship Meet champions, but the meet did not weigh in in the final standings as it does today.

Unlike today in the NIC, there was no All Conference Team recognized in the 1960s in Wrestling. It was not until the late 1970s that all sports in the NIC began to recognize an All Conference roster. Without a doubt, John Adams would have been well represented on the All Conference roster if one was in existence that season.

Double State Champions

In what may be one of the very rare feats in Indiana sports history, John Adams HS won two team State Championships on the same day, within hours of each other. Earlier in the day on February 19, 1966, the Boys Swimming and Diving team won John Adams’ first State Championship down at Royer Pool in Bloomington. Later that night, John Adams won the Wrestling State Championship at Southport HS in Indianapolis.

The day is without a doubt one of the most successful days in the history of John Adams Athletics.

Perfect Regular Season

John Adams finished the 1965-1966 season with a perfect record of 12-0. In most of their meets that season, the Eagles dominated their opponents.

Date

Opponent

Adams

Opponent

December 1

Chesterton

51

5

December 3

SB Central

29

15

December 9

Gary Roosevelt

42

6

December 10

Mishawaka

35

8

December 16

LaPorte

42

8

December 18

SB City Meet

1st

January 4

Elkhart

33

11

January 7

SB Washington

34

11

January 12

Niles (MI)

32

15

January 14

Hammond

46

8

January 19

SB Riley

26

21

January 26

SB Clay

29

14

January 29

Northern Indiana Conference Championship

1st

February 2

Penn

47

3

February 5

Sectional

1st

February 12

Regional

1st

February 19

IHSAA State Meet

1st

State Championship Coach

The face of John Adams Wrestling for over two decades was its Head Coach Morris Aronson. Coach Aronson was the coach from 1956-1978 and during that time compiled one of the most impressive records of any coach in wrestling in Indiana.

Coach Aronson finished his career at John Adams with a record of 158-80-3. In his 22 seasons at the head of the program, Coach Aronson had only 6 losing seasons.

Coach Aronson led the Eagles to five Northern Indiana Conference Championships (1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1975), four Sectional Championships, (1965, 1966, 1974, 1975), one Regional Championship (1966), one State Championship (1966), coached four teams to a top 10 finish in the IHSAA State Championships (1965, 1966, 1967, 1978).

Coach Aronson also coached five individual State Champions, five State Runner Ups, and numerous Sectional and Regional champions.

Coach Aronson was inducted into the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1973.