Type to search

Wrestling: Southeast to honor 1973 state championship team

Wrestling: Southeast to honor 1973 state championship team


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Southeast welcomes back wrestling royalty on Wednesday night.

The Pirates’ 1973 state championship team will be recognized and honored as part of the team’s dual meet with Liberty at Southeast High School.

Wednesday will feature a full slate of wrestling action, with Southeast beginning action with a youth meet at 5 p.m., followed by junior high at 6 p.m. and high school at 7 p.m.

The recognition of the 1973 Pirates group will be done prior to the start of the high-school dual.

“I remember growing up around Southeast wrestling dual meets,” graduate Mike Kemble posted on Facebook, promoting Wednesday’s activities. “It was a big deal to be a part of the dual meets or to even attend one.”

In addition to winning the Class A-AA state title in 1973, the Pirates, who were coached by Bill Steinriede, also captured the Portage County League crown for the second consecutive season, while also picking up sectional and district championships.

It was also the second straight year that the Pirates posted an undefeated 10-0 record.

Five wrestlers from the team qualified for the state championships.

Steinriede was named the 1973 PCL Coach of the Year.

“We wrestled all year as a team and it took a team effort to win at Columbus,” Steinriede said in the school’s yearbook wrap-up of the season. “There were several schools with two champions, and we had none, but that’s the way it should have been for the team. This way, we can say we were the best team in the state, not a team with just a few outstanding individuals.

“Whatever we’ve done in wrestling, we have used the motto “pride,” and I would have been proud even if we didn’t win a match down there — as long as we gave it our best effort,”  Steinriede added. “Winning doesn’t come without a lot desire, work and pride.”

The team was spotlighted by George Murphy (112 pounds), Ed Sapp (126), Jeff Coontz (138), Dennis  Baker (155), Chris Diehl (167) and Ron Writtenberry (185).

Murphy finished with a 27-1 record, with a PCL championship, sectional and district titles, before finishing as the state runner-up.

Sapp (21-2-1 record) was also a league and sectional champion, placing third at district and was a state-alternate.

Coontz had a 27-1 record, PCL, sectional and district champion and was also a state runner-up.

Baker (24-5 record) was a league champion and district title holder, then placed fourth at state.

Diehl finished with a 22-4 record and was a state alternate.

Writtenberry’s 22-6 record included runner-up spots at sectional and district, then he was fifth at the state championships.

1 Comment

  1. Ron (Wuzzy) Shilliday March 3, 2024

    Ron (Wuzzy) Shilliday was the 5th wrestler to place in the state that year for Southeast High.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *