UPDATE:  Well, the plot thickens, if you’ll excuse a cliche.

I was always under the impression that the state record for consecutive dual meet victories was 127 by North Schuylkill back in the mid-1970s to 1980,  But my pal Clay Durham of Enola tracked down the folks at North Schuylkill who confirmed that NS’s 127-match streak was for league wins, not all duals.

North Schuylkill did have a 76-match streak that stood as the state record until Dallastown broke it with 77 straight ending in 1989 when Dover ended the streak.

I cannot find nor recall any Pennsylvania school that has won more than 77 straight matches since that time.

Soooo … unless evidence is forthcoming, it appears that Central Dauphin, currently with 76 straight dual meet wins, can tie not only the District 3 record, but also the state record for consecutive dual meet victories if it defeats Cedar Cliff on Thursday night.  And should that happen, Central Dauphin can set a state record with its 78th straight victory in its opening round match of the Central Dauphin Duals on Saturday.

Well.  How about that?

For more details about CD’s incredible winning streak, including a match-by-match chart, read the original post below:

The wife is in Texas, the kids are at their mother’s (well, more likely at a friend’s house), the dogs are on the couch, the Cotton Bowl (a decent matchup, for once) the NFL playoffs are on the flat screen and the District 3 wrestling power ratings are posted on the District 3 website.

I actually have time for a post?  Really?

Well, not a lot of time.  But I figured I’d chime in on Central Dauphin’s 75 76 consecutive dual victories (click here for a match-by-match list of wins during the streak), which are just three two shy of breaking Dallastown’s District 3 record of 77.

That record now seems likely to fall after CD’s 39-23 win over Cumberland Valley, a surprisingly easy win considering the fact that CD had three starters missing from the lineup: Dorian Spradlin (182), Nick Varndell (138)  and Jeremy Schwartz (113).

Even with those missing starters, CD is a solid favorite in its next two match against Chambersburg (Jan. 7) and Cedar Cliff (Jan. 11); Central Dauphin crushed Chambersburg 61-7 on Jan. 7.  The record-breaker, then, will likely come in the first round of the Jan. 14 Central Dauphin Duals, where the host sets the menu.  Think not?  In last year’s inaugural CD Duals, the Rams feasted on Abington Heights 79-0 and Central Bucks East 70-0 in the first two rounds.

There’s nothing nefarious at work there.  I can think of no such dual meet event – round-robin or otherwise – where the host decided to wrestle the best team in the field first.  And it’s not just a skin-saving move.  Do you really want the best match of the day to be wrestled at 9 a.m.?  So you can bet that Round One of the CD Duals is in the bag for the Rams, which, given the fact that CD just doesn’t lose these days, is not exactly news.

What is news is this streak.  CD head coach Jeff Sweigard said he had no idea what the streak was, whether it was close to a record, etc.  Normally, I’m a little skeptical of such claims, possibly because tracking such things was part of my job for more than three decades.  But in Swags’ case, I know it’s true.  He has no idea what his career dual meet coaching record is, and he can’t remember his record his senior year at CD when he was a state runner-up, although he can recall in some detail the feral things that C.D. Mock did to him the 1977 PIAA Class AAA championship match at 126 pounds.

So if he says he didn’t know that CD sailed past 70 straight wins last year and was zeroing in on a district record this year, save for media exposure, I believe him.  Hell, I would have been supremely suspicious if he did call and say, “Won our 75th straight last night.”  In fact, shortly after I called Jeremy Elliott of the Patriot-News to let him know that CD was getting close to a district record, I left Swags a voicemail that said, in so many words, “Get ready for some more attention.”  He never called me back.

(Re Dallastown’s record: Although I had it in some file currently buried at the Patriot-News’ new crib, my memory failed me and I had to get the information on Dallastown’s record from the school – many thanks to AD Tory Harvey and assistant AD Jack Markey for their prompt response).

Yet it is ironic that Swags and the coaches and wrestlers in the CD program have labored so hard to produce one of the great feats in Pennsylvania scholastic sports history, only to ignore it.

You read that correctly.

When District 3 implemented its dual meet championships in 1990 and the state followed suit in 1999, I figured Dallastown’s streak of 77 straight was secure.  When Hanover’s great Class AA teams of the early 1990s failed to crack the Dallastown streak (despite winning a phenomenal seven straight 3-AA titles), Dallastown was in place to hold the title forever.

Why?  Well, not only would a school have to win at least four straight district titles, but four straight state titles as well with no regular-season slip-up along the way.

Do you know what it takes to do that?  (And don’t even try to say “weak schedule.” The critics are wondering why CD hasn’t marked up a match with Blair Academy, Wyoming Seminary, etc. Um, CD faces all of those schools and more in the Beast of the East and Powerade. No, it’s not a dual … because facing those schools in individual tournaments makes way more sense than a dual.)

In order to win 76 consecutive matches in the state championship era, everything has to go right.  Everything.  No injuries.  No failure to make weight.  Proper matchups. No upsets.  No one breaking up with their girlfriend the day of the match.

Regardless of CD’s embarrassment of riches via the talent pool, this is an extraordinary feat.

If nothing else, CD beat the best teams of its day in a state that has legitimately great dual meet teams.  That counts for a lot in my book.

I’m part of the mob that believes CD’s streak will end at some point this year.  There’s a match looming against a good Big Spring team on Jan. 18.  Solanco is excellent this year, and CD could meet the Mules at the Tom Hecker Duals at Garden Spot on Jan. 28 and the 3-AAA championships the following week.  It will take a hell of a team to beat Solanco once this year, let alone twice.

And there’s the looming statewide presence of Canon-McMillan, a team CD beat in state semis last year and could see in the same round this year.   The difference is that Canon-Mac, which just clubbed Cumberland Valley 52-15, is fortified with its many transfers (Dalton Macri, Solomon Chishko, Cody Wiercioch) and its fine homegrown talent; it is a much better team than last year’s unit.

Ending the season undefeated with a fifth straight PIAA title is not out of the question for CD, but there’s no question the Rams will have to work harder than any of the previous four seasons to come up shiny again.

But given my many previous doubts – I thought Northampton would beat CD in the 2008 PIAA championship match and that Easton was a mild favorite last year; CD won 10 bouts in each of those duals – I will not be surprised if this CD team, with its reduced star power, somehow ends up celebrating another title on Feb. 11 at the Giant Center.

Besides, I no longer work for a newspaper and my kids attend CD.  Maybe it’s time for me to root for the Rams’ success rather than explaining it away.



  17 Responses to “CD’s winning streak: A truly outstanding feat (updated to reflect win over Chambersburg)”

  1. Raaahd!
    We have often joked about Bill Bentz building D-town’s 77-match streak against the likes of the Mother Seton Priory and Finster Bixby’s 3-day preschool. And expressed our admiration for Dave Gable for throwing that scheduling foolishness to the wind.
    Kudos to Swags and all those who have worn, wear and will wear the green & white. What they are about to accomplish is truly remarkable.
    But watch those Mules!

  2. OK, Mr Frisco…… Put your thinking cap on… open the filing cabinet, start the apple IIe (break out the floppy disk and tape drive files) up and let me know who has the all time consecutive wins for all of the state of PA..

  3. North Schuylkill has the state record with 127 straight, mid-1970s through 1980. Guess I should have added that to the CD post.

    How are you doing, Clay?

  4. Thanks…. For the quick info… I am still alive and kicking…. Tough season this year for East Pennsboro…. We have 2 good wrestlers… 1 of them undersized… 3-4 with potential but virtually no wrestling experience… Started writing for Penn live for East Pennsboro this year… tough to write a positive article when there isn’t much positive going on…..Getting ready for post season….

  5. Hey rod, your e-mail is full…. We need to find someone like Mike Smith to Tom Elling i believe to help us out here…I don’t have Smiths e-mail but did e-mail Tom Elling.

    Good morning…
    I made a phone call to none other than Joe Cesari, to make sure I had my facts straight.
    It appears the 127 consecutive was, indeed, consecutive League victories.
    Joe went on to say that our highest number of dual victories in a row was 76…which happened in 1976. He even went on to tell me that it was snapped at Mt Carmel in a match that we were winning 26 to 3. What a great memory he has!

    I hope this helps.

    Jim Gross
    Athletic Director
    North Schuylkill

  6. Another clue… response to my thank you…. Joe did mention a team from Manheim, that broke our record of 76

  7. Okay, time to be serious …

    Clay Daniel [howdy hi, CD3!] mentions Joe Cesari recalling a team from Manheim breaking North Schuylkill’s record. Nice of Joe to remember, but he got it backward. Joe’s North Schuylkill teams broke Manheim Central’s record of 72 straight overall victories, set over the 1960-61 to 1965-66 seasons, from a 27-12 loss to Mechanicsburg in 1961 to a 26-14 loss to Lower Dauphin in 1966. Factoid: from the ’61-’62 season through the ’68-’69 season Manheim was 103-3 with all three losses at the hand of Cleon Cassell’s emerging CAC power.

    Unless someone finds evidence to the contrary, Manheim Central holds the record for league victories with 141, set in the old Lancaster County league from the 1955-56 season through the 1969-70 season.

    One other thought: Manheim’s successes came in an era when, by PIAA rules, teams were limited to no more than 14 dual meets in a season. One can speculate how well those squads would’ve done under today’s regs, or, better still, in the anything-goes-where-are-we-going-tonight? scheduling of the ’80s and early ’90s.

    Much thanks to the “Friends of Manheim Wrestling” for providing the reference resources. – db

  8. Still looking…. Has some other possibilities.. Some of the emails from AD’s and Old GURUS on Penn live are interesting…. Could you imaging 4,000 people at a regular season dual held at Hershey Arena?….

    Joe Cesari told Schuylkill AD that someone from Manheim had beaten their record. I contacted the AD of Central… and got some history… and then it was promptly refuted… But still under 76 victories…

    From Matman on Penn live…
    In 1966 , On a friday Man. Cent. beat Solanco 28-11 in front of 4,000 fans at the Hershey Sports arena… the match date had been moved do to a blizzard .. That was Man. Cent. 72 win against anyone on their schedule. On Monday they wrestled Lower Dauphin in Hummelstown and lost 26 -14 … L.D. was co-leaders in the Harrisburg area conf. with Cumb. Val. who beat them 24 – 22 the prior Sat. night … Manheim Central’s loss to Lower Dauphin , snapped the streak at 72 , dating back to the ’60 – ’61 season when they were beat by Mechanicsburg 27 – 12 on Feb. 11 , 1961 … And now you know ……….. the rest of the story …

    From the AD of Manheim Central.

    Manheim Central won 141 straight dual meets over Lancaster County opponents (the old league) throughout the 60’s. Hempfield ended the amazing streak (24-22) on February 17, 1970 at Central. The match was originally scheduled for 12/23/69, but was postponed due to snow. Any blemishes on the overall record came at the hands of Mid-Penn foes, such as Lower Dauphin, Cumberland Valley, Mechanicsburg and Milton Hershey.
    DERB (AD)

    The winning streak versus ALL opponents during that span was 63 matches!!

    I had an e-mail to Tom Eling but he didn’t know and forwarded the question to Norm Palovcsik or Ken Wunderly .

    I feel like a kid who has lost a tooth… I just can’t let the empty spot go…. I will let you know… Shoot me an e-mail with a good e-mail address i will forward the e-mail chains to you some excellent history,,,,

    Rod@rodfrisco.com is full.

  9. Well, it’s good to have friends and associates who have even more time on their hands than I.

    All of this is fascinating stuff. I had no idea that Manheim had 141 straight league victories. Quite a feat, and at least Manheim had the stones to go wrestle some emerging powers, or it would have the state record all to its own.

    I knew I could count on Dave to bring up the old PIAA limit of 14 duals (and one tournament, I believe) back in the day, which made 100 career victories a truly impressive feat. I always get in trouble with this. 100 career victories, which by coincidence is exactly 100 more than I generated in my HS career, is a terrific feat, although with the expansion of dual meet and pooled events, some wrestlers are reaching that anointed mark by the end of their sophomore years.

    I’ve been ripped for suggesting that 100 wins is not a big deal. It still is, but 100 wins in today’s scheduling is an orange compared to the apple of 1960s scheduling.

    Just the same, this has been a great trip down memory lane, especially when I really wanted to know is whether Central Dauphin is sitting on the verge of a state record, not a mere D3 mark.

    By the way, I’ve tried to clean out my rod@rodfrisco.com e-mail through my hosting account at GoDaddy.com and have ended up pretty much with GoPoundSand. In the meantime, I can be reached at tripletdad1@comcast.net, at least until my lovely blonde bride pulls the plug on Comcast, which might be the first thing she does upon her return from Texas.

  10. After 14 straight losses this year, and 1 wrestler with a winning record… this little quest has got me excited about wrestling again this year…..Thanks Rod, and Dave

  11. One point of clarification …

    The discrepancy between those who believe Manheim ran off 63 or 72 straight wins can be explained thusly: when the Friends of Manheim Wrestling published its history of Baron grapplin’, “A 60 Year Tradition”, covering the years 1926-27 thru 1987-88, as well as the companion followup, “The Tradition Continues” covering from ’88-’89 thru ’05-’06, they set aside one page for each year with a team photo and brief summary of that season’s individual and team highlights. They also listed that season’s results opponent-by-opponent.

    If you go by that, counting from the Mechanicsburg loss in ’61 to the LD loss in ’66 you come up with 63 wins.

    One problem.

    In their infinite wisdom the good folks who put it all together decided to list each season’s schedule alphabetically, not chronologically. Convenient, but not helpful.

    This is likely where Derb, Manheim’s AD, got his information. As Gershwin once wrote, what you see ain’t necessarily so.

    So, not that it has any relevance now, given that the record has been surpassed by North Schuylkill, Dallastown and, very soon, Central Dauphin, but Manheim’s one-time state record for consecutive victories was 72. – db

  12. Rod, not sure North Schuykill record wasn’t 127. I have an article stating the record was 127. 76 became a popular # because they made up bumper stickers “76 in 76” for 1976, but the streak continued until they lost to Don Rohn’s Hazleton team in 1980. I’ll email the article I have.

  13. Sean,

    I’ve read the same article, but officials at North Schuylkill and Joe Cesari himself have confirmed that NS’s 127-match streak was a league streak, not overall.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a match-by-match for either North Schuylkill or Dallastown’s streak (I did have Dallastown’s but left it behind at the Patriot-News).

  14. Thanks – Did some more digging and haven’t quite determined yet. Found some references to their record being at 76. Also found a Reading Eagle article that mentions them breaking the record with their 73rd win in 1976 – Then goes on to talk about how they couldn’t schedule more than 14 matches until rules changed in 1976. If they didn’t lose until that 1980 match against Hazleton that would probably be 127. I dig some more and see if I can find a loss in late 76 or 1977.

  15. Love the internet…by the way, longest UNBEATEN streak appears to be Canonsburg at 87.


  16. I’m certain that the Canonsburg streak is correct. Again, I don’t have a match-by-match list, but that number has been out there for decades. Canonsburg has always been meticulous about its wrestling record-keeping.

    Of course, they’ve been mad at me for years for not combining the Canonsburg and the Canon-Mac state champs in the lists I kept for The Patriot-News. I understand their gripe, but I’ve felt that when one or more high schools merges with another, that school is a new school because of the influx of students from another school, whether the incoming schools had a given program or not.

    That gets tricky when a school absorbed another school(s) a long time ago but never changed its name. I am quite certain that has happened numerous times (I believe my alma mater pulled in a school in the 40s or 50s, but I can’t confirm it; in that case, Clearfield’s state champ totals would have to be separated pre-merger and post-merger).

    This history stuff can be slippery.

    By the way, great job on your research. I love it when people get involved like this.

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