By Harold Raker
For The Daily Item
The latest class to be inducted into the District 4 Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame includes college and high school coaches, a long-time public address announcer, a dentist and a mayor, among others.
Five of the eight were inducted Saturday night during the district Class AA championships at Williamsport High School. They are: brothers Todd and Troy Laudenslager, former Line Mountain wrestlers who competed at Cornell and Lehigh universities, respectively; current Central Columbia coach Todd Cummings; former Loyalsock wrestler and current assistant coach at Purdue University Chris Fleegor; and two-time Shamokin state champion Scott Kurtz.
Previously inducted at the District 4 Duals in Milton were Bob Greenly, former Milton High and Bucknell University wrestler and long-time Milton coach; Dr. Richard Bechtel, a former Selinsgrove High and Susquehanna coach; and Larry Bassett, a long-time public address announcer at Williamsport High.
Todd Laudenslager is a 1990 Line Mountain graduate who won four South Sectional, two D4 and one Northeast Regional championships and placed twice in the state championships (sixth and third).
He competed at Cornell for four years and graduated with a degree in agricultural economics and animal science. He is co-owner with his brother, Troy, of Mahantongo Farms, 3T Products and 3T Sports Gear.
Todd is also the mayor of Pillow. He and his wife, Melissa, have two sons, Jacob and Lucas.
Troy Laudenslager is a 1994 Line Mountain graduate and a graduate of Lehigh University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.
In addition to his partnership with his brother, Troy has served on various state and national boards relating to their businesses and has served on the Line Mountain School Board for the past 10 years.
He and his wife, Nikki, have two children, Cody, 11, and Cassie 9.
Troy compiled a high school record of 135-21-1, competing at nearly every weight class from 103 to 152 pounds. He was a two-time sectional champ, a two-time district champ and a three-time regional champ. He won three state medals, taking second at 112 in 1992; first at 130 in 1993; and third at 140 in 1994.
Kurtz won his state titles in 1993 and 1994 and finished with a career mark of 116-11-1, with a state tournament record of 8-0. He was 34-0 as a junior. After a pin in the finals his junior year, he was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler.
Kurtz wrestled at Clemson University as a freshman before the school dropped the sport.
In high school, he was also a three-year letterman in football and had more than 3,100 career rushing yards. He holds the school record for 283 yards in a game.
The son of John and Faye Kurtz, he and his wife, Trudy, have four children, daughters Karrah and Susan, step-son Devin and step-daughter Breanna. Another son, Scott Kendrick Kurtz, is deceased.
Kurtz is employed by Kreco Electrical and is an assistant junior high wrestling coach for his alma mater.
Fleegor was a four-time state place-winner, including titles in 1998 and 2001 for the Lancers; he finished with a career record of 134-5. He won sectional, district and regional championships all four years.
Among his many post-high school accomplishments were third-place finishes in the Pan-Am Games and the University World Games, along with two silver medals and one bronze in the NCAA championships for the Boilermakers. He had an 86-9 college record.
Cummings was a state medalist at Smithtown High in New York and a two-time NCAA qualifier for Bloomsburg State College and had 95 career college wins.
At Central, he has a record of 326-251 and coached 23 state medalists, including two-time champion Rob Meldrum.
He and his wife, Ginny, have a daughter, Brennin, and two sons, Garrett and Taylor, both former state medalists and team captains at North Carolina State University. They are both coaching high school wrestling in the Raleigh area.
Greenly was a two-time East Coast Conference champion and was named outstanding wrestler one year. He posted 75 wins for Bucknell and then coached at Milton for 28 years, 23 as the varsity head coach. He led the Black Panthers to 259 wins.
He was voted district coach of the year five times. He coached Bob Crawford to four state titles and also had nine state medalists.
Bechtel was a 1968 Selinsgrove graduate and was a two-time sectional champion, two-time district champion, two-time regional champion and went to states twice in an era when only four qualified for states. He gave up a Division 1 scholarship at Clarion University to return to Susquehanna University as a biology major to prepare for a medical career as a doctor of optometry. He continued his wrestling career at Susquehanna University, where he finished his dual meet career at 29-0. Rick is a doctor of optometry and has a private practice in Lewisburg and Mifflinburg.
Bassett is a graduate of the former Sunbury High School. The Bucknell graduate began his teaching career at Middleburg High and moved on to Williamsport in 1972 and retired in 2002.
He has been the voice of Williamsport High sporting events as well as district and regional wrestling and district and PIAA basketball since 1986. He has announced more than 50 district and regional wrestling tournaments.
Bassett, who has published two novels along with books of poems and short stories, is married to Karen Choate-Bassett and they have two children, a son, Patchen, in Philadelphia and a daughter, Megan, in Maryland.