The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 26, 2013

Harold Raker's high school wrestling column: Wrestling loses a great ambassador


Bacon pinned his opponent on Thursday in 16 seconds. He later told his mother that win was for Phil.

"He talked to those kids like he was still coaching. If they did well, he would tell them, and, if they didn't do well, he'd tell them," Williams said.

Yes, Lockcuff, especially in his coaching days, could be tough, and intimidating, but he also had a caring side that some would even call soft (just don't tell him that).

Ask Williams. He first met Lockcuff when the coach was his home room teacher at Shikellamy.

"He was my first male teacher. Here I was, this little sixth grader, and Phil was this big, burly guy with a gravelly voice and I was scared to death of him," recalled Williams, who later wrestled for him.

Later, after a couple of years of resistance from Lockcuff, Williams talked him into joining him on the broadcasts.

The two became close friends and, despite his earlier reluctance, Williams said, Lockcuff looked forward to doing every match.

"He was just as excited to go (Tuesday night) as he ever was. He was bummed that he wasn't there (Thursday night) because he was excited for them to win that match and go to the team tournament," Williams said.

"He was really looking forward to that, and he really liked going to Hershey (for the state tournament) and those places because he got to hang out with a lot of old friends, that was big for him," Williams said.

Of course, he didn't have to leave the area for that. Few nights went by that former coaches, wrestlers and even the officials, would not stop by the press table to chat with the coach.

"I called him the mayor," joked Williams.,

"He had his own style, he was still a coach and he was doing that the other night," Williams said, noting that, during the broadcast he would notice things and he would be yelling at the wrestlers if he saw something he didn't like.

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