Takes State Title
By LEO ROTH, Times Union
(Sunday, March 4,1984) - Nice guys do finish first.
wrestler John Suhr proved it on Saturday, March 3, by winning the New
York State High School 145 lb. championship title, fulfilling a long-held
3-2 victory over fellow finalist John Barrett (Peru- Section VII) was
more decisive that the score indicates. Combining aggression with caution,
he was in control for the duration of the six minute session. Gifted
with natural ability and a quick cat-like grace, Suhr demonstrated the
mature, intelligent style - rare in a high school wrestler - which has
been his hallmark during his distinguished scholastic career.
Bill Jacoutot, echoing the reaction of more that a score of Spencerport
fans who traveled to Syracuse specifically to support Suhr in his second
bid for the title. Had activity on the sidelines been included in the
competition, the colorful coach would have surely earned a medal of
his own; he delighted spectators with his body English and exultant
leap when the buzzer signaled the end of his athlete's championship
know n to serious students of wrestling everywhere, Suhr is respected
as much for the fine personal qualities he brings to the sport as for
his skill and technique. The latter were finely honed in special practice
sessions with Assistant Coach Woody VanDenburg, an NCAA Division III
National Champion and three-time NCAA All-American.
determination and extra effort paid off. In addition to earning the
state title, Suhr (119-15-1) broke his school's record for career victories
with the first of his four wins in the two day Syracuse tourney. His
solid performance contributed measurably to Section V's state team title,
its second in four years.
senior and National Honor Society member, Suhr served as CoCaptian for
the Varsity Rangers this season. One of his young teammates paid him
the ultimate accolade while waiting in line to congratulate him Saturday
night. "Johnny doesn't act like a champion," he said. "He
acts like a nice, normal kid."
the outstanding athlete and scholar earned his title the same evening
Spencerport Director of Physical Education and Athletics Walt Teike
was recognized by NYS Wrestling Coach's Association for his outstanding
contributions to the sport. Spencerport's program does not emphasize
achievement in athletics at the expense of academic excellence, and
the honors earned by Suhr and Teike stand as eloquent testimony to that