Round of 12
Larry Kepp passed away in December 2010
In the college wrestling forum, there was a discussion about instant replay and tangential discussions about two and three referee systems for tournaments.
My mind was taken back to 1973 and one the most amazing high school wrestling matches I've ever witnessed.
In 1972, Jimmy Carr from Erie, PA, became the youngest wrestling Olympian in US history (still is, I believe) while still in high school. He also won the Midlands tournament in high school and was the tournament OW.
So in the 1973 PA tournament, Larry Kepp of Central Dauphin East and Jimmy Carr of Erie East met in the finals at 119. Talk about David and Goliath. Larry was a really good wrestler who we knew from our old conference and Christmas tournaments but Jimmy Carr was an Olympian and Midlands champ who had breezed through his first two matches in states.
Things went to form through two periods. Carr had a 7-1 lead so Kepp was keeping things credible. But the third period was the page-turner. Kepp got an escape, a takedown and let Carr out or Carr escaped (memory from almost 40 years ago is a bit fuzzy). From there it was a matter of incredible pressure from Kepp and Carr, well, stalling. First a warning, then a point, then another point and I think there was still a minute left in the match. Kepp never let up with his pressure and Carr kept stalling - but the three referees would not give the much-deserved match-tying stalling call against Carr, which would have thrown the match into overtime.
As it was, Kepp lost the match 8-6 but won the hearts of almost everyone in the State Farm Show Arena that night. It was an awesome display of courage and persistence that I still remember.
I googled Larry Kepp to see if there was anything about this match on the internet. I sadly discovered he passed away on December 13, 2010.
A bit late, but here's to you Larry. What you did that night was truly inspiring.
Re: Larry Kepp passed away in December 2010
Great Post Brother Steve. Because of people like you, wrestlers like Mr. Kepp remains immortal. Because of people like Mr. Kepp, wrestling stays immortal, no matter how many soft-brained, short-sighted Athletic Directors decide to cut an entire wrestling program so that they can throw an extra 100 grand at a losing Basketball team. Thank you.
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