BY JEFF FALK
There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that officials contemplated renaming Saturday’s District Three Wrestling Championships at Hersheypark Arena ‘Northern Lebanon Day’.
Saturday was certainly a great day to be a Viking. In addition to Northern Lebanon claiming the team title of the individual event, three Vikings capturing weight-class championships and 13 NL competitors making it to the medal podium, during the festivities, coaches Rusty Wallace and Jim Collins were honored by District Three for outstanding personal contributions to area wrestling.
But here’s the kicker: Wallace and Collins are cousins. When the Vikings say they’re a family, they truly mean it.
Wallace was recognized as this season’s District Three’s Class AA Coach of the Year. Wallace has been the driving force behind a Northern Lebanon program which has also won four straight Section Three championships, an overall Lancaster-Lebanon League team title, a District Three Class AA team championship and made two straight trips to the PIAA Class AA team tournament – all Lebanon County wrestling firsts.
Collins was inducted into the District Three Hall of Fame as a wrestler. A graduate of Northern Lebanon, Collins won Lebanon County’s only state individual gold medal, in 2001.
Collins was awarded his honor by his former coach, Earl Stoddard.