Wrestling overview
Produced by NIck Towers '18 & Chase D'Andrea '18


Welcome to the official home of La Salle Explorer Wrestling!

La Salle Wrestling has a winning tradition with multiple state and national placers. The coaching staff looks to continue this tradition, while preparing our young men at La Salle for a rigorous college schedule. Wrestling is a great sport teaching many values of discipline, commitment, and determination. We are looking for student-athletes to continue the great tradition of La Salle Wrestling.

La Salle wrestling has produced over 90 PCL champions in the last 30 yeas, and 45 individual PCL Champions since 2009. La Salle has won 6 of the last 7 PCL and District 12 Titles.

Recent results & updates

Wrestling news & events
Communication is More Important Than Ever

The Spring 2020 issue of the Explorer (titled Agents Of Change), will only be available online. No issues will be printed or mailed to homes.

A monthly Alumni eNewsletter along with a number of other alumni communications will only be available in a digital format and will be sent via email. It is critical for the Office of Institutional
Advancement to have and maintain your current email address, so please make certain that your
information is current and encourage your fellow alums to do the same. Please send any changes to
Mrs. Cathy Winning at winning@lschs.org so your alumni record can be updated accordingly.

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A Message from Brother James Butler, FSC

As most of you will have seen, Governor Wolf has issued orders extending the closing of schools. The tentative earliest date schools may reopen is now set for Monday, April 6, 2020. As all of us have come to appreciate, this date is a guarantee written in water. Depending on the progress of the disease and the success of containment and suppression activities, this date will be subject to further extension if need be.

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Dining Services: Due to recent public health concerns, some of the self-serve foods will be either moved behind the service counter or into grad and go containers. Thank you for your understanding.

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Any students interested in trying out for the Varsity and Junior Varsity Lacrosse team this spring (NOT involved in a winter sport), tryout applications are available on the team page in the student portal. Applications are required to try out, and are due by end of day today, Monday February 10th. Any questions, please contact Mr. Forster in Admissions Office or Mr. Resch in Counseling Office.

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Steve Javie '72 Goes From The Hardwood To Homilies

Former NBA Referee Steve Javie '72 Goes From The Hardwood To Homilies Becoming A Catholic Deacon
Article by Frank Fitzpatrick
Reprinted from The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 20, 2019

The stirring anthem ended and those in the large Saturday night crowd, some clutching programs, took their seats. Steve Javie, a member of the Class of 1972 and a top-tier NBA referee for 25 seasons, moved into position and got ready once again to interpret the rules.

But this was Mass at Saint Andrew's Roman Catholic Church in Newtown (Bucks County), not a basketball arena. Javie was wearing a green chasuble and white cassock, not the NBA's two-tone officiating uniform. And the rules he was about to address in one of his first homilies as a permanent deacon in the Catholic church were eternal, not subject to collective bargaining.

"People ask me if there are similarities between being a deacon and a referee," Javie said before that recent 5 p.m. Mass. "It's funny because people used to think they could tell me how to do my old job. That hasn't changed, except now people are telling me how to preach."

A Montgomery County native who pitched at Temple and briefly in the Baltimore Orioles organization, Javie was destined to be a sports official. His father, Stan, was a field and back judge in the NFL, and his godfather, John Stevens, a longtime American League umpire.

Javie, 64, consistently was rated as one of the NBA's top referees. He worked more than 1,500 games, including 200-plus in the playoffs and 20 in the Finals.

"Steve was the best referee I ever worked with, and I reffed with everybody," said Joe Crawford, a friend and former NBA colleague. "He knew the rules. He got plays right. And he had [guts]. He was very aggressive but always under control."

Bad knees finally forced Javie to limp away after the 2011 season, his last assignment being the decisive sixth game of that year's NBA Finals.

By then, he was on a spiritual quest. Thanks to his wife of 28 years, Mary Ellen, he'd rediscovered a faith he'd virtually abandoned as a young man. The couple had started a charity benefiting underprivileged children in Montgomery County and Philadelphia. But he needed more.

"I thought, 'I've got to be doing something more with my life than blowing whistles against basketball players,' " he said.

At a Saint Andrew's event, a visiting speaker mentioned the Catholic diaconate. The possibility of becoming a deacon hung constantly around his neck like the whistles he wore as a referee.

"It's a calling," he said. "It's nothing I aspired to. I knew I was getting near the end of my career because my knees were failing. That realization makes you think about what you're going to do afterwards."

The journey Javie started in 2012 ended this June 8, 2019 when he and six others were formally ordained as deacons during an ornate ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The grueling process that got him there took seven years and yielded a master's in theology, a new title, and the right to deliver homilies, wear a collar, and perform such traditional priestly duties as baptisms and marriages.

"I was at the ordination," Crawford said. "Watching him do all the little things around the altar, you could see how prepared and calm he was. That's how he was as a referee. Anything he gets into, he gets into all the way. He's so devout now. As a matter of fact, he's so devout that sometimes I have to tell him, `Steve, shut up.' "

Assigned to Saint Andrew's, his home parish and the largest in the Philadelphia archdiocese, Javie delivered his second homily last Saturday.

"I'm not afraid to get up and talk in front of people because I've been doing that my whole life," he said. "But talking about something really personal like faith, that's stressful."

Actually, Javie, who usually speaks in rapid and intense bursts, seemed more poised and conversational while addressing the parishioners, which he did not from the pulpit but from in front of the altar.

"He's very at ease, which probably comes from what he did all those years," said Monsignor Michael Picard, Saint Andrew's pastor. "His preaching, even though he's just starting, is really superb."

The story of how Javie switched from the arena to the altar is one that combines love found and spirituality sought.

It began in the late 1980s when the NBA's travel demands made him a regular at Philadelphia International Airport's US Airways counter. That's where he met Mary Ellen.

"I was someone who except for Christmas and Easter didn't go to Mass. But I could see she was a devout Catholic," Javie said. "So on our second date, I thought I'd impress her and I said, `How about if we go to Mass, then get lunch afterward?'

"We're sitting there in church, and this priest is droning on. I'm looking at my watch thinking I'll sit here an hour then be with her the rest of the afternoon. I wasn't paying attention, wasn't getting anything out of it. Afterward, she asked me what I thought. I told her I didn't get anything out of it. She looked at me and said, `What did you put into it?' That stopped me in my tracks. She said, `Did you maybe say a prayer for somebody in your family who needed it? Did you pray to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment?' She really got me thinking."

The experience led Javie to re-examine his Catholicism. He took Communion daily, read more about faith and marriage and, on the road, attended Mass whenever possible.

The renewed devotion helped in 1999 when Javie was one of 15 referees implicated in a tax-evasion case that involved misuse of frequent-flyer miles. He was the only one acquitted on all charges.

Noticing their colleague's newfound focus, the referees Javie worked with began to ask questions. Some even accompanied him to church.

"A lot of guys I traveled with, they struggled with all the temptations that come with being on the road," Javie said. "I would try to talk to them about it. My thinking was we're all sinful, but if we can talk about these things with each other, it might make our marriages and families a little more solid.

"When I was a crew chief, the second guy would sometimes grab the new guy and say, 'OK, Steve, tell him what you talked to me about.' I'd try to mentor them, not just in basketball but in life."

After retirement and the deacon decision, Javie ramped up his religiosity. From August through May, he took three-hour classes at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in philosophy, theology, spirituality, and homiletics. Then there were workshops, psychological examinations and, before ordination, written, practical and oral examinations.

"We've never been blessed with children, but we've got nine nephews and nieces and I tell them I never studied that hard in my life," Javie said. "Those professors were brilliant. It was a really intense, extensive process."

His new schedule is sometimes as hectic as his old one. A day after ordination, Javie had to deliver his first homily at Saint Andrew's. There are Masses, ceremonies, home and hospital visits, counseling sessions, and speaking engagements.

"I made a living in sports," he said. "They paid me to referee, and it was a good job. But this is something else, a really incredible journey. I worked in the Finals for 15 years. I worked Game 7s. But that doesn't compare with this. It's a feeling I can't describe."

Those who know Javie well, such as his fellow Whitemarsh Valley Country Club members, now feel free to move conversations beyond typical locker-room talk.

"Now that they know what I've been through, they feel like they have permission to talk about their faith, even to complain about it," Javie said. "They realize that I've changed in one way, but not socially or personality-wise. I'm just Steve Javie. I always have been. It just so happens I'm not a referee anymore. I'm serving the Lord now."

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Takedown Club

Who We Are

La Salle Wrestling consistently gives La Salle College High School a winning season. If you've ever been to a match, you know it's one of the most exciting and inspiring activities at La Salle. The Takedown Club works very hard behind the scenes to provide the encouragement and financial support to insure the continued success of this program. The camaraderie of the team members, parents, coaches, and faculty is perhaps greater than any other sport.

Every year the Takedown Club raises money to support and reward our kids for their hard work. We are a non-profit organization and spend all money raised on our wrestlers. Travel expenses, tournament fees, trophies, and jackets are only a few of the items we support. We need your help to continue our team's tradition of excellence.

Current Board


Kevin Lotsis

Vice President

Dave Gutekunst


Tim O'Toole

TreasurerColleen McLaren

2017-18 Committees

Volunteers are needed and always welcome. Listed below are committees that help raise money and perform necessary functions to make wrestling at La Salle a unique experience. Please contact any member of the Takedown Club to volunteer to help our wrestling program by serving on one of the following committees:

Travis Manion Tournament
JV Tournament
PJW Tournament
Snack Stand
Senior Night
Annual Picnic
Clothing Sales
Family Liturgy
Senior Night
Video Taping

La Salle tournaments

1st Lt. Travis Manion '99 Memorial Wrestling Tournament - Saturday, December 9, 2017

This tournament was named in honor of 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion '99, an outstanding La Salle and US Naval Academy wrestler, who was killed in combat in Iraq on April 29, 2007. For more information about Travis’s life, influence, and legacy, please visit http://www.travismanion.org/about-travis/.

For further information, please contact:

Coach Thaddeus Kavanagh (kavanaght@lschs.org)

Wrestling alumni

Travis Manion 1999 United States Naval Academy

Brandon Black 2002 Shippensburg University

Brendan Whitaker 2002 James Madison University

Max Courtney 2003 Washington and Lee University

Trevor Needham 2003 Scranton University

Andrew Cotlov 2005 New York University

Ed Valentino 2005 Lehigh University

Rob Stott 2006 Duquesne University

John Whitham 2007 Ursinus College

Andrew Furlong 2007 Kutztown University

Jack Carmody 2010 Kings College

Joey Mazzi 2011 Iowa Central College

Bryan Pflanz 2012 Elizabethtown College

Matt Cimato 2012 Drexel University

Casey Kent 2012 University of Pennsylvania

Antonio Pelusi 2014 Franklin & Marshall

Vincenzo Pelusi 2017 Drexel University

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