Tom Elling at book signing on Sunday
‘America’s top wrestling writer’ will be in Rebersburg
From staff reports
LOCK HAVEN — Ask those who know Lock Haven’s Tom Elling and they’ll tell you he is a walking encyclopedia of Pennsylvania wrestling.
In fact, Elling was recently named winner of the 2015 Dellinger Award as “America’s top wrestling writer.”
Elling has been active in the sport for more than 50 years as a competitor, coach, official, historian and writer.
And this Sunday, Elling will be signing his 2016-2017 Pennsylvania Wrestling Handbook, which is often referred to as the “Bible of Pennsylvania Wrestling.”
He will be at the Forefathers Book Shop in the former First National Bank of Pennsylvania building along Route 192, about 15 miles east of Centre Hall, about a half hour south of Lock Haven and just 33 miles west of Lewisburg.
There is plenty of parking behind the shop.
His book contains 334 pages of facts and statistics on Pennsylvania high school wrestling, and also features results of NCAA college wrestling.
The event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in Forefathers Book Shop, 121 E. Main Street, Rebersburg. Refreshments will be served.
Friends, colleagues and supporters are encouraged to stop by to enjoy conversation about one of the top sports in Central Pennsylvania.
“No one knows wrestling quite like Tom Elling,” states a promotional biography of Elling.
Last winter, Elling began writing an insightful, weekly column called “Wrestling Mat-ters” for The Express.
Joe Baranik of Pennsylvania Wrestling News Magazine recently wrote this about Tom: “Tom Elling of Lock Haven has done it all, competitor, contributor, coach, official, historian, writer as well as commentator. Elling has offered his talents on-air in recent years for local wrestling coverage of both Central Mountain High School and Lock Haven University wrestling on WBPA AM 1230 and therecord-online. He has devoted over 50 years of his life to his avocation – the sport of wrestling. For his work and years of involvement, Elling is the latest recipient of the annual Dellinger Award as the nation’s top Wrestling writer. Perhaps his signature contribution is the Pennsylvania Wrestling Handbook, not only a masterpiece of mat sport information regarding the Keystone States scholastic wrestling legacy, but also spotlights yearly team and wrestling titlist results for surrounding Eastern states.”
Baranik called Elling’s book “a one-of-a-kind reference source for dedicated coaches, wrestlers, parents or fans, who truly want to keep on top of their game regarding mat stats of upcoming dual meets and toumaments. Should you be a Pennsylvania high school wrestling buff, the Handbook contains every wrestler who ever placed in the PIAA state championships since its inception in 1938.”
“Elling’s competitive days began at Moshannon Valley High School and later became a two-time NAIA All-American at 191 pounds for Lock Haven, wrestling for legendary coach Gray Simons. As a mat mentor, Elling coached at Lock Haven High School for eight seasons producing numerous state place winners and 1975 state champion, John Eichenlaub.
“As a Pennsylvania mat-sport historian, Elling created, designed and published a series of sport cards dubbed “Legends of Pennsylvania Wrestling. The series highlighted nearly 300 of Pennsylvania’s greats as competitor, coaches, officials and contributors. As for honors, Elling was inducted into the PA Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall ofIFame in 2007 and is a member of the Clinton County (Pa) Hall of Fame, and the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame. He was selected as the 1991 Pennsylvania Wrestling Official of the Year.
“Elling was also manager of operations at the Pennsylvania state tournament for 24 years and was a member ol the PIAA Wrestling Committee for 34 years. He also stared the first-ever high school wrestling website in 1988,” wrote Baranik.