HEISER: Mark Banks is latest York-area addition to Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame

Steve Heiser
York Dispatch
  • Mark Banks has been selected to the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
  • Banks wrestled for both York Suburban and York Tech during his high school wrestling career.
  • Banks was a four-time PIAA place-winner, including a 3-A state title at 155 pounds in 1986.
  • Banks was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American at West Virginia University.

This is starting to become an annual occurrence.

The Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association announces the newest members of the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the York-Adams League can celebrate the induction of one its own.

Mark Banks is shown here during his stellar high school wrestling career in York County.

It will happen again in 2018.

For the fourth year in a row, and for the sixth time in eight years, a man with roots in the local league will earn his place among the greats from this wrestling-mad state. Overall, the York area can now boast 13 state wrestling hall of famers.

That’s quite a testament to the quality of the wrestling in this region.

The newest area inductee is Mark Banks, who competed for both York Suburban and York Tech in the 1980s.

Banks’ name will be very familiar to anyone of a certain age who has followed the sport locally.

He enjoyed a memorable scholastic and college career and boasts a resume that is more than deserving of hall-of-fame status.

Banks graduated from Tech in 1986 and placed in four PIAA state meets, two for Suburban and two for Tech.

While at Suburban, Banks competed in the 2-A level and finished sixth in 1983 at 132 pounds as a freshman and third in 1984 at 138 as a sophomore.

After transferring to Tech, Banks wrestled in the 3-A class and finished runner-up in the PIAA meet as a junior before winning a state 3-A title at 155 pounds as a senior.

He completed his high school career with a sterling 102-14-2 mark. That came during a period when 100-win wrestlers were much more rare.

Banks then moved on to Bloomsburg University, where he was named the Eastern Wrestling League Freshman of the Year in 1987.

He later transferred to West Virginia University and was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American for the Mountaineers at 167 pounds in 1990 and 1991, finishing fifth each season. He compiled a 50-10 overall record during those two seasons and was WVU’s first two-time All-American.

Banks now follows in the footsteps of some legendary York-area wrestling figures. Just as a refresher, here’s the impressive list of the other local state hall of famers, along with their high school affiliation and induction year.

►Bob Gano, Delone Catholic and Biglerville, 2017.

►Bill Luckenbaugh, West York, 2016.

►Charlie Jacobs, Dover, 2015.

►Brad Lloyd, Red Lion, 2013.

►Tony Koontz, Delone Catholic, 2011.

►Joey Wildasin, South Western, 2004.

►Shaun Smith, Dover, 2003.

►Terry Conover, Hanover, 1996.

►Dr. D. Kenneth Ober, West York, 1994.

►Bill Bence, Dallastown, 1993.

►John Toggas, West York, Biglerville, 1992.

►Charles “Chuck” Richards, West York, 1976.

In addition, Banks will be one of eight inductees in the 2018 state hall-of-fame class. The others to be honored are:

►Chris Como, coach, Burrell.

►Keith Gavin, wrestler, Lackawanna Trail.

►Jake Herbert, wrestler, North Allegheny.

►Ken “Foxy” Moyer, wrestler, Bellefonte.

►Coleman Scott, wrestler, Waynesburg.

►Evan Sola, wrestler, Conrad Weiser.

►Mike Shingara, wrestler, Line Mountain.

Talk about your roll call of champions. Now Banks’ name will join both of those lists.

Banks’ official induction will take place Sunday, April 8, 2018, at the Ramada Inn and Convention Center in State College. It will mark the 49th hall-of-fame class in the history of the PWCA, which started honoring the state’s best wrestlers in 1970.

Toggas scholarship: Speaking of local hall of famers, Toggas and his wife, Mary Jane, will be honored with a new scholarship at West York.

Mary Jane Toggas recently died, and with her death, the decision made to honor the memory of her and her husband with a scholarship. The Coach John T. and Mary Jane Toggas Memorial Scholarship will be administered through the West York Education Foundation.

A total of $600 from the 21st annual Bulldog Open golf tournament will go to the inaugural year of the scholarship, which will be given at the school’s awards assembly in 2018. It will go to a graduating West York senior, in good academic standing, who wrestled at least one year (including his senior year).

The scholarship winner must plan to attend a four-year or two-year college, or a trade school, or enlist in the armed forces.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.