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80's Heavies Continued Dominance

One of the early traditions of Reynolds Wrestling – the outstanding heavyweight – continued

throughout the decade of the 1980s.



Years ago, dual matches always started with the lightest weight class and ended with heavyweight. In those nail-biting instances when a dual would come down to the final bout, Reynolds always seemed to have the upper hand with guys like Bear Loveless (’69), Chuck Coryea (’72) and Dave Kress (’76) anchoring the lineup.


As Reynolds Wrestling progressed into the 80s, talented guys like Kevin Brandt (’82), John Tofani (’86) and Aaron Armer (’89) carried the torch well.


Though he started only one season, Scott “Taz” Moffett (’87) also played a role in keeping the able-bodied heavyweights coming, and though he didn’t break into the starting lineup, state champion Matt Gentile (’92) got his start in the late 80s.


The 4th annual Reynolds Wrestling Legacy Club summer picnic will honor wrestlers, coaches, mat maids and cheerleaders from the 1980s. The event will be held on Saturday, July 13 at the Transfer Harvest Home grounds. Tickets are $28 for adults and $18 for students and can be purchased here.


All proceeds from the event will benefit the Legacy club’s annual scholarship programs. The legacy club awards two annual scholarships named in honor of Coach Neal Lineman and Coach Brian Hills and, to date, the club has already awarded $20,000 in scholarships.


Brandt

Stepping into the starting lineup as a sophomore, Brandt was a three-year starter. By his senior season, Kevin was truly one of the best heavyweights in the state.


In the ‘82 postseason, Brandt won Section, District and Regional crowns. He was part of a trio of District 10 wrestlers that dominated heavyweight in Class AA with D-10 wrestlers finishing 1, 2 and 3 in the state.


He concluded his senior year with a 31-2 record and a third-place finish at the state tournament. His career record was 78-18.


After living for many years in the Kansas City area, we are happy that Kevin is back in Reynolds. He is active with the Legacy Club and many of you probably heard him on the livestream broadcasts last season.


Tofani

Four-year starter John Tofani arrived on the scene in 1983 and was impressive from day one. His accolades are almost too many to list in a short article like this one, but for starters, he became Reynolds’ first wrestler to surpass 100 career wins, finishing at 117-15-1. Prior to Tofani, 1975 graduate Brian Hills (81) held the school record for most wins.


John was a three-time state qualifier, finishing 3 rd as a junior. He was a three-time Section and District 10 champion, and a two time Northwest Regional champ. As a youth, John won three Junior Olympic state titles.


John is currently the head teacher at Reynolds High School – a position known as Dean of Students at other schools.


Armer

What stands out about Armer’s state championship is that he did it in his first-ever trip to Hershey. Most wrestlers require some state-level experience before rising to the top of the podium, but Aaron did not.


In finishing a 36-2 senior season, Aaron is remembered for his takedown ability. He dug an underhook into a high single leg to perfection time and time again. Once he got to the leg, his brute strength helped him finish.


Aaron was explosive from the bottom position with a polished standup. Few opponents were able to hold him down.


Aaron was not a big heavyweight, maybe 5-10, but I will always remember Coach Hills telling me, “the first thing opponents find out when they wrestle Aaron is how dang strong he his.”


Armer finished his career at 58-17 and he was the only state champion for Reynolds in the decade of the 80s. Whew!!


Moffett

Moffett, started for RHS in the 1986-87 season and won 27 matches. The youngest of three Moffett brothers to wrestle at RHS, he just missed a trip to the state tournament in his only varsity season.


Combined, the quartet of Brandt, Tofani, Moffett and Armer went 280-60-2 during the 1980s -- and that includes the postseason. By winning more than 82 percent of their matches, it’s safe to say, they did their job in keeping alive the tradition of the outstanding Reynolds heavyweight.

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