May 31, 2017
By: Doug Heater
There will be a new leader this winter when Emmaus begins their 2017-18 wrestling season. Nick LaFevre, who has coached under Jeff Karam at Bethlehem Catholic the last 3 season’s, will take over for Jeff Arbushites, who resigned at the end of this past wrestling campaign.
Arbushites coached the school’s first and only state champ, Bryan Reiss in 2005, when Reiss won the heavyweight title in Hershey. That season the Green Hornets crowned 3 District champs in Scott Hunter, Brian Bauder and Reiss. Since then the program has gone on a strong downward spiral.
Despite solid numbers at the youth and Junior High level, Emmaus could never reach the point they were in 2005. Enter LaFevre, who has a passion for the sport that is nearly unmatched in the District. Coming from a program that has seen tremendous success in his 3 year’s as an assistant, LaFevre will look to bring the Green Hornets back to where they were in 2005, and hopefully maintain some consistency, placing them amongst the best in the EPC and the District each year.
LaFevre excelled at Delaware Valley Regional high school in New Jersey where he ranks 6th all-time with a 116-30 career record, graduating in 2008. LaFevre never placed in the NJSIAA tournament, something that still drives him today. He then went on to wrestle at the Citadel, where he graduated in 2013. LaFevre has named Paul Petro as an assistant coach at Emmaus, who compiled a 106-47 coaching record from 1997-2004 when he led the Terriers.
LaFevre brings an interesting blend of having wrestled at a tradition rich, and community driven program in Del Val, along with the experience of coaching at a high profile national power like Bethlehem Catholic. Having known since late in the season the Emmaus job was open, LaFevre knew this could very well be his future home, hoping to create a passion and love for the sport in a community that has not seen prolonged success on the mat.
Numbers should not be, nor ever be a problem at one of the largest school district’s in D-11, but finding the commitment, and the drive and the will to push beyond the limits, will be a challenge for LaFevre. The Green Hornets wrestling program should be grateful for the hire that athletic director Dennis Ramella has made, now it’s time to put in the work, in and out of season, to elevate the program to where most people feel it can be.