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Graduation Photo 1977 William Uscher

Hackensack High School
Yearbook Photo


TEAM 1976

Hackensack 34 defeats Pascack Hills 21

Impact for Life

The Hackensack gymnasium, which is the same gym as today, seats over 2000 people. It was filled to capacity for the wrestling match between Hackensack and Pascack Hills in the winter of 1976. The official who did the match, Joe Luongo said, “The match between Hackensack and Pascack Hills that I officiated in 1976 at Hackensack was the largest crowd and biggest event I was ever involved with in Northern New Jersey.

The Pascack Hills team had not lost a dual meet since 1973 and many of the wrestlers on the team would become the heart of the 1977-1978 Teams of the Century in Bergen County history, but on this night it was not meant to be. William “Billy” Uscher was on Hackensack’s team that night and it was a night he would never forget. On that night, William Uscher was wrestling one of the greatest wrestlers in Bergen County history, Chris Catalfo, who became an Olympic alternate after college. Billy Uscher lost 10-1, but he was always proud of the fact that he saved his team points by not getting pinned that night and was able
to stay in a match with such an outstanding wrestler.

William Uscher became a successful attorney and had many other accomplishments throughout his life for over twenty years after college. In 2002-2003 at the age of 43, William Uscher was diagnosed with skin cancer and had only a short time to live. He contacted his coach during that 1976 season, Joe DeFalco, who was principal at the time at Hackensack High School in 2003 and asked if he could have a singlet to remember that season and all he had learned and enjoyed while wrestling for Hackensack High School. The singlet along with other meaningful items were laid in his casket when he was laid to rest. Ever since William Uscher passed away on April 27, 2003, Joe DeFalco, the wrestling community, and coaches at Hackensack have given an award out in William Uscher’s name.

Written by:
Bob Meli
January 15, 2019


William Uscher wrestled for Hackensack High School in 1977



Click here to view William Uscher's Obituary Article April 30, 2003