John Little

John Little
J. Freeland Chryst Award

From his introduction to wrestling all the way through to his coaching career, John Little never strayed far from the Solanco School District. After wrestling for the Golden Mules, where he earned a District Three regional title, he wrestled at West Chester University and at Millersville University. It was at MU that he was named a Division III All-American.

John Little coached the wrestling team at Solanco for 36 seasons, beginning in 1982. Over the course of his career, he coached 44 individual Lancaster-Lebanon League champions and 18 District Three individual champions. He saw a total of 51 Golden Mules qualify for the PIAA Tournament and 29 of those came home with state medals. Little was on the bench to see Thomas Haines come away with four individual state titles. Dan Neff won one, too, while Connor Shehan and “Bo’’ Spiller earned a berth in a state final.

As a team, the Golden Mules were 321-164-1 in dual meets. His teams won the L-L Team Tournament title eight times and captured the District Three Team Tournament title twice.

To Little, the medals and the trophies are one thing. For the bigger picture, though, he was happy to be a part of an athlete’s maturity, happy to teach them something besides wrestling moves, like manners and work ethic. It was something his coaches taught him.