Johnson City wrestling may have been well-respected prior to the late 1980’s, but beginning in the winter season of 1986-87, it established itself as the premier program in all of Section IV and New York State. A big part of this jump to the top was the contributions of Mr. Steve Farr, JCHS Class of 1988. Throughout his time as a student-athlete at Johnson City and Ithaca College, Mr. Farr earned individual and team awards that place him among Johnson City’s most decorated wrestlers.
Steve’s first varsity playing experience came in the fall of 1986 as a member of the Wildcats football team. He was a standout running back and linebacker, leading the Wildcats to a conference championship. Steve excelled at both positions, earning All-Metro designation as a running back and 4th Team All-State as a linebacker. Additionally, he was named the best defensive player in the Section IV bowl game, and he was the starting fullback at the University of Pennsylvania during his sophomore year. Steve’s accomplishments on the football field were noteworthy in many ways, but his triumphs on the wrestling mat were remarkable.
The Wildcat varsity wrestling teams of 1986-87 and 1987-88 set themselves apart from all others by winning back-to-back New York State championships. It was also during those two years that Mr. Farr began an 7- year stretch (including his years at Ithaca College after transferring from the University of Pennsylvania) of wrestling success that places him among Johnson City’s best of all time:
--2-time Class Champion
--2-time STAC Champion
--Johnson City’s first ever 2-time place winner at the New York State meet—4th place in 1987 and 5th
place in 1988
--2 Gold Medals at the Empire State Games in the Greco-Roman competition
--Bronze Medal winner at the 1991 Olympic Festival in Los Angeles
--2-time Empire Conference Champion at Ithaca College
--2-time All-American at Ithaca College
--1994 NCAA Division III Wrestling Champion at 190lbs
--1986-87 and 1987-88…champions of all dual meets and class and STAC tournaments
--2-time New York State team champions
--1994 NCAA Division III team champions at Ithaca College
Steve’s career after his scholastic wrestling days at Johnson City obviously continued to produce memorable moments; however, it could be argued that the most memorable came at the 1994 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Steve’s 2-1, sudden death victory in the 190 lbs match earned him the individual Division III championship and earned his team a narrow 2-point edge in the overall standings for Ithaca’s third national championship. It was no surprise that Steve was inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
The Johnson City Athletic Hall of Fame is proud to welcome a member of Johnson City’s only back-to-back state championship team, an individual college national champion, and member of Ithaca College’s national championship team, Mr. Steve Farr, JCHS Class of 1988.