How many people remember when high school wrestling didn't have a weight limit for the heavyweight division? One of the wrestlers for Boyertown in those days was Nick Bruns, who graduated in 1985.Bruns currently works at Villanova University as a Helpdesk Systems administrator. He has been working there for nine years. Bruns is married to Kelly (McCauley) who graduated from Spring-Ford High School. Nick and Kelly have two daughters Madison (8) and Julia (7).

His responsibilities with his job include running a system that tracks all hardware assets, network and server system changes, and problem and project reporting for the University. The system has a web presence on the front end for depart-ment's technical consultants to use and has a client side for the student, staff and faculty to utilize.

"We also use the system as a communications tool through email and web notification for IT problems, and updates to the department and university database administration as well as project management," said Bruns."

There are several things that Bruns likes about his job. He likes the constant changes with technology and the university's use of technology allows him to stay current with what is new. Nick also gets to work from home two days a week. The one thing he doesn't like about his job is the commute down to the college, because the traffic has "gotten worse over the past couple of years."

Before working at Villanova, Bruns spent three years at Bryn Mawr College in the IT department. Before that, Nick worked at the Glen Mills Schools in Delaware County where he taught math/computers and was the technology coordinator for the school, as well as a wrestling coach. Bruns worked at Glenn Mills for seven years.

Wrestling in the heavyweight division was very different in the mid 1980's than it is today. "As a sophomore and junior, it was harder for me, even though I was a big kid, there were a lot of heavyweights that were bigger," said Bruns. "As a senior I only wrestled one guy bigger than myself, Bruce Wright from Springfield (Delco) who was in the mid to high 300 pound range.

"Once I made it to the college level, the division's weight limit was changed from unlimited to 275 lbs. So I ended up having to cut weight to make the 275 lb mark. Overall the change improved the division and the sport. I've seen 400 pounders wrestle, it was never pretty and was usually over quickly."

Wrestling in the heavyweight division was tougher than Bruns had thought. He started out in ninth grade and was successful because of his size and strength, not because of conditioning or technique.

"The next level in high school was much tougher," said Bruns. "But wrestling is the school of hard knocks, you keep going, learning from mistakes and losses, improve your technique and always push your conditioning."

Bruns will admit that the competition in the heavyweight division was good, but sometimes scattered; this was the Ches-Mont League of the 80s dominated by Downingtown. Some teams were struggling to fill every weight division.

"Others were in transition years and still putting a program together, like us in Boyertown under Coach Bruce Hallman," said Bruns. "We've had some great wrestlers and seasons in the past, but most of us on the team just started wrestling in end result was when the opposing team had someone on their squad to wrestle in the heavyweight division, they were either decent competition or just starting out."

Bruns remembers that Coach Hallman's practices were tough because, "heavyweights don't like conditioning." He'll admit that Coach Hallman ran a good, but tough practice with heavy doses of technique and conditioning.

"Let's just say I spent a lot of time running running the tower stairs (in what we then called the old school), running the hallways, running in the old gym, running outside when the weather was good," said Bruns.

After graduation, Bruns went to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (The fighting Scots). His major was communications with a focus on electronic communications (radio, television, computer networks. He wrestled in college since it was his favorite sport. The reason it was his favorite sport was because "I was successful at it and enjoyed the one-on-one challenge of you against your opponent," said Bruns.

Bruns lives in the area so Nick will drive through to see family and friends. One of his best friend's son plays for the Boyertown High School football team, so he would come to see him play. Usually Nick tries to catch at least one home wrestling match each year.

There are a few places he visits while in Boyertown - the high school for sporting events, Iezzi's Tavern and the Jukebox CafÃ&Copy;. There are several reasons why he visits these places.

"I like to visit the high school for sporting events, I like to see how it has changed over the years," said Bruns. "Most changes are nice, some are a little sad. For example, the Dust Bowl (the old football practice field) has been paved over and is now a tennis court.

"Iezzi's, I stop in to say hi to Jimmy (owner) and can usually find a familiar face. I think they have great food and it's as close to finding a bar with a "Cheers" like atmosphere as you're ever going to find.

Phil Haddad is a free lance writer and all comments can be sent to

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