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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

February 5, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Losing a legend — Ed Aliverti will be missed

Mat Classic, just two weeks away, will be missing someone special.

Legendary Ed Aliverti, the golden-toned announcer known for his stirring rendition of “God Bless America,” passed away earlier this week.

Reports say he died from pancreatic cancer in a Seattle hospital Wednesday. He was 77.

Aliverti was a big-time emcee — his reseme’ included the Olympic Games in Seoul — who wasn’t above any small-time (by comparison) event. I remember him announcing at the 4A Region I wrestling tournament last year in Snohomish.

He was elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1993.

This man truly had a passion for wrestling and you could hear it in his voice. Here’s an Aliverti line heard over and over at the Tacoma Dome, each time with honest enthusiasm:

“He’s going for a pin over on 1A mat 2! He’s a huggin’ and a squeezin’ him!”

I’ve covered state wrestling for years and remember Aliverti missing only one, either two or three years ago, while battling the cancer. Fortunately, tournament managers had a recording of him singing “God Bless America.”

I’ve heard that recording will continue to be played not only at this year’s Mat Classic, but in years to come. That will help fill the void, but the event certainly will never be quite the same again.

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