Muscular Development, Vol 10, No 8, Page 20, August 1973

Jr. Mr. America Contest

By John C Grimek

ACCORDING to the general consensus of opinion, this year's Junior Nationals rate as one of the best to date. The quality of the lifting competition was superb with a number of new records being established; also, the line-up of the physique men appeared to be better than it's been our pleasure to see for some time. In fact almost any of these men could have been picked as the winner and no one would have issued any strong protest. Once again the judges had to perform a difficult task of selecting only ONE MAN from this group, and unless you have had the opportunity to act as a judge at one of these events you can't begin to appreciate the task that these men must undergo. And even when it's over there will always be some disagreements. . . so these men do perform a thankless job that has to be done by someone who is willing and capable of doing it properly.

Results of Jr. Mr. America

1Paul Hill, Los Angeles, Ca.362
2Willie Johnson, Akron, Ohio359
3Anibal Lopez, New York, N.Y.343
4Fred Shandor, Millville, N.J.339
5Jim Handley, Baltimore, Md.335
6Douglas Beaver, Fremont, Ohio322
7Eugene Massey, Miramar, Fla.320
8Sammie Willis, Indianapolis, Ind.318
9Ron Thompson, Flint, Mich.314
10Joe Arizzi, Baltimore, Md.314
11Pat Neve, Phoenix, Ariz.312
12James Allen, Middletown, Ohio306
13Joe Dodd, Trenton, N.J.300
14Ken DiAngelo, Pennsauken, N.J.300
15Dan Padilla, Rochester, N.Y.292
16John Boos, Babylon, N.Y.278
17Ron Neff, Cherry Hill, N.J.277
18Ed Drew, Gaithersburg, Md.273
19Paul Price, Scranton, N.J.273
20Pat Ruelle, Pontiac, Mich.270
21Bruce Lyon, Hartford, Conn.265
22Phil Pearsall, Nashville, Tenn.260
23Robert Rogers, Temple Hills, Md.256
24James Karas, Pittsburgh, Pa.247
25Jerry Hahn, Hollywood, Fla.237
26James Manion, Carnegie, Pa.225
27Harold Bakklund, Rockford, Ill.224
28Greg Long, Philadelphia, Pa.204

Subdivision Winners

Best Back - Willie Johnson
Best Chest - Willie Johnson
Best Legs - Paul Hill
Best Abdominals - Douglas Beaver
Best Arms - Douglas Beaver

Most Muscular Man Contest

  1. Willie Johnson
  2. Douglas Beaver
  3. Paul Hill
  4. Sammie Willis
  5. Anibal Lopez

No doubt some of these contestants felt bad because they did not rate a higher place, or a place they thought they should have. On the other hand, when you figure that around 30 outstanding, well-developed specimens competed and only one is to be selected, you can be sure that some dissension will ensue. This happens in almost every contest since it's very rare to find that all contestants agree with the choice of the judges unless they themselves have been picked. So it's not unusual for some of the contestants to gripe. . . in fact it's expected most of the time!

The contest was held in the spacious York gym which has been renovated just for such events. Everything was moved out of the gym except for a few things that were pushed out of the way. The overall setting was excellent and just about everyone who saw such a contest for the first time had to agree that it was indeed a very interesting presentation.


The physique contestants were asked to report Sunday at nine in the morning for the prejudging. The men were given a chance, if they wanted to, to warm-up. Then around 10:30 the posing display for the prejudging started. Each man was called out to go through his posing routine, and approximately under similar conditions that would prevail that night except for some light coming in from the gym windows, which wasn't enough to interfere with the man's performance. Each man gave a fine performance and looked very good, yet the evening presentation looked even better. . . at least this is what most people thought who discussed it. Invariably the contestants with dark tans or darker skins looked exceptionally well under the posing lights, especially from farther back. It made their muscles stand out with deep ridges and furrows that increased the man's muscularity and augmented the flexed muscles. No matter where one sat or from which angle he viewed the display, it was a fine view. Spectators who were witnessing such a contest for the first time (and there seemed to be quite a few) found it a pleasant and entertaining surprise the way each man put across his performance. . . very professional!


The judging was based on physical appearance and on the man's ability to present himself, most of whom did a fine job. He was called upon to do his full posing routine, and on top of that, to do a specific pose for the various body areas, and finally a pose for the Most Muscular Man competition. Various contestants were then called back in a group for a final comparison, and from each group the overall winner of that subdivision was chosen That night when the awards were presented for the various body parts, the audience seemed to agree and favor the decision of the judges, even though some of the contestants didn't quite agree, which isn't uncommon in such events.

It was around one in the afternoon when the prejudging was completed, and by 2:30 PM the remaining classes in the lifting started. Some great lifting took place, and time was lost during the competition of the lightheavies. The 198-pounders, which was the largest class, started an hour late, and while they lifted more time was lost, so the 242-pounders and the superheavies lifted together in hopes of making up some time but to no avail. The physique event was to start at 7:30 but because the lifting did not finish until around 9:30, they did not come on until 9:45 or so. However, by 9:PM the physique contestants were told to report to the dressing room and get ready, and shortly after the lifting was over the men were called out in three groups. After this each man was called out individually to present his posing display on the dias. Now with all the lights doused except the two spots situated just above the pedestal, the whole area looked changed and everyone's eyes were focused upon the posing stand, so when the first man appeared to take his place under the lights, he looked very impressive. . . as all the others that followed him. Len Bosland who MC'd the evening's physique program did a very fine job, as always, as he called out and introduced each contestant. All the men went through their posing routine very effectively to which the audience responded with a burst of applause. But by the time the 20th contestant made his appearance the audience had tired and the response dwindled to barely an audible sound. MC Bosland again suggested that the audience encourage the men with a greater round of applause to welcome him. They did. By this time the hour grew later than was expected, and people who had been sitting in their seats since 2:PM were somewhat tired but applauded the remaining men with enthusiastic gusto.

After each man had his chance to go through his posing display the awards for the various body parts were presented, followed by the winners of the Most Muscular Man contest. Then came what everybody was waiting to hear; the results of the five top men in the Jr. Mr. America competition. Jim Handley of Baltimore was called out first for fifth place. Next came Fred Shandor of Manville, N.J. in fourth place. Anibal Lopez, New York City, was given third, and muscular Willie Johnson of Akron, Ohio took second, while the much improved Paul Hill, since his cover picture and story in September MD 1969, took top honors. It was nevertheless, a close victory. Muscular Man title winner, Willie Johnson, took two of the five subdivisions awards and pushed Paul Hill all the way, losing out by only a small margin. However, since the competition was unusually good everyone seemed pleased and any of the top 20 could have been selected and still be considered worthy of the honor.

When the trophies were being handed out, Bob Hoffman, who had presented several to the lifters, had some of the other fellows do the honors. He came over to me and asked if I wanted to present a trophy. I said no, especially since he was doing such a fine job of presenting them, which the fellows apparently liked, so he should continue. Nevertheless Bob said that he world call me even though I insisted that I would not come up for the presentation. I had turned down many such opportunities before, including those at the World Physique contest in Columbus, and Chicago in '69, so I wasn't about to start now, especially since I felt that there were many people around who enjoyed doing this and could do it better than I could, so why deny them this pleasure? But Bob always wants to keep people happy and might have thought that I would be slighted if I wasn't asked, especially after Stanko, Michalik and Dickerson and others were called upon. I suggested that Bob continue to present them himself. The fellows enjoyed getting them from him and he's had MORE experience than anyone in this, so it was only logical that he should be the man. . . instead, he let someone else present it.

In any case, the show went off exceedingly well and everyone seemed pleased with the outcome, except for a few contestants, which can be expected on occasions. But on the whole, the entire championships went off smoothly and most spectators enjoyed the production. However, some of the contestants who had sent in their entries failed to show up or arrived too late. One such man was Robert Birdsong. Birdsong arrived upon the scene hours AFTER the prejudging, consequently was not eligible, which was a shame. However, the rules state that if the man fails to show up for the prejudging he will be disqualified. Several entries in last year's Mr. America contest wanted to enter at the last minute but were denied this privilege because, it was emphasized, that the closing date was well past due and no exceptions could be made. All Mr. America contestants should remember this--that no late entires would be accepted, and those who do not show up for the prejudging also run a risk of being disqualified.

Robert Birdsong, we were told, competed in a contest the night before in California and was delayed on his trip eastward. Had he been in the contest, who knows where he might have placed, but certainly among the top five. Anyway, he will have a chance to prove himself in the coming Mr. America contest in Virginia, the Big One. And who knows who will win this time. It could be another surprise as it was last year, and no one is taking bets one way or another. But if we can hold up this issue for these results, you will find them on page 22 this issue!

It's surprising to note that four out of the top five in the Juniors this year have had featured stories in MD magazine. Paul Hill was featured, as was Willie Johnson when he won Mr. Ohio. So was Anibal Lopez and Jim Handley . . and we are wondering just how many of the top 10 winners of the Mr. America contest we had already featured. We'll know after June 10th . . . the day of the Mr. America contest. We hope you can make it!


- The judges (in silhouette) study one of the three groups during the prejudging, appraising each man. The task wasn't an easy one this year.

- Winners of the Most Muscular Man trophies, left to right: Anibal Lopez 5th, Paul Hill 3rd, Willie Johnson, the winner, Doug Beaver 2nd, Sammie Willis 4th.

- The Mr. America (Junior) winners. Left to right: Anibal Lopez, Paul Hill, Jr. Mr. America, and Willie Johnson.

- The Most Muscular Man, Willie Johnson, poses for some enthusiastic fans, while others look on - amazed!

- A close-up shot of the Jr. Mr. A. winner, Paul Hill. He's bigger and more muscualr since appearing on our September 1969 cover.

- Winners of subdivisions and runners-up in Jr. A. contest. left to right: Willie Johnson, Most Muscular and Best Back and Chest winner; Anibal Lopez 3rd in Jr. A. contest. Fred Shandor 4th, and Douglas Beaver who placed 6th but won the Best Arms and Abdominal trophies.

- Phil Pearsall, Nashville, Tenn., 22nd

- Paul Price, Scranton, Pa., 19th

- Dan Padilla, Rochester, N.Y., 15th

- Jim Handley, Baltimore, Md., 5th

- Pat Neve, Phoenix, Ariz., 11th

- Ron Neff, Cherry Hill, N.J., 17th

- Sammie Willis, Indianapolis, Ind., 8th

- Bruyce Lyon, Hartford, Conn., 21st

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