Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wrestling: Trio of state champs to enter R1 HOF

HARDYSTON TWP. -- Next year's Region 1 Hall of Fame ceremony will feature three former New Jersey state champions as Chris Skretkowicz, David Zabriskie and Jamie Wicks will be enshrined in 2016.

The trio will be inducted during a ceremony prior to next season's championship round at Wallkill Valley Regional High School. Skretkowicz and Wicks will be the first representatives from their schools to enter the Hall of Fame, while Zabriskie joins John Gardner.

Skretkowicz (84 percent) was a three-time district, two-time region champion and three-time state placewinner at Wallkill Valley, where he compiled a mark of 124-13. He was a two-time state finalist, winning the 171-pound title in 2000. Skretkowicz, now the head coach at Virginia Military Institute, was a two-time All-American at Hofstra University.

Zabriskie (78 percent), a two-time region qualifier and champion in 2005, the former High Point star finished sixth in the state in 2004 and won a state championship at 215 pounds in '05. He went on to a stellar collegiate career at Iowa State, where he was a four-time NCAA qualifier and three-time All-American. He was the 285-pound national champion in 2010.

Wicks (78 percent), who is considered one of Delaware Valley's finest, was a three-time district, two-time region and two-time state champ for the Terriers (1987, '88). He compiled a career mark of 92-5, which ranks 15th on the school's all-time list. Del Val moved to Region 5 in 2001.

Here are the other nominees and their voting totals. They all will remain on the ballot for 2017.

Brent Conly (63 percent) -- A three-time district and region champion, the former Delaware Valley star and head coach won two state titles in 1992 and '93, after placing fourth in '91. He was unable to compete for a third state championship due to a season-ending hand injury in '94. Conly ranks 18th on the school's all-time wins list at 89-6-1.

Jan Michaels (44 percent) -- Regarded as one of the best to come out of Sussex County, Michaels was a two-time district champion and Vernon's only two-time region champ. He was a three-time state qualifier, winning the 148-pound title in 1979 after finishing second in '78. He went on to become a three-time NCAA All-American at North Carolina. A very successful coach, Michaels guided High Point to an overall record of 47-12 in three seasons (1994-96) and three sectional titles. Individually, he coached three region champions, as well as two state finalists.

Doug Blake (44 percent) -- Nearly 40 years later, Blake is still the only state champion in Hackettstown's history, winning titles in 1967 and '68 at 157 and 168 pounds, respectively. Considered one of the best to ever come out of Warren County, he was a three-time district and a two-time region champion for the Tigers.

Brett Raimondo (41 percent) -- Two-time district and three-time region champion -- one of only 32 to win three titles in this region -- and the 1988 state champion at 112 pounds. He's the only Mendham wrestler to win three region championships and compiled a career mark of 105-14-1.

Patrick Dattalo (34 percent) -- One of three brothers to compete for coach Mike Suk, Dattalo was a two-time district and two-time state champion -- winning the Donald Ringler Award as the tournament's OW in 2002.

Arnie Thompson (16 percent) -- A two-time district and region champion for the former Washington High School, now known as Warren Hills. Thompson won a pair of state titles for the Blue Streaks at 148 and 157 pounds in 1965 and '66, the program's 34th and 35th championships. He is one of 12 wrestlers to win two state titles for the Warren County school, and among 10 to win at least two region titles.

Larry Vandermark (13 percent) -- Former Newton star was a two-time district and region champion, while also winning a pair of state titles for the Braves at 148 pounds in 1961 and '62. Vandermark and teammate Frank Pace were the first wrestlers to claim two region titles for the Sussex County school.

Mark Preston (13 percent) -- A three-time district and two-time region champion, the former Sparta star was a two-time state finalist, finishing second in 1974 and winning a title at 129 pounds in '75 to become the Sussex County school's first state champ. He is still only one of three wrestlers to win a state gold for the Spartans.

Here are the current Hall of Fame members:


John Barna, Phillipsburg
Mike Frick, Pope John
Henry Boresch, Newton
Greg Surenian, Randolph
Steve Dalling, Kittatinny


John Gardner, High Point
Rick Thompson, Phillipsburg


Ben Oberly, Warren Hills
David Hughes, Jefferson


Gus Rampone, Newton


Steve DePetro, DePaul


Dan Slack, Warren Hills


Greg Cholish, West Morris
Andy Iliff, Newton


Roman Fleszar, Kittatinny


John Goles, Washington/Warren Hills
Gene Mills, DePaul
Matt Valenti, Kittatinny
Carmine Rossi, Roxbury
Sam Rossi, Roxbury


Mike Rossetti, Phillipsburg/Jefferson/Randolph
Bob Zaro, Phillipsburg
Ken Rossi, Jefferson
Dan Vallimont, Jefferson

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