Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wrestling: Rey to enter R1 Hall of Fame in 2017

Zach Rey is used to being in a class by himself on the wrestling mat. And the former Hopatcong state champion and Division I national champ at Lehigh University will stand alone next year when he's enshrined into the Region 1 Hall of Fame.

Rey, who received 84 percent of the votes, will be inducted prior to next year's championship round at Wallkill Valley Regional High School. He will be the first to represent Hopatcong in the Region 1 Hall of Fame.

Rey went 123-21 from 2003-07 for Hopatcong under head coach Eric Fajerman, winning three District 2 titles (2005-07) and two Region 1 titles (2006-07). Rey was a three-time state placewinner, becoming the first champion in his school's history by winning back-to-back titles at heavyweight in '06 and '07. At Lehigh, Rey was a three-time NCAA All-American and two-time national finalist, winning the title in '11. He's also a three-time Pan-Am gold medalist and a USA World Freestyle Team member.

On Saturday, David Zabriskie of High Point, Chris Skretkowicz of Wallkill Valley and Jamie Wicks of Delaware Valley will be enshrined as the Class of 2016. All three were state champions for their respective high schools.

Here are the other nominees and their voting totals -- 75 percent is required for election. They all will remain on the ballot for 2017.

Linn Crawn (63 percent) -- Longtime assistant coach at Kittatinny, who served as head coach John Gill's right-hand man for 32 seasons, was known as a master strategist and lineup maker. Gill often referred to Crawn as the "brains of the operation." Crawn died after a long battle with diabetes in 2012. He was a four-year member of the Newton High School wrestling program, and was a two-time district champion and a region runner-up at heavyweight in 1969. Crawn also was an NAIA national champion at heavyweight and was an all-conference football player at William Penn.

Brent Conly (59 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 (50 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.

Brett Raimondo (44 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.

Doug Blake (38 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.

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.

Larry Vandermark (16 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.

Arnie Thompson (9 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.

Mark Preston (9 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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