By Andy Loigu
Host Warren Hills won three gold medals and a second place finish at the 60th annual John Goles Wrestling Tournament on Dec. 27.
In addition to the Blue Streaks, Delaware Valley, Edison, Newton, North Hunterdon, Sparta, and West Morris participated.
Senior Codey O’Rourke of Warren Hills won the 126-pound championship, defeating Eli Shepard of West Morris by a 3-1 score in the final. He made an early takedown stand up, literally, by wrestling on his feet the rest of the way, countering his opponent’s takedown moves.
At 145 pounds, Warren Hills junior Chris Ostir was second to North Hunterdon junior Michael Wilson, running into a buzz saw in losing 8-0 in the final.
Jarod Ostir won the 182 pound championship in impressive fashion, pinning junior Luke Stefaneli of Sparta in 28 seconds. The Warren Hills senior also won his semifinal bout by fall, in 3:59 over John Spies of North Hunterdon. “The team needs the points, so my goal is always to come out aggressive and go for the pin,” he said.
Warren Hills junior Nick Galka wrestled with a combination of aggression and finesse in outmaneuvering West Morris senior Robert Rosen in the 220-pound final by a 5-2 decision. Galka stayed on the top when the action was on the mat and energetically chased Rosen in restarts from the neutral position.
Goles was posthumously inducted into the Warren County Hall of Fame in October of 2014.
In 1943 Goles became a physical education teacher at Washington High School (renamed Warren Hills in 1967) and as part of his job he was assigned the Blue Streaks’ wrestling coach duties, even though he had no previous experience of any kind in the sport.
Learning everything about wrestling from scratch, in a hurry, he went on to an amazing, history-making, run of success coaching the Blue Streaks. He produced 39 individual state wrestling champions and four state team titles.
Goles also was a standout teacher, caring about the future of every student regardless of whether he or she was a varsity athlete. He was respected and liked by students and peers. He was inducted into the Region 1 Wrestling Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the championship tournament on March 1, 2014 at Wallkill Valley High School. The only question asked about the choice that evening was, why did it take so long?
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.