By Andy Loigu
High school wrestling never goes on vacation.
Warren Hills won four bouts by one point, and that made the difference, as the host Blue Streaks defeated Phillipsburg 28-24 in the annual Pin Cancer wrestling match on July 28.
The match raised an estimated $4,000 for the Pin Cancer charity.
Warren Hills head coach Jarrett Hosbach, staff, and parents deserve a lot of credit for being able to move the match indoors almost at the last minute, when bad weather threatened a cancellation or postponement of the event, which has been held outdoors in recent years.
With summer vacations being popular in August, it is doubtful the event would have drawn the same size of a crowd as the one that showed up on the scheduled date. Also, the last time Warren Hills held the event outdoors at the sparkling new football stadium, condensation on the mat due to dropping evening temperatures made the wrestlers slip and slide repeatedly. The match had to be stopped over and over as coaches kept toweling down the mat.
Indoors, it got kind of warm to say the least, but the fans, wrestlers, and coaches are mentally tough people who did not seem to mind a little bit of discomfort.
Mental toughness is a quality which enables a wrestler to win a close battle, and the Blue Streaks’ ability to pull out the tough ones bodes well for their upcoming season.
Warren Hills has three solid wrestlers named Nauta in its projected lineup for next winter.
Senior Zach Nauta and junior Cameron Nauta are the veterans and freshman Logan Nauta is the proverbial rookie in the group. Logan was one of the four Blue Streaks who won a one-point struggle, as his unorthodox style proved to be more than Phillipsburg’s Travis Jones could counter in an 8-7 thriller.
Warren Hills hopes to atone for a disappointing finish to last season, when nary a Blue Streak reached the Region 1 finals. The way to turn that around is by working hard during the “off season.”
What can Profita do for an encore?
Soon, very soon, practices will start for the fall sports teams. All eyes will be on the Warren Hills field hockey team, as the Blue Streaks wear the target on their backs that comes with becoming a back-to-back state champion in Group 3. Warren Hills welcomes the challenge.
The star of the show is senior Dana Profita.
The greatest honor a high school athlete in New Jersey could hope to achieve is to be named First Team All-State for all groups in your chosen sport. A high school basketball teammate of mine earned that honor almost 50 years ago, and I was as happy as if I had won the honor myself.
Profita’s proficient point production earned her such an honor last fall, when she broke both the career and single-season school scoring records as a Warren Hills junior. This is at a program which has been ranked in the state’s Top 10 on a consistent basis for the past two decades and has a long list of distinguished (and high scoring) alumni.
Profita has scored 80 goals and dished off 52 assists in her three seasons as a Blue Streak. She knocked the ball into the net 41 times last season.
If another scoring threat emerges to keep the defenses honest, look for Warren Hills to be a powerhouse once again.
Ever since the new Warren Hills Stadium opened in 2010, with an artificial surface which plays fast in field hockey, the Blue Streaks have been a scoring machine. They were big winners on grass fields with defense and outstanding goaltending, but have made a major transition to suit their new field, becoming the greatest show on turf.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.