Sports Chatter: Streaks Bowling Clinches Championship; 700 Wrestling Wins

Andy Loigu, local sports extraordinaire, brings Inside Warren's readers the Sports Chatter.

By Andy Loigu

With a standing room only crowd cheering them on, host Warren Hills swept the Skyland Conference Bowling Championships on Jan. 29.

The Blue Streaks’ boys, with a 3065 score, held off runner-up Bridgewater-Raritan. The Panthers scored 3004.

The Warren Hills girls, currently ranked fourth in the state by The Star-Ledger, won their third consecutive conference championship easily over second place Franklin, 2990-2327.

After two games, the boys led the Panthers by a slim margin, just 15 pins. However, they hit 1047 pins in game three, to 1001 from Bridgewater-Raritan, to capture the title.

In dual meets this season, the Warren Hills boys are 10-1, while the girls are unbeaten at 8-0.

“The kids are a coach’s dream,” said Greg Rottengen, a certified coach and professional bowler who guides both Warren Hills squads. “They pay attention, they practice what I teach, and you see their improvement on a daily basis.”

He indicated that the most important aspect of bowling fundamentals is balance. “I also work with them on walking straight, their arm swing and their ability to focus,” he added. “Spares are different. You don’t hook a spare. Knocking down a spare is all in the angles.”

Eric Lawson, Alex Cole, Ryan Stephany, Darryl Price, and Justin Walker competed for the boys, while Abby Laws, Katie Winch, Jessica Yerance, Elizabeth Hudock, and Jenna Henderson were the girls’ keglers.

Walker, the team leader with a 726 high series, has served the Warren Hills Marching Band as the Drum Major the past two seasons.

700th wrestling win

Warren Hills joined Phillipsburg, Hunterdon Central, and Delaware Valley as the fourth team in Hunterdon and Warren County to reach 700 all-time wins in high school varsity wrestling. The Blue Streaks reached the milestone on Jan. 27, when they won a 28-27 thriller at North Hunterdon.

Current coach Jarrett Hosbach is responsible for over 100 of those wins. He also coached the Blue Streaks to win number 600, when Warren Hills defeated visiting Ridge in 2008.

Freshmen Nick Galka and Cody Harrison played vital roles in the Blue Streaks’ 700th win.

In the upper weights, Galka gave Warren Hills three points with a critical 5-3 win by decision in overtime, followed by a win via fall for Kurt Nemeth at 195 pounds, putting six more points on the scoreboard for the Blue Streaks. At 106 pounds, Harrison added five points to the team total with a 20-5 tech fall, giving Warren Hills a 25-24 lead with two bouts remaining.

Kyle Wulff added a win by decision at 113 pounds.

Although Cody O’Rourke lost at 120, he stayed off his back and did not allow any bonus points, enabling Warren Hills to get the one-point win.

From the Sports Chatter archives: Where are they now?

Wherever Brandon Zaleski goes, impressive numbers follow.

At Hackettstown High School, he finished a stellar basketball career with the Tigers as a 1,000 point scorer, one of only five Hackettstown players to reach that milestone. Also a soccer player and track athlete in Tigertown, he was honored as Warren County Male Athlete of the Year by The Star-Gazette in 2001.

Zaleski went on to Moravian College, where he again scored over 1,000 career points, and graduated in 2005 as the Greyhounds’ all-time scoring leader for men’s basketball.

Now, as a broker/owner for Brightstar Realty and Rentals in Roseland since 2006, specializing in commercial sales and leasing, he has sold over $40 million in real estate transactions and leased over 200,000 square feet of commercial office space.

He is still at it, putting up impressive numbers.

LeGrand to visit Hackettstown

Rutgers University spokesman Eric LeGrand is paralyzed, and uses a wheelchair after suffering an injury when he played football for the Scarlet Knights five years ago. Instead of becoming bitter and despondent, his spirit has grown stronger and he has been positive and inspirational, serving as an analyst on the Rutgers radio broadcasts and making numerous public appearances in a variety of settings to speak about “the power of faith, hope and courage.”

He is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, in the sanctuary at Trinity United Methodist Church, 213 Main St., Hackettstown. The public is invited. Call 908-852-3020 with any questions you may have.

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.

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