Sports Chatter: Summer Workouts Produce Winter Winners

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

By Andy Loigu

You can’t win them all if you don’t win the first one.

The Warren Hills wrestlers won their first three dual meets this season, and coach Jarrett Hosbach attributes it to his athletes’ work ethic.

“We made a lot of strides in the weight room over the summer, the results showed tonight,” he said, after an impressive 40-18 victory over longtime nemesis Delaware Valley on Jan. 6. The visiting Terriers left Washington with a 3-2 record.

Warren Hills trailed 12-7, but broke it open by winning five of the six bouts in the upper weight classes.

“We won the close ones tonight,” the coach said. “You do that when you’re in shape and don’t get tired out there.”

Jarod Ostir started the uprising with a win by fall in 4:25 at 160 pounds.

Anthony Roessner scored two takedowns and an escape in winning a 5-3 decision at 170 pounds.

Freshman Nick Galka scored a takedown and reversal in winning 4-1 at 182.

Brody Oberly outlasted Jeff Underhill 2-1 in overtime at 220 pounds and Taylan Zafis won the heavyweight bout by fall in 3:18 to give the Blue Streaks a 28-15 lead.

“It’s back to practice now,” Hosbach said, “We still have a lot of things to work on. We’ve set some team goals and have challenges ahead. It’s just like the high jump and pole vault, the higher you go, the more they raise the bar.”

At Saturday’s Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex meet in Flemington hosted by Hunterdon Central, Matt Valli of Warren Hills was the 126-pound champion and was voted Outstanding Wrestler by the coaches. Valli also was the winner of the weight class on Dec. 28 at the John Goles Tournament.

Joe Renne of Hackettstown (at 126) and Tiger teammate Robert Spezza (at 160) won third place honors.

In a dual meet against Belvidere, Hackettstown head coach Frank Rodgers (in his 19th year guiding the Tigers) reached the 200 wins milestone, with a 48-21 triumph over the visiting County Seaters.

“There are a lot of good people in this community,” Rodgers said upon receiving a plaque to honor his achievement.

From the Sports Chatter archives: Where are they now?

“I’ve hung up the fur,” said former Warren Hills wrestling champion Gregg Wiseburn last week, after a homecoming of sorts. The Delaware Valley varsity wrestling team, where he now works as an assistant coach, had just been beaten by the Warren Hills Blue Streaks.

During the fall he coached the JV field hockey team at his alma mater, but his search for a coaching opportunity in his favorite sport, wrestling, led him to Hunterdon County.

Wiseburn was an All-Pro mascot for an undisclosed NFL team. After proving his worth and getting favorable evaluations, he was chosen to perform at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii in February of 2011. A condition of his employment was to not reveal what team he worked for, because children think the mascots are real.

However, we can tell you that he worked playoff games, so that rules out the Jets.

A mascot at professional sports events is as much a part of the show as the teams competing on the field. He or she needs to be nimble and athletic in order to be entertaining to the fans. He was hired by the director of the team’s cheerleaders, so the ability to dance, perform, and be funny, was paramount.

As a Warren Hills wrestler (class of 2001) he was District I champion in his senior season. He was a state qualifier in 1999, representing Region I. Also, he was chosen Outstanding Wrestler at the John Goles Tournament after winning his weight class at the event, which Warren Hills hosts, for the second straight year (1999 and 2000).

He went on to wrestle for Carson-Newman College in Tennessee.

“I may not be done with the mascot business yet,” he said. “Minor league baseball may be my off-season job this year. Baseball is good because it does not interfere with wrestling season.”

As for having any divided loyalties now that he’s part of the Terriers’ staff, Wiseburn said that isn’t an issue. “I’m all in on this team. It’s a first class program with real good kids,” he said. “I’m glad Warren Hills looks good this year. We’re in a different district and region, so if we see some of their guys in Atlantic City, it would mean both of our teams enjoyed a lot of success.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.

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