The New Jersey Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Stillwater, Oklahoma, is once again preparing to induct new members at its annual induction banquet on Sunday, September 17, at the Westin Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey. Lifetime Service to Wrestling Awards will be presented that day in a banquet setting to: Roy Fennimore, Michael P. Frick, Gary Kessel, Edward Kochajki, and William Miron for Lifetime Service to Wrestling, the Outstanding American Award recipient is Steven John Jastrabek, and Medal of Courage award will be presented to Ron C. Brooks.
Roy Fennimore was the former head coach at Williamstown High School in New Jersey. After enjoying a successful career in coaching Roy embarked on a similar career path as a highly qualified wrestling official in South Jersey. A veteran official who plied his craft at the district, regional, and state championship levels, Roy also officiated many sectional team qualification and finals matches during his career. Roy retired after many years as an educator in the Williamstown Public Schools system.
Mike Frick was a three time NJSIAA Wrestling Champion who later went on to garner two NCAA Championships while wrestling at Lehigh University. A well known name in many wrestling circles both here in the USA and in International competition, Mike ranks as one of the most successful wrestlers ever to take the mat. Following his competition on the mat, Mike coached at a variety of high school, middle school, and club level programs both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Gary Kessel did his college wrestling at what is now East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania where he captured an EIWOA individual title. After returning to his alma mater as a coach, he was also using his skills as a college and high school wrestling official in both Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. Gary has reached the pinnacle of officiating by having officiated numerous finals at the NCAA Division One, as well as the NJSIAA Championships.
Edward Kochajki is a well known name in New Jersey wrestling having been a repeat NJSIAA Champion at Bergenfield High School in New Jersey. The broker of many records at his alma mater, and in Bergen County circles, Ed later went on to become a very successful coach at Bergen County Community College where he has helped build a well respected program at the state, regional, and national level for 2 year college programs.
William Miron was a long time head wrestling coach for his alma mater Millburn High School having succeeded his legendary coach Jerry Sachsel. Bill, a NJSIAA Champion in his own right, later went on to wrestle for Princeton University, and under the tutelage of coach Johnny Johnston, Bill was a varsity starter and placed multiple times in the annual EIWOA Championships. Bill is currently the Principal at Millburn High School.
Steven John Jastrabek, recipient of the Outstanding American Award, placed third in the NJSIAA Wrestling Championships while wrestling for Pope John High School in Sparta, New Jersey. Steven John later wrestled at Clarion University, and what has followed him has been a long lasting relationship with the sport of wrestling. Steven John has been a very active member, supporter, and contributor to USA Wrestling, and he is currently serving as the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Ron Brooks, Medal of Courage recipient is a graduate of Brick Township High in New Jersey where he was first introduced to the sport of wrestling. An active member of a variety of state and national service organizations, Ron has demonstrated his love for the sport through his active support and involvement throughout the years. A gifted soloist, and orator, Ron has been sought out by many organizations to deliver a stunning rendition of our National Anthem, as well as other patriotic songs.
The Class of 2017 will be joined by a host of honorees from the previous 16 years, and many wrestling enthusiasts will have all eyes focused on the Westin Hotel on Sunday, September 17, commencing at 1 pm for what should prove to be once again a significant event in the history of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. The full dinner begins at 1 PM with the awards program to follow in what has proven to be an event which has consistently been attended by over 325 guests.
We encourage you to proceed to the NWHOF.org web site, clicking on the NJ Chapter for information about attending this featured event, and we look forward to yet another successful induction ceremony on Sunday, September 17.