Voorhees High School Wrestling

In the 1980’s Voorhees High School was best known for one sport – wrestling.  And while many wrestling teams from that decade were great in their unique way, it started with the 1979-80 squad.  It was the beginning of an unbelievable run of success.  The team finished a perfect 20-0 beating state powerhouses such as Hunterdon Central, North Hunterdon, Ridge, and Delaware Valley on their way to winning the conference title, the District 17 championship, and the Central Jersey Group II Sectional Title.  They finished the season ranked second in the state of New Jersey.

One thing that made the team so exceptional was the lower portion of the lineup that earned the nickname: “Murders Row.”  The first six or seven weight classes consisting of legendary wrestlers such as Eric Lobell, Fred Peoni, Dave Zehnbauer, Jim Holthaus, Glen Hall, and Dan Moody were virtually unbeatable.  The lineup featured three eventual state champions and over half the starters were individual state qualifiers at some point in their careers.  But it wasn’t just how they performed in competition that made the team great.

The work ethic of this group was one that set the standard for all the Voorhees Wrestling Teams that followed.  The nucleus of the team was a group of guys who, from the time they were freshmen and sophomores, knew what they wanted to accomplish.  Practices were intense to say the least.  The team was pushed to the brink day in and day out, and they responded.  The team’s greatness was established under the intense heat and fiercely competitive environment of the wrestling room.  By the time each match rolled around they were in shape, on weight, and hungry – and they accomplished exactly what they set out to do.

“Only the Tough Survive” has been the motto of the Voorhees Wrestling Program since it was founded.  However, the 1979-80 Voorhees Wrestling Team not only proved the tough could survive, they proved the tough would THRIVE.