Voorhees High School Wrestling

The former football coaches of Dave Bowbliss cannot remember him as the prototypical quarterback with the golden arm.  There was not anything particularly flashy about how Dave led his team into battle, but there did not need to be.  As one of his former coaches remembers, “I just remember us being very confident with Dave at the helm.  He was a tough kid, a leader, and most of all, a winner.  He didn’t put on a passing clinic when he was out there he just played the position with heart, brains, and leadership.”

The wrestling team appreciated Dave’s natural leadership and competitive nature even more.  Dave’s efforts helped bolster an already flourishing wrestling program at Voorhees.  In his three years as a varsity wrestler, Voorhees went 60-5 with three Central Jersey Group III Sectional Titles and one outright Group III State Title.  The state championship team of 1986-87 was undefeated (22-0) and ranked number two in the state by The Star-Ledger and number one by The Easton Express-Times.  Seven members of that team went on to qualify for the individual state championship tournament at some point in their careers, and of course, Dave was one of those wrestlers.

Many of Dave’s accomplishments on the mat are very impressive in their own right, but considering that Dave was a three-sport athlete, one might consider them as remarkable.  Dave is one of only five Voorhees wrestlers to qualify for the state championship tournament three times in his career.  He is one of only six wrestlers in Voorhees history to finish in the top-eight in the state twice.  Dave is one of only nine wrestlers to win three district titles for Voorhees.  His career wins total of 82 puts him 13th on the all-time list.  Dave’s winning percentage of 81.18% ranks 15th all-time.  His pin total of 40 and his pinning percentage of 39.6 both rank 14th all-time.  He led the team in takedowns in his junior and senior year with record-breaking totals of 66 and 69 respectively.  Finally, he is one of only thirteen Voorhees Wrestlers to be voted captain in both his junior and senior year.

In all, Dave earned eight varsity letters in football, wrestling, and baseball and received several distinctions from local sportswriters in all three.  More important was the lasting impression he had on his teammates and coaches.  Coach Heilman wrestled with Dave Bowbliss every day in practice and fondly remembers him as his favorite workout partner.  “Dave was an outstanding wrestler in every way.  He was a quiet worker with an incredible work ethic.  He was always in shape, was always at practice, always worked hard, and could be counted on to come through for the team in tight situations.  He was also my main practice partner, and I could not have asked for a better one.  When I think of Dave, I think of the practice room.  Day after day we could always be counted on to wrestle hard against each other, each making the other better in different ways.”

After Voorhees, Dave went on to wrestle for NC State.  He currently works as a golf course superintendent in North Carolina where he lives with his wife Jennifer Riley Bowbliss (another Voorhees Hall-of-Famer) and their three children.