December 15, 2013 at 7:18 AM
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Coach Rich Ortega, new head coach for Gov. Livingston Wrestling, is looking forward to the start of the season.
Ortega is no stranger to the Gov. Livingston Wrestling program. An alumni of Governor Livingston, Ortega won the State Championship at 130 pounds as a senior in 1993.
He comes to Gov. Livingston from the Arthur L. Johnson program (Clark, NJ) where he coached the past seven years with two as head coach. He was honored by his peers as the Union County Wrestling Coach of the Year last season for his performance on and off the mat.
The Gov. Livingston Wrestling program graduated seven senior starters, including two 100 win athletes, Jon Mele and Shane Haddad. "The program is in a rebuilding stage," said Ortega. "Need Joe Colder (20-15) and Ryan Hoy (23-10) to lead the way for this young Highlander team."
"We are hoping to fill all the spots in the line-up and be as competitive as possible," Ortega said. Looking for leadership from his seniors Ryan Hoy, Joe Colder, Andrew Lipnick, Dennis Sobol and TJ McGowan. Included in the line-up are freshmen Turner Haddad and Chris Bottone.
Other notable returners: Chris Sergio (15-18), Austin Senkarik (7-13) and Sean Tomlinson (12-14).
"We are working on fundamentals and constantly improving. I am looking forward to my first year here at GL," said Ortega. With no middle school program to feed the Gov. Livingston program, Ortega looks to the PAL to prepare the student-athletes for the next level.
Gov. Livingston will compete in the Matawan Regional High School tournament in Aberdeen, NJ on Dec. 21 at 10 a.m.