NJSIAA Honors Life Savers
There were plenty of cheers for the seven schools that won NJSIAA Group Team Wrestling Championships at the Pine Belt Arena but the biggest applause came during a special ceremony which honored those who helped save the life of a local wrestler last month.
NJSIAA Executive Director Steve Timko took to the mat before one of the championship rounds to salute coaches and an athletic trainer who came to the rescue of Donovan Catholic wrestler Brandon Gonzalez. The 220-pound junior has just pinned his Toms River North opponent during a tri-meet at Lakewood High School on January 4 but did not move when the bout was over. The referee quickly realized something was wrong as Gonzalez was unconscious.
Among those who came to his rescue and began performing life-saving efforts were Griffins head coach Steve Glawson, North assistants Josh Huber and John DeMarco and Lakewood athletic trainer Pat Halpin. All were trained in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators and along with other medical personnel helped revive the young wrestler before he was transported to the hospital. Glawson is an oral surgeon who is also a captain in the Navy Reserve.
Timko lauded the efforts of Glawson, Huber, DeMarco and Halpin who received a standing ovation from those inside the arena for their heroics on the mat. Also on hand was Gonzalez who is doing well and has returned to school.
NEXT: Brick Memorial special needs wrestler David Richards gets his moment of glory