“For the Wrestling Cause and the Great Men & Women it Creates”

Originally created to give our #EliteFamily Seniors Student/Athlete/Wrestlers financial scholarships for college and create opportunities for low-income families to participate in the Elite Wrestling Program at no cost. Today, the Trust still does those services but has grown into doing more for other by supporting Veteran’s reacclimation, local team booster clubs for wrestling programs, financial and resource support for senior level wrestlers competing nationally. In all the Elite for Life Trust is a life-long support system for our #EliteFamily.

We create opportunity, in exchange we expect

  • Discipline & Time Management. It is the foundation of Success
  • You to Build self-confidence and pride in accomplishment
  • You to Work closely and honestly with head instructor and our highly-experienced staff
  • You to have self-respect and respect for others
  • You to participate in Community Service for those in need
  • You to be accountable for all actions, all impressions matter!
  • You to be goals oriented, short term & long term goals
  • You to Analyse your goals, make adjustments for success
  • You At home, Striving to be a productive and responsible family member
  • You at School, Striving to be the best student you can be educationally or vocationally
  • You Socially, Striving to be a Strong, Confident, Leader demonstrating the knowledge of Right from Wrong
  • You Professionally, Dreaming BIG, believing there is no limit to what one can accomplish with resources

Elite for Life Trust College Scholarship

CANDIDATE: Must be a College bound Senior who currently wrestles for Elite Wrestling and currently wrestles in HS. Student must have at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify. Student must not be recipient of full scholarship and must plan on attending either a 2 or 4 year accredited university in the Fall Semester of that year.

REWARD: $500.00 or $250.00 Paid to College Admissions, Campus Bookstore, Student Credit Union or other campus identity.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Copy of HS transcripts, Min 1000-word Essay on:

“How being involved in Elite Wrestling has changed your life for the better, and the impact it and the coaches have played in that change.”

SUBMIT TO: SteveRivera@EliteWrestlingNJ.com

Submit by: August 1st each school year

Elite for Life Trust College Scholarship Recipients

9th year of giving, 32 recipients, over $16,000 in Scholarships


Jess Johnson (Manalapan/Lock Haven), Chloe Ayers (Princeton/Princeton), Shailen Savur (Robbinsville/Wesleyan), Brett Blaess (Jackson/Baldwin & Wallace), Logan Waller (Colts Neck/ Kutztown), Jackson Brandt (Lacey/Ursinus)

In addition to the 5 senior student/athlete scholarships we gave this year. The Trust sponsors two girls. Both Elite homegrown and now NJ State Champions.
Old Bridge Gabby Miller and Lakewood Jayla Hahn. Both just starting their senior seasons. We are very proud of the work they are doing on and off the mats.

2020 Recipients 

Nick Golden (Allentown/TCNJ), Hunter Smith (Jackson Memorial/Davis & Elkins College), Justin Burkert (Toms River North/Coastal Carolina),

2019 Recipients 

Vincent Scollo (Jackson Memorial/Davis & Elkins College), Paul Santamarco (Manalapan/Lycoming)

2018 Recipients

Richie Koehler (CBA/Rider), Tim Fitzpatrick (Holy Spirit/American Univ.), Nick Tomasiello (Jackson Memorial/Millersville)

2017 Recipients

Matt McGowen (Jackson Memorial/ USCG), Mike Goebel (Manalapan/ ESU), Logan Fox (Robbinsville/ Springfield)

2016 Recipients

Sebastian Rivera (CBA/ Northwestern), Stephen Nadera (Old Bridge/ JWU), Tanner Kelly (Jackson Memorial/ JWU), Kris Lindeman (Howell/Iowa Central), Dylan James (Michigan State)

2015 Recipients

Fred Terranova (Jackson Memorial/Augustana), Joe Santamarco (Manalapan/Lycoming), Kyle Brandt (Lacey/Lycoming), Paul Piccione (St John Vianney/ Steven’s)

2014 Recipients

Mezziah Bethea (Trenton Central/ UPenn), Gordon Wolf (Lawrence/ Lehigh), Richard Henries (Trenton Central)

2013 Recipients

Brian Hamann (Jackson Memorial/ NC State), Sean Pryzbylkowski (New Eqypt)

Contact Steve Rivera for more details 732-433-5890 or email steverivera@elitewrestlingnj.com

Elite for Life Student/Athlete Showcase 

It is our mission to create opportunity for student/athletes that wrestle. With meaningful conversations and the submission of the 1000+ essay below, Gabby Miller, an Elite for Life Wrestler since 8th grader in Jamesburg Middle School, now a Sophomore at Monroe High School. Last season Gabby captured Gold at the 2019 NJSIAA first ever Girl’s State Championships and continues to perform equally in the classroom. We are excited for her future and where it takes her.

Gabby Miller (Jamesburg, NJ)


Almost every wrestler has a story, a story that explains how they got into wrestling and why they are so passionate about the sport. For example, Dan Gable started wrestling as nothing more than a recreational wrestler, but at the age of sixteen his sister, unfortunately, was raped and murdered in their family living room. His motivation to take the sport seriously and to be more dedicated was for his parents. After everything that happened with his sister he wanted to give his parent something positive to think about. I do not have an inspirational story like Dan Gable..yet. My story starts like most wrestlers, in a wrestling recreation league. When I was six years old my father had signed my brother Austin up for wrestling. My mother worked a lot of late nights, so my father had to bring all three of us to practice. I remember Austin’s first day of practice, he was all alone there on the mat, as I watched from the stands. By the second day of practice, I was no longer sitting in the bleachers, I was on the mat and that’s how my story starts.

My love for wrestling is natural, it’s the only way I can describe it. I absolutely cannot explain why I love the sport, I know that sounds bad but I cannot express my feelings. When I try to put it on paper, I get a mental block but I can feel that wrestling is in my heart. The drive and motivation to push yourself past the limits that someone has placed in front of you make the adrenaline rush in my body, almost as if it was oozing out of me. The end result of the dedication, and all the hard efforts that you alone have put in, is the satisfaction that you gave it your all. I must admit that the best feeling is when, at the end of the match, its your hand getting raised. It’s in that moment that you think to yourself, that all the sacrifices that were made, were worth it. But my all-time favorite part of getting my hand raised is the look on the male opponents face when I take my hair cap off and he realizes he had just gotten beaten by a girl. I personally do not understand why it is such a big shock to them, but apparently, it is.

As a female in the wrestling community, it is sometimes hard because they only see you as the girl who you have to take it “easy” on, that honestly gets me so angry and drives me to work that much harder and to win my matches. I am more than a girl, I am an athlete that can take on anything. In the elite wrestling facility the coaches see me much more than a girl, they see me for the athlete that I am, and the potential that they believe I have. Within the first month of coming to Elite, I finally saw the potential I have and that maybe I always had it but no coach was willing to work with me, once again, all they saw was a girl who does rec.

In the Elite wrestling room, there are athletes from many towns like Manalapan, Jackson, Toms River, Marlboro and Monroe. I notice that most of the athletes sit with their teammates from their town, but I sit alone. I sit alone because I admit that I am slightly antisocial, but I am the only person from Jamesburg in that room. I like that it’s just me and my brother in the Elite room. I made the decision to come to Elite, because there were no distractions from Jamesburg Rec here in the room with me. I stand on my own two feet, and take charge; I do what I have to do to get things done. Although I have been in the Elite room for a short amount of time I have already seen an improvement in myself, I have strengthened my shots and have learned to defend shots more quickly and more effective. As I walk into the elite wrestling facility I not only see dedicated wrestlers coming to better themselves in this sport, but I see a family, a family who share the love of this sport.

Wrestling’s not only a sport but it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle I want to live, sleep, eat, and breathe. I wrestle because it gives me a sense of responsibility, and accomplishment, it also helps me become more athletic and improves more mental toughness. Mental toughness plays an important role in life, it plays an important role by increasing your chances of keeping your head straight when a challenge your not ready for approaches. Wrestling also increases your athletic skills and your ability to play multiple sports without even really knowing the sport, yet your athleticism plays a role and helps you as you continue to grow and learn as an athlete.

Dedication, motivation, ambition, critical thinking, adaptability, agility, focus, confidence, inner strength, knowing your limits; my parents tell me that these skills that wrestlers develop from this sport are hard skills to learn and usually are learned over time. As a student in med school striving to be a cardiologist when she learns to use and access her skills properly, wrestling skills that I hope to utilize will help with my focus, dedication, and thinking quick on my feet as a doctor. As a doctor, you are put in situations which involve quick thinking under pressure, and just like in wrestling I would be able to work through the pressure and get down to work.

Thinking about female wrestling role models such as Leigh Jaynes, Helen Maroulis, and Adeline Grey; we all share a common thread. We all started with a story although mine may not be the most impactful, it has meaning and the story it tells is all mine.

Elite for Life Student/Athlete Showcase

With meaningful conversations and the submission of the 1000+ essay below, Edison Quesada, a S. at Red Bank Regional, will be participating at Elite Wrestling NJ for the 2017-2018 season.

It is our mission to create opportunity for student/athletes that wrestle. Before his trial night at our Manalapan location I had never met him. On his trial night he caught my attention with his size, effort and athleticism. Edison is special kid, respectful, intelligent, athletic, thoughtful and a positive thinker. After practice we had short conversation but I got the idea of the life situation he was dealing with. I had mentioned the EFLT Essay Program and the following practice he had the essay in hand. After reading the essay I could not be more proud to take him on as one of our EFLT Showcase Student/Athletes for this 2017-18 season. Congratulations Edison!!

“Because I Asked Nicely” by Edison Quesada

Over the span of my short life I’ve thrown myself into a variety of activities desperately trying to impress people; my father, my mother, my friends, and often some girl. I’ve joined the football team, the track team, the soccer team, the wrestling team, and a brazilian jiu-jitsu club. I have worked in a bike shop, a high end restaurant, renovation, retail, babysitting, dog walking, snow shovelling, gardening, and as a janitor. I have taken up drawing, mountain biking, road biking, parkour, gymnastics, breakdancing, swimming, and editing. But ultimately, most of these things I have left behind in the dust. I have told myself that I quit because of money, because of time, and simply because there were better things out there for me. But in reality it was because my initial spark for each of these things was weak, I got bored. I only showed interest because someone else showed that interest for me. In reality, wrestling is among a few of the things that I have joined and truly enjoyed. And the reason for that is truly simple; it is because I joined it for me. Independent from the influence of any third party, just me and the matt.

Moving on to a short story of my life: Now I know you’re probably expecting a sob story, but honestly, I can not give it to you. I love my life way too much. I was born in the beautiful country of Costa Rica in a humble little town called San Gerardo de Platanares. One day, driven by a heart of hope, my father made the decision to take me and my mother to america, the land of opportunity. I was only three when this life-changing decision was made, so I have very little memory of those first handful of years.

Anyways fast forward 14 years and here we are. We now have a new member of the family, my beautiful kid sister Leslie who will be attending first grade this year. My mother who has been jumping from low paying job to worse paying job has found stability to the hands of a very generous middle-eastern lady who was been nothing but nice to our family. My father who was worked for the same man in a humble deli for over ten years has decided to take a break from work. And I have found time this past summer to sustain two jobs at 17 mostly to teach myself the value behind money. And yes, if you are wondering money is a very big issue in my life, but that sure does not stop me from enjoying myself.

Currently one of the biggest enjoyments in my life has been the wonderful sport of wrestling. Wrestling has become a little bit of an obsession for me, it makes me feel very tough. Not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. I finished my first season of wrestling with a record of 16-14. Definitely not the best record but also pretty good for a first year(I like to tell myself). But at the end of the day it is not about my record it is about the fact that through a combination of strength, skill, and intelligence I was able to beat sixteen people. Not only that, but I had the opportunity to learn from another fourteen people. I learned lessons, not only from the 30 matches I had but also from the countless times I was pushed beyond my limits at practice by Nicky. I learned things like not being too cocky, and to not be too afraid of your opponent. I also learned that I am not a prodigy and that I need to work like hell to get what I want. These very important lessons have transferred into my day to day life. And I know that I have much more learning in my final year of wrestling.

With this in mind, it was that I showed interest in your club. I want a way to speed my progress in becoming better in wrestling and my day to day life. My goal is not to impress anybody but myself. I want to become a great man, a functional and active member of not only my wrestling team, but also of America.

Recently the news has put me and other students like myself in a bit of a scare. I am a student under DACA and recently it has been revealed that the program that has been protecting me and making me feel like a normal American boy is being stripped away. And I hate bitching, especially to people that I do not know all that well yet but jesus that is incredibly scary to me. I have been treated like an american for the last 14 years, why can’t I continue the dream? Am I really that different from the typical american citizen? No not at all. You have not gotten much of a chance to get to know me much yet, but just put yourself in my shoes for a second.

You are a senior in highschool with your whole life ahead of you. You begin to look at colleges, filling your childish heart with the american dream. You know that legally, you are inferior to your classmates, but you and your parents are working to change that. You have managed to take cover under DACA, a program that while super expensive and time consuming, was supposed to change your life for the better and make you just like any other teenager. But rather, just as your life is beginning to find stability, it is all threatened to be taken away from you.

But honestly, rather than thinking about the possibility of being stripped from my life and getting sent back to a place that has become foreign to me, I indulge my brain in the art of wrestling. You see, I do not wrestle with the hope of some insane scholarship, I am not all that bright and I am not all that great of a wrestler. I wrestle because it is fun to me. Because of a respect for the sport.

In conclusion, I just need something to occupy my mind with. Wrestling does not have some deep, poetic meaning to me, I am just like any other teenager, flooded with too many questions about the world. I just need a place where I can forget about money, work, and president trump. I just want to think about wrestling.