Pete Goj

Pete Goj (’66)

Pete Goj was an outstanding multi-sport athlete at Glen Rock High School, receiving All-County honors in both football and basketball.

Pete Goj was a leader of the 1965 Football Team, being the primary receiver for Hall of Fame Inductee Phil Tortoreti’s passes and a mainstay of one of the best defensive units in school history.

At the start of that season, the pundits questioned the team’s potential as there were only three returning letterman, Pete, Phil and center Bill Gerber. However, led by Co-Captains Pete and Phil, the team finished the season with a 7-2 record and second place finish in the NBIL. It also finished second in the final NJSIAA Group 3, Sectional ranking (thereby nearly equaling the 7-1-1 1963 team that was named Group 3, Sectional Champions).

At the end of the season, Pete joined Phil as a member of the Second Team, All-County (with each team being a combined offense & defense team of 11 players) (by The Bergen Record) and to the First Team, All-NBIL. He and Phil also received First Team, Group 3, All-State and Honorable Mention, All Groups, All-State recognition from the Associated Press.

Pete was also one of the school’s most outstanding basketball players. As a junior, Pete was the starting center on the 1964-65 Basketball Team that produced one of Glen Rock’s most successful — and one of its most memorable — seasons in the school’s history. The team was led by Hall of Fame Inductee Butch Giuffre and Kevin Waterman, who would end the season as the top scoring duo in all of New Jersey. Pete was the team’s third highest scorer and the team’s leading rebounder (averaging nearly 20 rebounds per game). After the team won the NBIL Co-Championship (with a 17-3 league record), it had a memorable run in the Group 3, State Championship playoffs.

In the Sectional quarterfinal, it defeated New Milford by a score of 81-58 and advanced to play Dwight Morrow (Englewood), the Co-Champion of the NNJIL (a league consisting of the largest schools in Bergen County). The Bergen Record  billed the game as the battle for the mythical Bergen County championship. After starting slowly, Glen Rock led by as much as 10 points in the third quarter, but the favored Englewood worked its way back and tied the game at 64-64 with less than two minutes left. The two teams then exchanged baskets with various players hitting clutch shots or being fouled and then making free throws. When Butch fouled out with a minute left, Englewood’s fans were confident that their team would advance. However, with the game knotted at 69-69 with 22 seconds left to play, Glen Rock quickly brought the ball up court and got the ball to Pete, who hit an 8-foot jumper. Then, after forcing an Englewood turnover, Phil drove to the basket and hit the clincher, making the final score 73-69.

Unfortunately, the team was then defeated by Lincoln High School of Jersey City in the Group 3, Sectional Championship game. Played at Bayonne High School, it certainly seems to be the most remembered game of the 1960s. Lincoln (led by future professional Elnardo Webster) was just too big and too fast for the Panthers. Glen Rock ended its season with a final record of 20-5.

In Pete’s senior year, the basketball team suffered from the graduation of Butch and Kevin who had scored 45 points per game and had provided the team’s outside shooting. While Co-Captains Pete and Phil plus Pete Vanderzee were the lone returning lettermen, the team still competed for a close-knit NBIL Championship before finishing the season with a 14-7 record. It then advanced into the State Tournament against league rival Old Tappan. The two teams had split their regular season encounters; unfortunately, in this rubber match, Old Tappan was victorious.

One of the highlights of that basketball season was Pete scoring 42 points in an away victory over Mahwah and thereby breaking Hall of Fame Inductee Ron Duncan’s prior single game scoring record of 41 points. Pete’s record stood until 1973 when Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Fisher scored 42 points in a game. Pete ended the season having scored 446 points over 21 games for a 21.2 per game average and being the #8 scorer in Bergen County. He was also the #3 scorer in the NBIL. For his offensive and defensive accomplishments, Pete was one of five players named to the Third Team, All-County and to the First Team, All-NBIL.

After graduating from Glen Rock High School, Pete played basketball at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, a college that was then affiliated with the University of Notre Dame. Under a then young and future legendary Head Coach George Blaney, Pete He averaged nearly 20 points per game and set the then-school single game scoring record with 47 points. He was also named to the All-ECAC Team. After graduating, Pete received interest from professional basketball and football teams but demurred and was a multi-decade high school basketball coach and math teacher. He passed away in 2021.