Class of 2009
Van Fronhofer started wrestling when he was 5 years old with his cousin Frank, the first of 6 Fronhofers to rise through the Salem wrestling team under Coach Poplaski and Coach Fronhofer. Before Van wrestled his first varsity match he had already won a Greco Roman gold medal at the Empire State Games in 1985. During his freshman year he was having an incredible run going 20-2 at 98 Lbs. when he broke his wrist in the Wasaren Invitational just before the 1986 Sectionals. Fronhofer won 3 tournaments his freshman year.
Quickly recovering after the season he was back wrestling for ATWA in May in the National ESPOIR Greco Roman Championships. Van was 2nd in Freestyle and first in Greco at 112 Lbs. Then in June he would again be first in Greco and 2nd in Freestyle at the Empire State Games. Van would qualify for the New York Junior Olympic team in July.
In his sophomore year Van would again be outstanding by going 28-5 during the season and would win the Wasaren Tournament and would finish 3rd in the Section 2 Championships. Van would compete in the National Junior Greco Roman Championships and would again win a Gold medal in the Greco Empire State games. As a junior in the 87/88 season at 119 Lbs. he would have another solid season and would win the Class D title and finish 3rd in the Section 2 Championships. That July Van would yet again win an Empire State games Gold medal in Greco at 59 Kg.
As a senior moving up to 132 pounds Van would have one of his finest seasons against some of the toughest competition in the state. Ultimately he would lose a one point decision to eventual State Champion John Bena in the Section 2 Championship tournament. Undeterred after the season Van would compete in the ESPOIR Nationals in Bloomington, Indiana and win to qualify for the US World Team made up of future Olympic hopefuls. He won in the Greco Roman competition at 136.5 Lbs. and was named Outstanding Wrestler. Fronhofer would travel with the world team over the summer competing in Prague in July, Budapest in August. Fronhofer won 104 high school matches. He was a Greco-Roman High School All-American three times.
Embarking on his collegiate wrestling career Van was accepted to Albany State where he would wrestle for his mentor Joe DeMeo and would also be studying to be a doctor of Biology. Van would have a stellar career at Albany and would be a two time Division III NCAA All American and was a 1995 ECWC Champion at 142 Lbs. Van would be a 2 time US Open Champion. In 1992 Fronhofer would win the Eastern Region Olympic Trails and advance to the Olympic Greco Roman Trials. Fronhofer would train in Colorado with the US Olympic Greco Roman Team as one of the top hopefuls for the Olympics. On the ladder for the U.S. Olympic qualifier in 1996 Fronhofer would blow out his elbow and leave him unable to continue.
Fronhofer would continue to wrestle and coach but would also get his PhD in Cardiovascular Biology from Albany Medical College in 2006 and would become a Professor of Biology at Hudson Valley Community College. Van would go on to get his Post-Doctoral degree in 2010.
Van continued to coach wrestling and in 2009 started the Hudson Valley Club that participated in the Northeast Conference Championships where he coached a champion and 4 placers at the Championships.
Van is also a long time member of the Capital District Wrestling Officials Association (CDWOA) and officiates many matches including Section 2 Championships and New York State Championships. Van was inducted into the Section 2 wrestling hall of fame in 2009. Van is currently the V.P. of the CDWOA. Van is happily married for 18 years to his wife Christie. They have three children and live in Troy, NY.