Kearny wrestling coach Carratura dies

It was learned early Monday morning with incredible sadness that long-time Kearny High School wrestling coach Tony Carratura has died after a year-long battle with cancer.

Carratura was 58.

Carratura devoted more than 40 years of his life to the betterment of Kearny wrestling, whether it was the formation of the Kearny Recreation program through to the high school level, where he spent the last two decades as head coach.

Many of the standout Kardinal wrestlers were tutored under the watchful eye of Carratura, including the program’s all-time best wrestler, 1999 NJSIAA champion David Cordoba, who also finished second in the state twice.

Carratura was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2015 and sat out last season in a leave of absence with his assistants like Brian McDonnell running the team. In August, Carratura said that he had recovered from the cancer and was at that time, cancer-free, but the disease returned in October.

Funeral arrangements for the wrestling legend were still pending at press time. We will update with further news on the Observer’s website,

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Jim Hague | Observer Sports Writer

Sports Writer Jim Hague was with The Observer for 20+ years — and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports journalism. The St. Peter’s Prep and Marquette alum kicked off his journalism career post Marquette at the Daily Record, where he remained until 1985. Following shorts stints at two other newspapers, in September 1986, he joined the now-closed Hudson Dispatch, where he remained until 1991, when its doors were finally shut.

It was during his tenure at The Dispatch that Hague’s name and reputation as one of country’s hardest-working sports reporters grew. He won several New Jersey Press Association and North Jersey Press Club Awards in that timeframe.

In 1991, he became a columnist for The Hudson Reporter chain of newspapers — and he remains with them to this day.

In addition to his work at The Observer and The Hudson Reporter, Hague is also an Associated Press stringer, where he covers Seton Hall University men’s basketball, New York Red Bulls soccer and occasionally, New Jersey Devils hockey.

He’s also doing work at The Morristown Daily Record, the very newspaper where his journalism career began.

During his career, he also worked for Dorf Feature Services, which provided material for the Star-Ledger. While there, he covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

Hague is also known for his announcing work — and he’s done PA work for Rutgers Newark and NJIT.

Hague is the author of the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man.”