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Terry Geliske to enter Oxford Hall of Fame

Terry Geliske now. (click for larger version)
August 13, 2014 - Five new Wildcats will enter the Oxford Hall of Fame this September.

The 2014 class includes:Ted Freymiller, Terry Geliske, Elijah Jones, Lisa Starr, and Danny VanVleet.

The fifth class of the Oxford Hall of Fame will be honored on Friday, Sept. 5 at halftime of the Rochester Hills Stoney Creek vs. Oxford varsity football game.

The festivities will continue on the following day when a ceremony honoring the inductees will be held at the Oxford High School Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Induction ceremony tickets can be purchased at www.oxfordathletics.com for $10 each. This week the Leader is profiling Terry Geliske.

Terry Gileske then. (click for larger version)
Terry Geliske (1982) transferred to Oxford High School and entered as an 85 lb. halfback, but left the school as one of the finest athletes the school had seen. Geliske became a standout track and cross country athlete finishing 20th at the 1981 MHSAA Class B Cross Country Finals held at Oxford Hills. It was wrestling, however, where the 8-time varsity letter winner made his most significant prep contribution. Geliske captured league and district championships in each of his junior and senior seasons. As a junior, Geliske finished with a 43-7 record and earned 4th place in the MHSAA Class B tournament. As a senior, Terry also captured an Oakland County title and set a then-school record for most consecutive victories (35) and once again earned all-state honors after finishing 3rd at MHSAA Finals. Geliske was named the 1982 Oxford Cup recipient and armed with a 3.5 GPA, he went on to the United States Military where he would participate on the Black Knights wrestling team, earning a varsity letter in 1987 as well as a degree in economics. Geliske served as an Airborne-Ranger qualified infantry officer with the 10th Mountain Division. Geliske and his family reside in the Washington, D.C. area where he is employed as a member of the Senior Executive Service.

Geliske said being named as a hall of fame inductee is "very humbling."

"I can't say enough about what Oxford did to propel me forward," he said.

Geliske didn't live in the ideal home situation. His single mother raised him and his three siblings for most of his life, but when she remarried things turned into "a bad situation," according to Geliske, which is why he decided to move in with his Dad, who lived in the Oxford area, at age 14.

"I got very involved in athletics, especially when I came to Oxford in 10th grade and had some great coaches, who were very good mentors to me," he explained. Wrestling and Football Coach Bud Rowley, Track Coach Elmer Ball and Cross Country Coach Ray Sutherland played a big part in my life and all of them did a great job of influencing me."

Like it did with his mom, when his dad remarried more challenges came towards Geliske and he ended up with no place to live halfway through his senior year and his car became his home for awhile. He said probably none of his classmates knew.

"I would pretty much stay (living) out of my car, park it out back of Curtis Floor Covering (at night) and then I would get to school about the time the janitors got there," he said. "I kept several lockers in the varsity locker room and kept all my clothes in there and stuff of that nature. I just spent a lot of time practicing and competing and made it through."

Geliske said the Curtis family took him "under their wing," and they were another strong influence for him along with his coaches. It's because of those influences that he became the first person in his immediate family to go to college.

"That just changed everything once I got a college degree, went out was an officer in the military and into corporate America. Statistically I'm probably in the top three percent of wage earners in the United States today," he added. "Almost all of that is due to the opportunities I had to excel in athletics that allowed me to be recruited by colleges and eventually go wrestle for Army at West Pointe."

As far as specific memories that stick out to him, competing in the wrestling state finals his junior year at the University of Michigan's Chrysler Arena will always stick out to him. "I think they called it the 'Champions March.' That was very ominous and overwhelming as that goes," he said. "Certainly being rewarded the Oxford Cup was a bit overwhelming to me too."

Friday September 5 will be the first time Geliske will have stepped out onto a home Oxford Football Field since leaving high school 32 years ago.

"That will be fun for me (after so many years) and interesting for sure," he said.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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