Another wrestling season is here, with the long grind from those dim workout rooms to the bright lights of Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

This one will be different.

This one will have a hole in the heart of the sport.

This one will be the first South Jersey wrestling season in more than a half-century without John Vogeding.

"Voge" died in July. He was 71. He was a Hall of Famer in more ways than one, a guy whose passion for scholastic sports - and wrestling, most of all - was an inspiration to generations of athletes, administrators, coaches, and journalists.

Voge was one of those guys who went far but never left home. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame - one of numerous honors for his decades-long devotion to the sport - but he was a Paulsboro guy, through and through.

It's impossible to overstate Voge's contribution to wrestling - from keeper of meticulous and voluminous records to chairman of countless seeding committees; from reporter to announcer to organizer.

" 'Voge' was involved in so many facets of the sport," said Delsea athletic director Steve Iles, the former longtime coach of the Crusaders. "He treated all those involved in the sport with fairness and respect."

Voge bled Paulsboro red, but he also had newspaper ink in his veins. He was an old-school editor, a bear of a manager who mentored more than a few young reporters during a 30-year run at the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill.

I was lucky to have him as a boss. He taught me and many others the importance of small details - "Spell the names right," he told us, about a million times - that create credibility with readers and build the foundation for everything else.

It was a long while before I came to understand that his obsession with agate, the tiny type of scores and standings and schedules, and finicky attention to minutia were his best lessons.

It's always the little things - in every sport, in every field - that add up to the big successes. Voge knew that. He lived it.

He loved wrestling for lots of reasons: the bonds of brotherhood it builds, the physical and mental toughness it demands and rewards.

But he probably loved it most of all because the sport values that painstaking approach. There are no shortcuts to that big building on the boardwalk.

Voge was a grinder, a detail man. He put in the time. He made the effort.

He rolled up his sleeves and got down to business - like the best wrestlers, the best newspaper people - and we all would do well to continue to follow his example.