HS Wrestling Previews: Carlisle's Rafael Portilla

Carlisle’s Rafael Portilla, right, is back with state experience and is looking for a shot at a medal.

Sentinel file photos

Carlisle Thundering Herd

Coach: Joe Wilson (9th season)

Classification: 3A

Last year: 4-9 (2-4)

Postseason: did not qualify

Key returners: Seth Bloomquist, so., lightweight; Rafael Portilla, so., light/middleweight; Bryce Dunkelberger, jr., middleweight; Donovan Kerns, so., light/middleweight; Colton Jumper, jr., middleweight; Jaden Doupe, sr., middleweight; Logan Huff, sr., middleweight; Kyle Seibert, sr., middleweight; Matt Carrion, jr., middleweight; Dylan White, jr., middleweight; Zachary Redcay, sr., heavyweight; Osvaldo Alvarez, jr., heavyweight.

Opener: Friday at Solanco Mule Classic, 5

Breakdown: Although last season may not have been the best for Carlisle as a team, individual wrestlers had some postseason success. Portilla (District 3 Class 3A bronze, silver at sectionals, bronze at regionals) made a appearance in the PIAA Class 3A second round consolations, while Jumper and Seibert each made appearances at regionals. Noah Clawson is the incoming freshman to watch as a Freestyle and Greco-Roman state champion and a Cadet National tournament qualifier. With 12 starters returning, the Thundering Herd have the experience needed to compete as a team. Portilla, Seibert and Jumper will most likely make it back to either the state or regional stage and the amount of experience and time put in during the off season might end in medals. 

Cumberland Valley Eagles

Coach: Dave Heckard (12th year)

Classification: 3A

Last year: 14-6 (6-0)

Postseason: 4th in District 3 Class 3A Team Championships; lost to Bethlehem Catholic in PIAA Class 3A Team Championship preliminary round.

Key returners: Ben Monn, so., 113; Cade Reichart, jr., 126; Russell Zimmerman, sr., 132; Cole McCoy, sr., 152; Quinn Bonney, sr., 182; Galen Witmer, jr., 220; Austin Kupko, sr., 220.

Opener: Friday hosting Cumberland Valley Kickoff, 4

Breakdown: Losing Wyatt Long (134-41, eighth at states, District 3 Class 3A title, District 3 sectionals title), Will Kaldes (state appearance, District 3 sectionals title, silver at regionals), Cal Reichart (106-38, state appearance, silver at regionals and sectionals) and transfer Quentin Milliken (Trinity) will be a hurdle for the Eagles to overcome, but enough talent is back to get multiple wrestlers to the big stage. Monn (fourth at sectionals, regionals appearance) and Zimmerman (bronze at sectionals, regionals appearance) will be the players to watch as they try and climb farther in the postseason. Losing three very good wrestlers to graduation leaves Dave Heckard with a very young team, but his hope is that in time they'll be able to hold their own.

​Email Mallory at mmerda@cumberlink.com or follow her on Twitter @MalloryMerda


Sports Reporter

Sports reporter at The Sentinel.

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