CARLISLE — The 55th Annual Carlisle Holiday Tournament kicked off just like years past: successfully.
For the Thundering Herd, though, the home tournament this season was a time to prove themselves and smooth out any rough edges. At Carlisle High School Saturday morning, the Herd showed that they were ready for a long season by placing third overall with 165.5 points — their best finish in the tournament’s history was in 1973-74 and 1976-77 where the team finished in first — just behind Bermudian Springs in second with 183 and Gettysburg at the top with 209.
Carlisle had a total of nine wrestlers medal, with three coming out of the tournament with silver. Noah Clawson (106), Bryce Dunkelberger (132) and Osvaldo Alvarez (285) all took second place in their respective brackets.
“I think it was a good tournament again this year. As far as how we did, I’m pretty happy,” Wilson said. “We had seven kids place [in 2012 when we got fourth] and we had nine kids place this year, but no champs — any time you don’t have any champs it’s tough. I saw good things out of a lot of kids and I saw things we need to work on. That’s what’s nice about an early season tournament.”
Wilson believes that his wrestlers looked much better at this tournament than they did at Solanco a week ago, and he thinks they can only get better from there. One aspect that needs to be worked on, according to Wilson, is wrestling as a team. He doesn’t believe the team has wrestled completely together over these two weeks, but the success he’s seen so far is something he hadn’t seen often in the past.
“This week we had kids that placed or were in the finals that did not place last week,” said Wilson, who is in his ninth season in charge. “I think what our strength is, is that we have 14 kids that can wrestle. I haven’t had that in years past. We had points [in this tournament] from all but two weight classes.
“If you want to contend for team titles and get hardware, you need to have contributors all across the board, and we do.”
Along with the second-place finishes of Clawson, Dunkelberger and Alvarez, the Herd also got contributions from others that walked away with medals.
Seth Bloomquist (113) got sixth, Rafael Portilla (120) got third with a 3-1 decision over Newport’s Devon Blose, Colton Jumper nabbed fifth at 145, Logan Huff got fourth at 152, Kyle Seibert ended up third at 160 and Zach Redcay (220) got fifth.
Trinity’s Milliken fitting in
Former Cumberland Valley wrestler Quentin Milliken is finding his place within the Trinity lineup. At the Carlisle tournament, Milliken battled his way to gold with a 5-4 decision over West Perry’s Caden Morrison.
Although Milliken doesn’t think the match was one of his best, he sees room for improvement and is doing everything he can to stay on track towards his personal goals this season.
“Not a good effort, that’s for sure,” Milliken said about his match with Morrison. “I don’t know what it was, I just don’t think I performed my best. I just have to get back to the practice room tomorrow and work my butt off. I got goals I got to get, and that match is history. I’m going to learn from my mistakes.”
The main goal for Milliken over the past few years has always been to be a state champ, something that has eluded him.
“I think I’m sitting in a good position right now to do that,” he said. “I just need to keep wrestling, and with a good start to the weekend, I think I can get it done. I just have to keep pushing my pace, being tough and I think I have all the tools right now.
“I’m really confident in myself. I just have to keep working.”
Along with Milliken, the rest of the Trinity squad — which took fifth place overall with 116.5 points — is looking primed to have some others make it to the big stage if they keep grinding.
Patrick DeMark took gold at 113 with a 5-4 decision over Bermudian Springs’ Korey Smith, Colton Zimmerman (138) took third, Daniel Kosinski (145) got fourth and Caleb Bentley got fourth at 170.
Other notable finishers
Shippensburg finished seventh as a team with 109 points. Dylan Ramsey notched gold with a 2-0 decision over Bermudian Springs’ Landon West at 120, Cole Forrester got gold at 220 with an 18-4 major decision over Newport’s Walker Klinger, Jeffrey Russell (113) finished third, Sterling Shetter got fifth at 152, Phil Torres (160) notched fifth and Colton Musser got sixth at 195.
Red Land finished sixth as a team with 115 points. Wyatt Fox (106) notched fourth, Dylan Portina got fifth at 120, Bryce Brennan placed third at 126, Cam Englert ended up sixth at 145, Caleb Weaver (170) finished third, Neith Brennan got third at 182 and Dylan Rodenhaber got fifth at 195.
For West Perry, the team finished 12th with 69 points. Jonathan Lenvorsky finished fourth at 138, Morrison (160) finished second and Jake Quaker finished second at 195 with a 10-3 decision loss to Newport’s Brady Herr.