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2020-21 HS Wrestling Previews: Wrestlers to watch and key returning grapplers for each team in Cumberland County
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2020-21 Wrestling Preview Capsules

2020-21 HS Wrestling Previews: Wrestlers to watch and key returning grapplers for each team in Cumberland County

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State Wrestling Day 1 12 (copy)

Cumberland Valley’s Jake Lucas, right, will look to one-up his fifth-place finish at states last season.

The 2020-21 wrestling season is right around the corner.

Get ready for all the action in Cumberland County with our team previews, including wrestlers to watch from each program.

Roster information provided by coaches prior to the season. In the event a coach did not reply, no roster information is provided. 

HS Wrestling: Team championships pushed back, new 'super regional' playoff format still planned for season
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HS Wrestling: PIAA moves forward with 13-weight-class proposal after NFHS effectively delays decision until 2021

MID-PENN COMMONWEALTH

Cumberland Valley Eagles

Coach: Dave Heckard (17th year)

Last year: 11-4 (4-2)

Key losses: Ben Monn; Ruston Dzielak; Tim Kissinger; Dontey Rogan; Connor Mundis.

Notable wrestlers: Noah Groelly, sr., 106/113; Kyle Miller, sr., 132/138; Gabriel Hayes, sr., 189; Abubakar Saka, sr., 189/215; Jake Lucas, sr., 215/285; Mitchell Strous, jr., 138/145; Jaciah Whitcomb, jr., 126/132; Evan Montes, so., 106/113; Gabe Belga, so., 145/152; Alex Tennis, so., 106; Anthony Bruscino, fr., 160/172.

Wrestler to watch: Jake Lucas. Lucas lost just three times last season and is hands down CV’s most valuable asset. He flew through the regular season and picked up a ton of hardware along the way, including a fifth-place finish at states. He recently committed to the United States Naval Academy.

PIAA Wrestling: Cumberland Valley's Jake Lucas falls just shy of Class 3A 195 bronze as area wrestlers take home five medals

MID-PENN KEYSTONE

States Wrestling AAA 1.JPG (copy)

Cedar Cliff’s Aiden Lewis, left, was denied a state tile last season and it's something he'll carry with him through the rounds this year.

Carlisle Thundering Herd

Coach: Joe Wilson (15th season)

Last year: 8-7 (1-5)

Key losses: Rafael Portilla, 120; Donovan Kerns, 170.

Notable wrestlers: Taylor Hebenstreit, sr., 106/113; Noah Clawson, sr., 113/120; Sean Smith, sr., 152/160; Colton Zimmerman, sr., 160/172; Clayton Shughart, sr., 132/138; Jarrett Wilson, jr., 145/152; Malik Miller, jr., 215; Layton Schmick, so., 285; Azzy Ibrahim, 120/126; Trentin Walker, 120/126; Logan Rhoades, 189/215; Thomas Nelson, 285.

Wrestler to watch: Colton Zimmerman. A knee injury flare-up forced Zimmerman out of the consolation rounds in the PIAA Class 3A tournament, denying him of another state medal. He’ll aim for his 100th career win milestone, sitting on 98 right now, and that state medal should his knee problems cooperate.

Carlisle's junior middleweight sits down with us for five minutes, introducing us to his funniest teammate and naming his WWE finishing move.

'He did what nobody thought he could do': Carlisle senior Rafael Portilla ends agonizing wait with PIAA Class 3A wrestling bronze

Cedar Cliff Colts

Coach: Rick Tamanosky (2nd year)

Last year: 8-1 (5-1)

Key losses: Creed Bogardus; Jeremie Prograis; Anthony Shires. 

Notable wrestlers: Aiden Lewis, 126; Mark Paradine, 126; Aidan Bachman, 138; John Cunningham, 145; Isaiah Auma, 189; Elijah Ikeda, 215; Gunner Heffelfinger, 106; Mike Jones, 172; Hunter Garced, 285.

Wrestler to watch: Aiden Lewis. A controversial call was his downfall in the state championship match at the end of a 31-8 season in one of the state’s toughest brackets. After falling just short of the program’s first state gold in 16 years, Lewis enters the season with something to prove. He'll likely carry that call with him this season and use that as fuel to try and avenge what he was denied.

PIAA Wrestling: Cedar Cliff's Aiden Lewis falls short of program's first gold in 16 years in Class 3A 113-pound championship

Mechanicsburg Wildcats

Coach: Greg Budman (8th year)

Last year: 3-4 (2-4)

Key losses: Asa Brunk, 132; Logan Ledebohm, 138.

Notable wrestlers: Garrett Buckbee, sr., 215; Malakai Ayala, jr., 285; Tyler Budman, so., 106; Niko Ledebohm, so., 113; Jude Ayala, so., 126; Parker Sample, so., 138; Zach Lamancusa, so., 172; Antonio Zeno, so., 189; Jayden Connors, so., 215; Abel Brunk, fr., 120.

Wrestler to watch: Tyler Budman. Although weighing in at just around 100 pounds last season as a freshman, Budman put in work to get a solid 14 wins under his belt. With a bit of added weight coming into the new season, Budman should have worked out all of the usual mistakes a first-year grappler makes and raise his ceiling in the process.

Northern Polar Bears

Coach: Daniel Nauman (2nd year)

Last year: 9-2 (6-0)

Key losses: Jaiten Holford; Evan Chapman; Kolby Portko; Liam Strouse; Aiden Wenger; Pierce Feite; Joseph Carroll; Eddie Wells; Kyle Swartz; Donovan Bair.

Notable wrestlers: CJ Wagner, sr., 138/145; Jackson Shea, sr., 160; Bay Blaschak, sr., 171; Hunter Hertzog, sr., 189; Tim Kelly, sr., 215; Timmy Johnson, jr., 126/132; Levi Hinote, jr., 160/171; Kyle Haverstick, so., 113/120; Joel Mclintock, so., 132; Chris Bair, so., heavyweight; Dylan Baum, fr., 152.

Wrestler to watch: Bay Blaschak. After the departure of some very big names for the Polar Bears like Liam Strouse and Kyle Swartz, Blaschak will need to step up to bring home the hardware — but that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Blaschak went 32-11 last season and brought home a gold medal at sectionals and fifth place at districts.

Red Land Patriots

Coach: Brian Baglio (8th year)

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Last year: 6-8 (3-4)

Key losses: Bryce Brennan; Wyatt Fox; Carson Kelly; Cam VanValen; Mike Stank; Cam Metzel.

Notable wrestlers: Dylan Rodenhaber, sr., 215; Robert Rodgers, sr., 170; Reese Polulak, jr., 132; Connor Taylor, sr., 170/189.

Wrestler to watch: Dylan Rodenhaber. Local heavyweights didn't make a lot of postseason noise last year. Rodenhaber will look to rectify that in 2021 after an injury last year cost him a spot in states. He'll be looking to make noise at the state level for the first time — he qualified as a sophomore.

MID-PENN CAPITAL

Districts Wrestling 13

Camp Hill’s Max Delaye, left, helped Camp Hill make history last season and will look for a podium finish at states this season.

Camp Hill Lions

Coach: Chad Gallaher (24th year)

Last year: 12-4 (5-2)

Key losses: Parker Rice 152; Joe Carey 145; Brendan Foerster 152; Ethan Branstetter 195.

Notable wrestlers: Max Delaye, sr., 160; Sean Getty, sr., 172; Paul Parise, sr., 189; Ben Mullin, sr., 152; Christian Doi, jr., 126; Austin Slaybaugh, so., 106.

Wrestler(s) to watch: Sean Getty and Max Delaye. Although two separate persons, their postseasons last year were nearly identical and rather inseparable. They both made an appearance at states, nabbed a District 3 Class 2A gold and sectional gold — a rare run for two Lions wrestlers in the same year. And now they’ll look to one-up those finishes.

District 3 Wrestling: Camp Hill continues historic season with two Class 2A golds; East Pennsboro's Adam Jacob repeats

East Pennsboro Panthers

Coach: Mike Kramer (2nd year)

Last year: 6-8 (3-4)

Key losses: Adam Jacob; Noah Pritchard.

Notable wrestlers: Malachi Harvey, sr., 132; Logan Kramer, jr., 138; Colby Stillions, so., 132; Paul Sanderson, fr., 120; Breckin Swope, fr., 113.

Wrestler to watch: Malachi Harvey. Called a "natural to wrestling" by head coach Kramer, Harvey was wrestling at 138, 145 and 152 last season — easily transitioning between all three. But now with Adam Jacob vacating the 132-pound spot, Harvey will take his place in the weight he's most comfortable. Does that translate to more success? Time to find out.

Trinity Shamrocks

Coach: Joe Perretta (3rd year)

Last year: 5-14 (2-5)

Key losses: Patrick Demark; Daniel Kosinski; Christian Cirelli; Charlie Aber.

Notable wrestlers: Jagger Gray, so., 189; Makoa Neibel, sr., 160; Wyatt Bender, sr., 126; Tucker Paynter, fr., 170; Major Lewis, so., 106; Michael Sutton, fr., 113; Ryan Renninger, fr., 120; Ryan Dalton, jr., heavyweight; Lucas Puig, jr., 145; Zach Bixler, jr., 132; Jacob Shull, jr., 189; Ryan Craig, jr., 170.

Wrestler to watch: Jagger Gray. As just a freshman last season, Gray was one wrestler capable of finding spectators' attention and keeping it — even if Patrick DeMark was taking most of it in his redemption season. Gray, who now has room to flourish with DeMark graduated, finished third in the District 3 Class 2A tournament and third at sectionals, and added a 32-10 record to boot.

MID-PENN COLONIAL

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Boiling Springs’ Michael Duggan will be a prime candidate for another appearance at states, and possibly a medal, after tuning up some of the mistakes made last year.

Big Spring Bulldogs

Coach: Chris Barrick (interim)

Last year: 10-10 (3-3)

Key losses: Wade Barrick, 132; Wyatt Hoffman, 152; Sam Pope, 170.

Notable wrestlers: Angelo Todaro, sr., 132; Eli Gregoris, jr., 106; Logan Schmidt, jr., 126; Andrew Adams, jr., 215; Jeremiah Lecrone, jr., 285; Koi Shotto, so., 126; Sheldon Mentzer, so., 145; Clayton Hetrick, so., 170; Rodney Yeager, so., 189; Jay Roberds, so., 285.

Wrestler to watch: Eli Gregoris. After a loss in the PIAA Class 3A consolation quarterfinals last season, Gregoris will have another season to get even better and return to the state tournament. He went 27-6 last season, a step up from his 20-12 freshman season, and comes into the season as the Bulldogs' top candidate to bring home a medal.

HS Wrestling: Big Spring seeking interim replacement for Nate Gutshall, who faces COVID-19 risks after heart surgery

Boiling Springs Bubblers

Coach: Trevor Byers (2nd year)

Last year: 9-1 (6-0)

Key losses: Caydin Wickard; Andrew Stafford; Benny Garman; Josh Martin; Colby Page; Landon Billman.

Notable wrestlers: Jimmy Snyder, sr., 106; Austin Mahoney, sr., 120; Eli Crum, sr., 160; Maxx Gillen, sr., 189; Raif Barber, jr., 113; Kobin Karper, jr., 138; Jayden Barrick, jr., 172; Eli Bounds, so., 126; Aiden McCombs, so., 132; Michael Duggan, so., 152; Jacob Scott, so., 215; Julyan Dodson, so., 285; Jackson Mentzer, fr., 113; Ean Wilson, fr., 145; Collin Neal, fr., 215.

Wrestler to watch: Michael Duggan. As just a freshman, Duggan made heads turn during the regular season and an appearance at states. Although small mistakes cost him a bigger outcome during his first season, Duggan's ceiling thanks in part to his natural athletic talent. After a 36-13 record last season, he'll hopefully have tightened up the mistakes he made last year to get his shot at that medal.

PIAA Wrestling: Boiling Springs freshman Michael Duggan's impressive campaign ends short of Class 2A medal

Shippensburg Greyhounds

Coach: Tony Yaniello (11th year)

Last year: 6-6 (4-2)

Key losses: Jeffrey Russell, 120; Dylan Ramsey, 126; Colton Musser, 195; Kohl Holderbaum, 132.

Notable wrestlers: Sean Hess, sr., 285; Avian Vasquez, sr., 160; Jon Viens, jr., 106; Alex Holderbaum, jr., 132; Dominic Frontino, so., 138; Diesel Kosar, so., 215; Kevin Foxworth, so., 170; Garrett Smith, so., 132/138; Patrick Reed, so., 285; Drew Fry, so., 215; Nick Edwards, so., 285; Steve Matej, so., 295; Nick LaRusso, so., 285; Conner Ford, fr., 106/113; Liam Brenize, fr., 120; Steve Jones, fr., 126; Hayden Brenn, fr., 189.

Wrestler to watch: Dominic Frontino. Frontino went 32-8 last season, won a District 3 Class 3A championship and made an appearance at states — and that was just as a freshman. His sophomore season should bring some improvement, and possibly even a medal at states.

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

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