Looking through Bellefonte wrestling history, you see the names of Glenn Smith, Larry Fornicola, Ron Pifer and Dave Adams, just to name a few.
They were part of the inaugural class inducted into the Red Raider Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1999.
On Tuesday night, prior to Bellefonte’s match with Penns Valley, the hall will grow by one.
Mitchell Port is set to have his Red Raider career recognized.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Centre Daily Times
“It’s kind of been in the works for a while now,” Port said on Monday.
Port said he hasn’t been back to Bellefonte for a dual meet in quite some time. He’s not sure what it’ll be like to be back in the gym where he set Red Raider records.
Port is the all-time wins leader in Red Raider history with 156, well ahead of Tom Traxler’s 131.
Port, a three-time PIAA placewinner, was a state champion his senior year in 2010 at 125 pounds. He finished sixth as a freshman and fourth in his junior year.
“He is definitely a once-in-a-generation type kid,” Bellefonte coach Mike Maney said. “You just hope to not get in his way. He was a product of our program. He went through our youth program. He wrestled in our junior high program and was a four-year varsity starter. Certainly grateful to be a part of his wrestling career for sure.”
Port was put on the spot to give some memories he had in a Red Raider singlet. He couldn’t quite put a finger on any because “there were so many.”
“Junior high started to become special because you traveled with the team and wasn’t traveling with your parents,” he said. “It was awesome. High school you started competing and going at the state level. You always watched it as a kid on TV and stuff and then to finally have the opportunity to go and wrestle. That’s what everybody in the town talked about.”
Port went on to have a highly successful career at Edinboro. He was a three-time NCAA All-American for the Fighting Scots and finished twice as an NCAA runner-up.
He squared off with Ohio State’s Logan Stieber in the 2015 finals at 141 pounds. It was the second time in three years that he reached the finals.
In his sophomore season, the small-town kid reached the NCAA finals for the first time after upsetting Ohio State’s Hunter Stieber, who was No. 1, 7-6 in the semifinals. He then suffered a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple, who was No. 2.
“Edinboro was a great fit for him,” Maney said. “Coming from a smaller school and Edinboro being a smaller school, he just continued to elevate his wrestling. Whatever program he was going to go to, he was going to be successful. He had the commitment level for a Division I athlete for sure.”
Port graduated from Edinboro in 2015 and his wrestling career came to an end with a 132-17 record. However, Port didn’t leave the Fighting Scots for long, as he was named an assistant coach in July of that year. He continues in that role today, but it has been a difficult transition.
“I like to compete,” he said. “I still compete in a lot of stuff that we do in the room but I don’t get to compete out in front of people. Which is a big difference from growing up, that’s all I did.
“Now, I have to compete through other people. Prepare them and give them all the tools they need to win when it matters.”