BROOKVILLE — Another Brookville Raiders wrestler with high expectations headed into his senior season inked a National Letter of Intent to attend and compete next season at Clarion University.
Caleb Hetrick, a two-time PIAA state medalist, adds his name to a list of former Raiders standouts on head coach and Brookville native Keith Ferraro’s roster.
Former state champions Brock Zacherl and Taylor Ortz are in the Golden Eagles’ starting lineup while other former Raiders Gavin Park, Jimmy Miller, Brodie Zacherl and Bryce Town are on the roster.
Hetrick picked Clarion after considering Pittsburgh and Kent State.
“The fact I know Keith and the coaching staff and team, I’m familiar and comfortable with them and know the styles they teach,” Hetrick said Monday. “I’ve trained there in the summer with freestyle since I was 14 and hung out with them, so it’s been a thing I’ve built on since I was a freshman.”
He plans to pursue a career in software engineering.
“I had a lot of questions, but was huge for me was figuring out the right education and I think I’ll be able to achieve that at Clarion and it made sense,” Hetrick said.
“I’m real happy for him and it’s a good fit,” Raiders head coach Dave Klepfer said. “He visited Pitt and feel like Clarion is going to be a better fit on the mat and I’m excited for him. He’ll be there with his old teammates and they’re starting to make names for themselves and he thinks he can continue there.”
Hetrick heads into his final year with the Raiders with a 92-31 record, so the 100-win milestone should come first assuming a healthy start to the season. But what he’s aiming for is what comes at the end.
Hetrick finished seventh at 152 pounds last year after finishing eighth at the same weight as a sophomore in 2016. Predictably, a much higher finish is number one on his checklist in March.
“I expect myself to win states,” Hetrick said. “I expect myself to be one of the top contenders at my weight wherever I am and expect to compete at the highest level I can every time I step on the mat. It’s my last year, so I have to.”
He’s seeking to become the fourth Raider to win three state medals with Jason Gilligan, Ortz and Brock Zacherl. All three of those culminated their high school careers with gold medals in Hershey.
“I’ve definitely not been satisfied with 8th and 7th,” Hetrick said. “I know I was better than the kid who finished fourth (last year) and I know I was top three or four in my bracket but it didn’t play out that way. I’m definitely going prove myself this season.”
Klepfer then echoed similar words about Hetrick that he’s used with past CUP recruits.
“His goals are the same since his freshman year,” Klepfer said. “He knew then that he wanted to be a state champ and he’s worked hard. It’s a lot of the same. They all came back after coming up short their sophomore and junior seasons and did all the right things to reach their goals. He’s followed their lead and I hope everything works out for him.”