Blue Devil varsity girls' wrestlers converge on The Rock. (Darin Reed photo)
Blue Devil varsity girls' wrestlers converge on The Rock. (Darin Reed photo)

Blue Devil Girls Pin Opponents

March 12, 2024

Huntington High School’s collaboration in the varsity sport of girls’ wrestling with Walt Whitman, Harborfields and host school John H. Glenn continues to be successful. Kings Park and Commack will be joining the Section XI super team next winter.

The Blue Devil contingent was led this past winter by sophomores Wynne Franciscovich and Shannon Koepele and freshman Arly Moreira Portillo.

All eight of Franciscovich’s victories came via pin. “Wynne is a wrestler who is on a mission,” said Maria Canino, who coaches Huntington’s wrestlers. “She is focused and willing to push herself out of her comfort zone, which allowed her to have another successful season. With an overall record: 8 wins, 5 losses each of those 8 wins were won by pinning her opponent.

Koepele was consistently ranked countywide in only her rookie season. “Shannon was new this year and right away showed her natural ability for the sport,” Canino said. “She medaled in almost every tournament she wrestled in this year, including taking a second in her very first tournament ever. Shannon is a wrestler who with her focus and hard work will continue to have success.”

Moreira won seven matches in her first season in the sport. “Arly is another wrestler who was new and showed her natural talent in the sport,” Canino said.

The Blue Devils carried 16 wrestlers on the Huntington roster and made significant contributions to the super team’s success.

“It is hard to pinpoint the team’s biggest accomplishment because I do not think it was a particular win or moment, but their overall progression of skill,” Canino said. “This season the girls’ fundamentals improved dramatically and earlier in the season than last year. Their chain wrestling was also much better. I think this was because this year we implemented positional scrimmaging into our daily practices. This really helped the girls physically and mentally.”

Captain Yuliana Hernandez-Perla and along with fellow seniors Keiry Palma, Aylana Powell and Maricielo Ramos Tunque are all set to graduate in June, but 12 Blue Devils are eligible to return to the mats next winter.

“I’m very hopeful for next year,” Canino said. “This was a great team this year. We had a solid group of 16 girls who were dedicated and focused. There was clearly a goal that each of them was trying to reach and I think they did that this year.”