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Faith Christian’s Eric Alderfer is 2021 Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media 2021 Wrestler of the Year

Eric Alderfer, pictured here at the 2019 PIAA-AA Championships controlling his opponent, won his second state medal with a fourth place finish at 138 this season. (Bill Rudick/For MediaNews Group)

A year ago, Eric Alderfer earned the first-ever PIAA medal in Faith Christian wrestling history.

As a junior this season, Alderfer went out and doubled the Lions’ count but made sure to add a better medal to the total. The 2021The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Wrestler of the Year, Alderfer capped another strong campaign on the mats with a fourth place finish in 138 pounds at the Class AA state championships.

Alderfer ended 2021 with a record of 23-5 – his winning percentage of .821 the best of his three years so far at FCA – to put him at 99 career wins heading his senior season. He claimed first-place finishes at the District 1/12 Championships, PIAA South East Regional and PIAA East Super Regional before winning his second career PIAA medal – having previously taken eighth at 120 pounds in 2020.

He advanced to the 132 quarterfinals at the Powerade Tournament in January, pinning Mount Pleasant’s Jamison Poklembo in 3:14 in the first round then earned a 17-10 decision over Nate Roth of Greater Latrobe in the second. He dropped his next two at the tournament but did not lose again until states – running off 15 straight victories to secure an appearance in Hershey for the third consecutive season.

Alderfer picked up first place at the District 1/12-2A tournament Feb. 20 with a win over Conwell-Egan’s Ricky Horger by pin at 4:28 – the last of Alderfer’s five pins this season. The victory helped Faith Christian place third in team points.

The follow Saturday at Central Dauphin East, Alderfer claimed his first South East AA Regional title – taking third at the tournament in 2020 and fifth in 106 as a freshman in 2019 – as Faith tied Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt for sixth in the team standings.

Alderfer took regional gold with three decisions – opening with a 7-3 win over Boiling Spring’s Kobin Karper in the quarterfinals, besting Joshua Bauman of Notre Dame Green Pond 3-2 in the semifinals than defeating Allentown Central Catholic’s David Kreidler 3-1 in the final.

The usual next step after regionals would be the states. But with postseason format changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a trip to Pottsville’s Martz Hall for the PIAA-2A East Super Regional was needed to earn a spot at the Giant Center.

Alderfer punched his ticket to Hershey by taking the top spot on the medal stand. In the Super Regional quarters he beat Jake Gilfoil of Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt 3-1 then edged Southern Columbia’s Ian Yoder 5-4 in the semis. Alderfer faced Kreidler once more in the final and again the match went 3-1 in the FCA junior’s favor. His title at 138 helped Faith earn eighth in the team standings.

Guaranteed a medal at the PIAA-2A championships, Alderfer made sure his would be better the eighth-place finish from the year prior with a victory in the quarterfinals, besting Carson Filer of Mercer 4-0.

A 2-0 loss to Burrell’s Ian Oswalt bounced Alderfer into the 138 consolation semis to face Kreidler for the third time in the postseason and the fourth time in 2021 – Alderfer taking their first meeting 2-0 in their teams’ dual meet Feb. 9. Alderfer made sure he improved to 4-0 on the year against the ACC senior, winning 5-1 to secure a top four finish at states.

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