The 2014 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup will be held in Inglewood, Calif., from March 15-16 and Amphi’s Sam Portillo will be one of only four coaches chosen to represent Team USA.
Portillo helped lead Team USA to a win when the event was held in Spokane back in 1999 and he is more than happy to be on the staff once again. “This is an honor,” said Portillo. “Coach (Zeke) Jones announced it on the 27th and these are all world-class athletes. I’m waiting for my assignment but it will be fun coaching at this level.”
Through a release from USA Wrestling, National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones is looking forward to putting his American team on the mat against this loaded field.
“You have the world’s 10 best teams. These are the best wrestlers on the planet. When you have that, it’s exciting to see. You can go up and down the lineups. We will wrestle World and Olympic champions. These aren’t just national champions. These are the best,” said Jones.
Portillo also coached Team USA at the Junior Pan American Games to a victory in 2012. More recently, Portillo took Amphitheater to a second place finish at the state Division III meet, earning a spot as the 2014 Southern Arizona Division III-IV Coach of the Year.
His state champions were Geovanni Payan-Diaz (138), Marcus Salnicky (145) and Jesus Barrera, Amphi (152).
“There were many days that if I or one of my coaches didn’t pick up our athletes at their home at 5 am we wouldn’t even have had a team,” added Portillo. “I’m finding kids in the hallways and asking them to join the team. We are building something special at Amphi.”
Portions from news release.