HHS Senior Wrestler Tanner Updegraff Finds Success Post-Transfer to Hershey

Caroline Glus, Reporter

When a senior from Hershey High School is faced with a new school, team, and friends, he manages to turn something difficult into a success story.

Tanner Updegraff, senior wrestler at Hershey High School, transferred his junior year from Bishop McDevitt. Along with dealing with all new lifestyle changes, Updegraff had to keep focused on his ultimate athletic goal, winning a state championship.

When transferring schools, the transition to new friends and teammates can be hard. “Hershey has been a wonderful place for me and I have really succeeded here” Updegraff said, “I’ve made some lifelong friends, and they have really helped me in my life especially with making the move for me easier.”

Friend of Updegraff, Clare Canavan, said, “Tanner had a really easy transition into Hershey. He was really outgoing and made friends really easily.”

Updegraff has been wrestling for 14 years. It said it has become an integral part of his life.

Updegraff said, “My goals for college are basically to just be the best I can be and hopefully end up on the national podium before I graduate. I feel in college it’s all about who’s more confident and who wants it more.”

“My wrestling experience at Hershey has been nothing but amazing. I had a decent year last year, not ending where I wanted to be, but still a very positive step,” Updegraff said. 

In addition, Updegraff will be attending Lock Haven University for Division l wrestling. 

Updegraff also said the positivity he received from the Hershey community and can’t be thankful enough. The team aspect for him is something he is very grateful for. These guys are some of his best friends and even some he considers brothers. 

Compared to Hershey, Updegraff shared how although he had a good experience at McDevitt, Hershey has been more fun because of the increased level of team unity.

Transferring schools can be a difficult process without a good attitude. “My experience was very different, leaving all your friends and team so abruptly like I did was really hard on me,” Updegraff said, “I took the challenge life gave me head on though and I wouldn’t want to change anything about how the way my life went at that time.”

Ayden Bertoldi, Friend and teammate of Updegraff, said, “Tanner has helped me in wrestling by drilling with me, pushing me in practices, and helping me cut weight,” said Bertoldi.

Updegraff finished out his wrestling season last year placing 3rd in the state at the PIAA “AAA” state tournament. His goal for this upcoming season is to claim a state title.

 “Coming up short last year hit me hard,” Updegraff said.  “Although third was a positive finish and it ended on a good note, I want first and nothing but that.”

Senior Tanner Updegraff smiling before his first wrestling practice of his senior season. Updegraff has been selected as captain of the team for the second year in a row. (Broadcaster/Caroline Glus)