Portillo finds a home halfway across the country

By Matt Levins For The Predicament

2018 NCAA Division II Championship: 125 Semifinal - Maleek Williams (Upper Iowa) won by decision over Josh Portillo (Neb.-Kearney) (Dec 8-3)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Josh Portillo remembers it like it was yesterday.
He was sitting on the family’s porch in a rough neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio, his sophomore year in high school when he heard sirens.

At first, it didn’t faze Portillo. Sirens were a daily occurrence in his neighborhood, so much so that they became almost like background noise, something you just take for granted.

Only this time, the sirens got louder until they stopped in front of a house kiddy-corner from the Portillo residence, at a house where some kids the Portillo twins, Josh and Justin, used to play basketball with. Josh Portillo watched as the S.W.A.T. team busted down the front door and hauled out one family member after another for illegal drugs.
That proved to be the last straw. Their father, Gino, packed up the family and moved to Clarion before the twins’ sophomore year of high school, where a family friend helped Gino land a job. And for the longest time, Josh Portillo never heard a siren. That allowed the Portillo twins to relax and focus on wrestling, their first love.

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