Archive for February, 2013

State Ranked Wrestlers at the NW Regional Tournament

| February 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Here are the state ranked wrestlers at the Northwest Regional Class AAA Tournament according to PA Power rankings.

Also, I will be updating all the Mifflin County action at regionals. If you can’t make it to Altoona just come on the site and look for my live updates throughout the tournament.

State Ranked Wrestlers at the NW Class AAA Regional:

1. Joe Wheeling, 11th, General McLane, No. 5
2. Charlie Lenox, 9th, Erie McDowell, No. 11
3. Shae Bloom, 9th, DuBois, No. 12
4. Damian Huff, 11th, Hollidaysburg, No. 13
5. Roshaun Cooley, 10th, Williamsport, No. 14

1. Jake Gromacki, 11th, Erie Prep, No. 8
2. Hayden Hidlay, 9th, Mifflin County, No. 10

1. Paul Dietz, 12th, Erie McDowell, No. 7
2. Joel Bowers, 11th, Punxsutawney, No. 15
3. Trevor Corl, 10th, Bellefonte, No. 25

1. Kaleb Young, 9th, Punxsutawney, No. 17
2. Dylan Graham, 12th, Clearfield, No. 18
3. DJ Fehlman, 10th, Warren, No. 19
4. Keller Watkins, 10th, General McLane, No. 20

1. Christian Stone, 12th, Clearfield, No. 4
2. D.J. Hollingshead, 10th, Altoona, No. 5
3. Nick Gibson, 12th, Erie McDowell, No. 6
4. Lucas Besch, 12th, Mifflin County, No. 24

1. T.J. Brandt, 12th, Altoona, No. 5
2. Garrett Brown, 12th, DuBois, No. 14
3. Ean Disilvio, 12th, Allderdice, No. 15
4. Perry Arrington, 10th, Punxsutawney, No. 23

1. Nolan Barger, 12th, Clearfield, No. 10
2. Brian Estep, 12th, Allderdice, No. 11
3. Cody Nolan, 12th, Erie McDowell, No. 14
4. Jared Carlson, 10th, Erie Strong Vincent, No. 22

1. Mike Sutton, 11th, General McLane, No. 19
2. Dan Krysiak, 12th, Erie Prep, No. 20
3. Dijon Diboe, 12th, Erie Strong Vincent, No. 21
4. Ryan Dailey, 9th, Erie McDowell, No. 22
5. Chad Reese, 11th, Central Mountain, No. 25

1. Tyree Spearman, 11th, Erie McDowell, No. 11
2. Ehrin Lee, 11th, Titusville, No. 12
3. Ossie Bowers, 12th, General McLane, No. 13
4. Mike Kennelly, 12th, DuBois, No. 16
5. Gavin Caprio, 10th, Central Mountain, No. 25

1. Tom Sleigh, 11th, DuBois, No. 2
2. Nick Shawley, 12th, Bellefonte, No. 6
3. Tyler Hendricks, 12th, General McLane, No. 11
4. Kyle Rogers, 12th, Erie McDowell, No. 20
5. John Prentice, 12th, P-O, No. 24
6. Devin Stacey, 12th, Central Mountain, No. 25

1. Jacob Taylor, 12th, BEA, No. 1
2. Blaze Buckwalter, 12th, Central Mountain, No. 10
3. Dennis Lumadue, 11th, P-O, No. 23
4. Chris Laird, 11th, General McLane, No. 24

1. Landon Hanna, 12th, DuBois, No. 4
2. Aaron Varner, 12th, BEA, No. 6
3. Mante Barnes, 12th, Altoona, No. 11

1. Nate Sharkey, 12th, BEA, No. 16
2. Rodjecko Christian, 12th, Westinghouse, No. 23

1. Andrew Welton, 12th, Erie Central Tech, No. 4
2. Matt Barton, 12th, Hollidaysburg, No. 11
3. Garrett Poorman, 12th, Bellefonte, No. 12
4. Scot Augustine, 11th, Erie McDowell, No. 15

Huskies Prepare For Second Leg of Tournament Trail

| February 27, 2013 | 0 Comments

(The video above features Kirby Martin talking about the upcoming Northwest Regional Tournament)

The Mifflin County wrestling team had about 24 hours to celebrate its performance after winning the District 6 Class AAA tournament before going back to work.

Claiming the crown and putting 10 through to regionals is cause for celebration, but the tournament trail is unforgiving and any lapse in focus could mean the difference between moving on and going home.

So it was back to the drawing board Monday for coach Kirby Martin and crew. Back to work for the young men trying for that elusive goal – a PIAA state championship.

The second leg of the quest begins Friday at the Altoona Field House with District 6 joining Districts 4, 8, 9 and 10 at the Northwest Regional Class AAA championships.

District 4 is the new kid on the block, coming over from the Northeast region, and District 8 has kids who are no longer mat fodder.

Each rung up the ladder is more difficult. The difference between winning and losing can be razor thin. Nothing but the best effort will yield positive results.

Leading the way for the Huskies will be the freshmen trio of Hayden Hidlay (113), Noah Stewart (126) and Brandon Wilson (145). All three are coming in as District 6 champions and looking for more.

Hidlay (24-4), ranked 10th in the state, faces Eric McDowell’s Benjii Yates (24-11); Stewart (28-5) takes on Erie McDowell junior Coleman Cousins (19-16), while Wilson (20-5) gets a bye. He will face the winner of Antwuan Parker (7-8) of Brashear or Tyler Yetzer (16-12) of St. Mary’s in the quarterfinals.

Isaac Underhill (120), Lucas Besch (132), ranked 24th in the state, and Joe Knarr (152) finished second last week and hope to punch a ticket to states. Besch qualified for states last season. Knarr made it to regionals but failed to place.

The duo are the only wrestlers with regional experience for the Huskies.

“Regionals is a lot different than districts. Our district was kind of down this year. Regionals is a big step up,” said Knarr. “Competition is going to be tougher. Your conditioning needs to be pretty precise. You just need more heart to compete. I need to keep working hard in the room and have my mindset right. You just have to keep up the intensity and keep moving forward.”

Besch said he hasn’t talked to the freshmen about regional competition.

“No not really. We’re actually pretty fortunate. We have a very experienced group of freshmen and underclassmen,” Besch remarked. “A lot of these kids have experience wrestling big matches, but it’s not junior high anymore. Districts weren’t quite as tough as in the past. It doesn’t matter what weight class you’re at, regionals are the real deal and there’s going to tough kids at every weight. You’re going to have to beat somebody you’re not supposed to if you want to move on to Hershey.

“Last year was put your nose to the grindstone for me. I lost my first match last year and had to battle back through the consolations, which was very tough. You have to stay aggressive. This time of year everybody is good. It all comes down to who wants it the most. It’s all mindset. You have to be mentally tough.”

Underhill (30-8) takes on Erie Central Tech’s Jose Lopez (19-16) in the opening round. Besch (23-10) faces Punxsutawney’s Josh Shuckers (15-8) and Knarr (22-14) tangles with Ryan Dailey (17-15), a  freshman from Erie McDowell.

Kevin Bair (14-12), third-place finisher a week ago, meets Punxsutawney’s Perry Arrington (16-6) at 138. Drew Hannon (2-5), a surprise fourth-place finisher at districts hooks up with Austin Lewis (19-10) of Selinsgrove at 195, while Kyle Kahley (220) goes against Warren’s Alex Streich (26-7) and Caleb Rhodes (285) takes on Carrick’s Lauryn Wade (3-9) in opening round action.

Kahley (23-11) and Rhodes (14-12) finished fourth at the district tournament last week.

The main goal is advancing to states. A second goal is to improve upon last year’s 9th place team finish. Look for Mifflin County to blow past its 48 points scored in 2012.

The competition gets tougher with each rung up the ladder. Mifflin County needs to bring the kind of wrestling it showed at districts to make an impact at regionals. Here’s hoping they can do just that.


PJW Area II District Results

| February 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

Sunday, February 24th Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling (PJW) Area II, Section II results from Bald Eagle Area High School.

All wrestlers finishing 1st or 2nd advanced to the regional tournament at Philipsburg.

Name                      Organization        Age  Weight  Place
Kamden Everly, Indian Valley        8         45         1st
Hunter Johnson, Lewistown            8         50         1st
Tucker Crum, Siglerville                    8         65         1st
Anson Wagner,  Siglerville                8         80         1st
Nic Allison, Siglerville                       10        55         1st
Trey Shoemaker, Indian Valley     10       75         1st
Kyler Everly, Indian Valley            10        75       2nd
Brycen Hassinger, Indian Valley  10        80       2nd
Trey Kibe, Siglerville                         10        85         1st
Hadyn Crum, Siglerville                   10        85        3rd
Rylan Bailey, Indian Valley            10       120      2nd
Blaine Davis, Siglerville                    11        105       3rd
Jacob Krepps, Indian Valley          11        115       1st
Christian Fisher, Indian Valley     12        65         1st

Shout out to Eric Specht for the results.

Martin, Staff Win All Coaching Awards at District 6 Class AAA Tourney

| February 24, 2013 | 0 Comments
Kirby Martin being presented with the District 6 Class AAA Coach of the Year Award.

Kirby Martin being presented with the District 6 Class AAA Coach of the Year Award.

The history-making performance of Mifflin County at the District 6 Class AAA tournament continued on even after all the wrestling ended.

It was time to award the hardware and the Huskies took everything except the OW Award.

Kirby Martin became the first coach since the legendary Charlie Roselle to win the District 6 Class AAA Coach of the Year award. Roselle won it four times, the last coming in 1979 as head coach of the Chief Logan Mingoes.

Could there have been any other choice?

Martin led his charges to a 16-7 record competing in the Mid-Penn Conference, captured the county’s first District 6-AAA Duals championship and a berth in the PIAA State Duals for the first time.

At the individual tourney, the Huskies pushed 10 through to regionals, crowing three champions. Quite a season and the reasons are clear why Martin was the obvious choice for the award.

“The recognition is significant. There are  a lot of great coaches in District 6,” said Martin. “Personally, I want to be among them because that means I’m working hard and hopefully helping our kids to be successful. It’s humbling because of who else is in the district as a head coach, but at the same time I think it means we’re heading in the right direction.”

Also, the coaching staff of Martin, Dale Searer, Joe Eckenroth and Adam Stout were named District 6 Coaching Staff of the year.

“It’s a great honor. We worked hard all season. It pays off and it’s good people are noticing,” said Searer. “We had a pretty good number in our head of what we would get through to regionals. Ten is better than what we thought. It was awesome.”

“It feels good. I’m glad the kids have had the success they’ve had,” said Eckenroth. “This is why we are all in it. To give back to a sport that gave so much to us. Hopefully, we can carry what we did here at districts into next week and then states. Everybody from the bottom to the top gave us the little victories we needed to win. It was a total team effort.

“It’s been Central Mountain’s district for so long. Central Mountain and Bald Eagle Area set the example for everyone in the district and to come out on top of them doesn’t happen every day. We are very pleased with our kids and the way they wrestled.”

Capping it off was “Big Bad” Bill Shafranich winning his second consecutive District 6-AAA Junior High Coach of the Year award after his Huskies capped off a 24-1 season.

The top coaching staff in varsity and junior high, along with the sweep of the District 6 dual and district crowns.

What a year it’s been for Mifflin County wrestling with much more to come.

(Editor’s note: I forgot to mention Kyle Bove as one of the assistants on the Husky staff. Kyle was a two-time state placer from Kennett).

Fab Freshmen Lead Mifflin County to District 6 Class AAA Title

| February 23, 2013 | 0 Comments


The Mifflin County Huskies: 2013 District 6 Class AAA Champions!

The Mifflin County Huskies: 2013 District 6 Class AAA Champions!

And a child shall lead them. Very talented children to be precise.

The Fab Freshmen aren’t your normal ninth graders and they proved that at the District 6 Class AAA championships Saturday night at the Altoona Field House.

Hayden Hidlay (113), Noah Stewart (126) and Brandon Wilson (145) joined Kenny Whitsel and Mike “Chub'” Robinson as the only freshmen from the county to ever win a district title.

“Thankfully, they’ve trained and wrestled and been in environments similar to this. Still, it can be nerve-wracking on them because it’s  the first time at the high school level to be in the district finals, but they all wrestled very, very well in the finals,” said Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin. “To their credit they’re just going to continue to grew exponentially and it’s going to be fun watching them develop in the coming years.”

Their performance, along with second-place finishes from Isaac Underhill (126), Lucas Besch (132) and Joe Knarr (152) lifted Mifflin County to the District 6 Class AAA tourney title, the first by a county team since Chief Logan did it back in 1979. The Huskies finished with 198.5 points, out-distancing Central Mountain, who finished with 189.5 points.

“I think it speaks a lot about the quality kids we have in our program right now and the hard-working coaching staff in place,” said Martin, the 2013 District 6 Class AAA Coach of the Year. “You have to put measurable goals out there for these kids and try to make some history this weekend by being a team champion. It’s been a long time since any team from Mifflin County has done that. With this team it seems to really help them with goals to reach for.”

Also making the trek back to Altoona for the Northwest Regionals will be Kevin Bair, third at 138, along with Drew Hannon (195), Kyle Kahley (220) and Caleb Rhodes (285), who all finished fourth.

In the finals, the Fab Freshmen shined.

Hidlay used a slick single and a beautiful sweep single to dominate Travis Giedroc of Bald Eagle Area by a 9-1 score. Hidlay (24-4) scored two takedowns in the first for a 4-1 lead. An escape in the second made it 5-1 and the trip and two-point nearfall closed it out in the third.

Hidlay was very cerebral when talking about his opponent and what he needed to do to beat him.

“I knew coming into it  he was a defensive wrestler and he had a pretty squared stance so I knew if I got him out of position his leg would be ready for me,” said Hidlay. “My original game plan was to go after the high crotch but he kept giving me his leg, so I just did a sweep single instead. I did it (sweep single) a couple of times this year. I hit it on (Ethan) Lizak earlier in the year. I knew he didn’t see it coming and that’s when it works out the best.

“It feels pretty good to be in that category of people I look up to. Kenny (Whitsel) and Chub (Robinson) did well in high school and it’s nice to be there with them,” Hidlay said when asked about joining the Mifflin County freshman district champion club. “I knew there would be some jitters early but once I hit my moves I had a lot of fun out there. I have a lot of confidence going into the rest of the postseason. My goal is to just beat everybody from here on out and be a state champion, because that’s been my goal since I was a little kid.”

The Fab Freshmen: District 6 AAA Champions from left to right: Brandon Wilson, Noah Stewart and Hayden Hidlay.

The Fab Freshmen: District 6 AAA Champions from left to right: Brandon Wilson, Noah Stewart and Hayden Hidlay.

Stewart followed with his typical solid performance on the mat. Stewart (28-5) had a takedown in the first, a reversal in the second and rode P-O’s Brian Evans in the third for the 4-1 victory.

“It’s great to get that win. One of my goals coming into this was to win a district championship as a freshman. It was good to have it under my belt,” said Stewart. “I kind of put him (Evans) out my mind and just use what I do in practice and what I’ve trained for. Just go out there and wrestle like that.

“Honestly, I was a little jittery, this being high school and stuff. That all comes with experience. You lose that once you get out there and start wrestling and whenever it’s just you and him out there that’s all gone.”

Wilson made it 3-for-3 for the Fab Freshmen with another steady, under control match for the 6-4 win over State College’s Derek Horner. Up 2-1 after one period, Wilson (20-5) created some breathing room with a reversal and a takedown sandwiched between two Horner escapes for the 6-3 advantage. Wilson gave up an escape in the third but held on for the victory.

“Before I wrestled Stew (Noah Stewart) came back to me and asked me if I was nervous I said I felt the same when I was at PJW state champs. It was a good win,” said Wilson. “I majored him (in the dual meet) and I knew it wasn’t going to be the same match. He knew what I was going to do. My goal was just to get out and get the opening takedown and work from there.

“We go at it hard in the practice room and keep making each other better. It’s sad to see Joe (Knarr) and Lucas (Besch) leave, but we’ll just keep bringing better and better kids in.”

It was a trifecta victory for Mifflin County. In addition to Martin being named coach of the year and the Huskies claiming the team title, Dale Searer, Joe Eckenroth and Adam Stout won Coaching Staff of the year in District 6.

District 6 Class AAA Finals:

106: Damian Huff, Hollidaysburg dec. Luke Leathers, Bellefonte, 5-1.
113: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County major dec. Travis Giedroc, BEA, 9-1.
120: Trevor Corl, Bellefonte dec. Isaac Underhill, Mifflin County, 5-1.
126: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County dec. Brian Evans, P-O, 4-1.
132: D.J. Hollingshead, Altoona pinned Lucas Besch, Mifflin County, 3:54.
138: T.J. Brandt, Altoona pinned Joseph Powers, BEA, 2:27.
145: Brandon Wilson, Mifflin County dec. Derek Horner, State College, 6-4.
152: Chad Reese, Central Mountain dec. Joe Knarr, Mifflin County, 2-1.
160: Gavin Caprio, Central Mountain dec. Markief Knode, Altoona, 1-0.
170: Nick Shawley, Bellefonte dec. John Prentice, P-O, 5-0.
182: Jacob Taylor, BEA dec. Blaze Buckwalter, Central Mountain, 7-3.
195: Aaron Varner, BEA dec. Mante Barnes, Altoona, 7-4.
220: Nate Sharkey, BEA major dec. Cameron Porter, Central Mountain, 11-1.
285: Matt Barton, Hollidaysburg dec. Garrett Poorman, Bellefonte, 4-0.

OW: T.J. Brandt, Altoona – 138
Coach of the Year: Kirby Martin, Mifflin County

3rd Place:

138: Kevin Bair default Caleb Shively, P-O.
195: Loc Long, Central Mountain dec. Drew Hannon, 4-2.
220: Nick Gray, P-O dec. Kyle Kahley, 3-2 UTB
285: Austin Rosenberry, Altoona dec. Caleb Rhodes, 6-0.

5th Place:

106: Daulton Wilson tech fall Jeff Bryan, Altoona, 16-0 (2:07).
160: Jesaiah Wilson, Johnstown dec. Darion Pierce, 6-4.
170: Keith Corson dec. Ian Bilofsky, Hollidaysburg, 9-6.

Final Team Score:

1. Mifflin County 198.5
2. Central Mountain 189.5
3. BEA 166.5
4. Bellefonte 134.5
5. Altoona 128.5
6. P-O 115
7. Hollidaysburg 89
8. State College 75.5
9. Johnstown 27

Complete D6 Brackets