Archive for February, 2017

Mifflin County Advances Eight to NW Regionals; Hidlay, Myers and Fisher Win Titles

| February 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Mifflin County crowned three champions and qualified eight wrestlers for regionals at the District 6 Class AAA wrestling tournament on Saturday.

Advancing to the Northwest Regionals were district champions Christian Fisher (106), Noah Myers (126) and Trent Hidlay (160), runner-up Austin Haubrick (170), third-place finishers Joey Taptich (113), Logan Wise (132) and Scout Kyper (195), along with a fourth-place finish from freshman Derek Burk (120). In addition, sophomore Dylan Grassmyer placed fifth and is an alternate at 182 pounds.

“Our kids really wrestled an outstanding tournament. We brought 13 and we are taking eight to regionals – that’s a pretty good percentage,” Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin said. “All the guys in the finals and all the ones who placed did a great job of taking calculated risks. They did an outstanding job of attacking hard and not putting themselves in bad positions. I love this time of the year. You get to see kids step up.  Our team had a good attitude all week and we saw the results of that today.”

Hidlay, ranked number one in the state, won his third title in as many years with a dominating 25-10 technical fall over Ian Barr of State College in 5:39. Hidlay scored 12 takedowns, most of those coming off a devastating ankle pick that would make Cael Sanderson proud. The Husky junior breezed to the finals with two falls and is now 31-0 on the season.

“It was exciting. I knew he was big in upper body, so I wanted to get in my leg attacks and get the pin, but I couldn’t quite work him over. I decided to get back up on my feet, do what I do best, dominate on my feet, work on his head, get to his legs and score a lot of points,” Hidlay said. “I’ve been working on my ankle pick a lot and I just wanted to stick to what I’m comfortable with. I’m good with the under hooks, so I wanted to stay there. This isn’t the time of the season to change things. You want to stick to the things you’re good at and comfortable with. This is the best I felt in my high school career and I just have to keep it rolling.”

Hidlay was also happy with the performance of his Husky teammates.

“I’m proud of my teammates. They took care of business and advanced and that’s all it’s about right now,” he said. “It’s not about how pretty the win is it’s about moving on and getting to the next tournament. I thought we did a great job today and I’m definitely excited to see what we can do next week.”

Fisher (26-5) got the ball rolling for Mifflin County with an impressive 4-0 victory over Cole Stewart of Bellefonte in the 106-pound championship. The Husky sophomore, who beat Stewart 13-9 in the semifinals a year ago, didn’t have as much trouble this time around.

A takedown in the first and two nearfall points in the second were all Fisher needed to claim his first district title.

“I felt really good during the entire match. I knew he wasn’t going to score on me. On top, I felt him out, knew what he was going to do and I knew I could ride him,” Fisher said. “I got the turn and almost had another one. I  think I have him figured out and know what I have to do to beat him. I feel confident. I can’t wait to get at it at regionals.”

Myers (22-6) captured his second district championship with a 7-4 win over Garrett Rigg of Bald Eagle Area. The Husky senior scored two takedowns in the first period, an escape in the second and a takedown in the third, while limiting Rigg to just four escapes. Myers didn’t allow a takedown in districts and outscored his opponents 28-9 in three matches.

“I felt good all tournament. My goal coming in was to try to dominate as much as I could. I want to try and do the same at regionals that I did this weekend,” Myers said. “I knew Rigg was tough. I hadn’t wrestled him since my freshman year. I knew he would try to come at me and push the match and his pace. I stayed solid, got him out of position, got a couple shots off and scored some takedowns.

“ I’m feeling confident. This week was a stepping-stone to regionals. My goal is to get another state medal, so next weekend will be a stepping-stone to states. I’m going to do the same thing I did this weekend. I’m going to push the action, get to my stuff, and hopefully come out on top.”

Haubrick (17-11) lost a tough battle in the finals to Altoona’s Brinton Simington by a 5-2 score. Simington scored takedowns in the first and second and held off the Husky senior the rest of the way. Taptich (22-10) improved one spot from a year ago with an 8-2 decision over Alex Coppolo of Bellefonte. Wise (18-7), after missing the past two postseasons with knee injuries, made his junior year count with a 3-0 victory over Clayton Giedroc of BEA for third. Kyper, a senior, scored a 4-1 decision over Gus Dellinger of Hollidaysburg to move on.

Burk (13-16) scored a 16-1 technical fall in 4:42 over Drew Koleno of BEA to qualify for regionals before dropping a 6-0 decision to Ryan Smith of Bellefonte for third.

“I am super excited for them (Haubrick and Kyper). They were behind that group of (Trey) Hartsock and (Brandon) Wilson their whole careers. They took their lumps and this weekend they got the chance to prove themselves as wrestlers. They wrestled outstanding. I’m very proud of them,” Martin said. “It’s huge for him (Burk) as a ninth grader. He did come in with a losing record, but this kind of experience will help build his confidence and show that he belongs. If he puts in the time between seasons, he could have an exciting sophomore year.”

Mifflin County finished fourth in the team standings with 159.5 points. Central Mountain won the team title with 182 points. Altoona was second with 179 and Bellefonte was third with 166 points.

“We’re going to continue to put in quality practices. There are a lot of little things to work on and to continue to remind them that in the postseason, anything is possible,” Martin said.

Grassmyer (2-2 at 182), John Retherford (1-2 at 138), Brian Smink (0-2 at 145), Kaden Knouse (1-2 at 152), and Hunter Wagner (0-2 at 220) saw their seasons end.

The Northwest Regional championships begin Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. at the Altoona Field House.

Notes: Rob “Meatball” Ruby was inducted into the 2017 class of the District 6 Wrestling Hall of Fame. Ruby was a three-time district champion, a three-time regional champion, and a two-time state place winner – finishing second in 1990 and fourth in 1991 at 130 pounds. Ruby was 103-8-2 in his career.

Bellefonte’s Mitchell Port and Altoona’s Cole Manley won their fourth district championships with Port winning the Outstanding Wrestler Award.

Central Mountain’s Biff Walizer, Jr. won Coach of the Year honors.

Complete District 6 Class AAA Brackets

| February 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

(Editor’s note: I will have complete Mifflin County results and a story posted tomorrow. After talking for 8 or 9 hours on the radio, my old body is going to bed.  Congrats to Christian Fisher, Noah Myers, Trent Hidlay, Austin Haubrick, Joey Taptich, Derek Burk, Logan Wise and Scout Kyper for advancing to the Northwest Regionals)

District 6 Class AAA Wrestling on Big Lewie Radio

| February 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

I am proud and happy to announce I will be broadcasting the District 6 Class AAA Wrestling Tournament on Big Lewie (WLUI) on 92.9 FM and 670 AM beginning at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow and going on throughout the day into the finals.

In addition, wrestling will be streamed on the Internet at

If you can’t make it up to Altoona, I invite you to listen in to all the action on Big Lewie.

Ranked Wrestlers at District 6 Class AAA Tournament; Hidlay No. 1 at 160

| February 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

Mifflin County junior Trent Hidlay dropped to 160 pounds for the postseason and was rewarded with the top ranking in the latest PA Power Wrestling Rankings this week.

Joining Hidlay are teammates Christian Fisher (No. 21 at 106) and Noah Myers (No. 12 at 126). Both Hidlay and Myers are seeded first in the District 6 Class AAA Tournament, while Fisher is seeded second at 106 pounds. A total of 20 District 6 wrestlers are ranked in the top 25 of their respective weight classes.

The ranked wrestlers from District 6 are listed below:


Christian Fisher, Mifflin County, So. (No. 21)


Geo Barzona, Central Mountain, Sr. (No. 4)


Noah Myers, Mifflin County, Sr. (No. 12)
Seth Andrus, Central Mountain, Jr. (No. 19)


Cole Manley, Altoona, Sr. (No. 2)


Nathan Swartz, Hollidaysburg, Jr. (No. 6)
Seth Koleno, BEA, Jr. (No. 7)


Brock Port, Bellefonte, Sr. (No. 4)
Gage McClenahan, BEA, Fr. (No. 12)
Dalton Long, Hollidaysburg, Sr. (No. 13)
Colton Weaver, Central Mountain, Sr. (No. 24)


Trent Hidlay, Mifflin County, Jr. (No. 1)
Tanner Weaver, Central Mountain, Jr. (No. 22)


Brinton Simington, Altoona, Sr. (No. 7)


Cole Urbas, State College, So. (No. 3)


Parker McClellan, Altoona, Jr. (No. 10)


Pete Haffner, State College, Sr. (No. 14)


Drew Linnes, State College, Sr. (No. 13)
Hunter Gill, Hollidaysburg, Sr. (No. 14)
Richard Thompson, Central Mountain, Sr. (No. 24)

District 6 Class AAA Preview

| February 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

Kirby Martin

The quest for a fourth District 6 Class AAA tournament team championship in six years and the march to individual PIAA gold begins in earnest for the Mifflin County wrestling team Saturday in Altoona.

Mifflin County ended the dual meet portion of their season with a 6-9 record, far below the standards that coach Kirby Martin and his staff expect after five years of success, including last season when the Huskies crowned a county record six district champions.

A bounce back to dominance is on the docket for Saturday with the one-day event starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Altoona Field House. Semifinals begin at noon with the Finals set for 6 p.m. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the Northwest Regionals next Friday and Saturday back in Altoona.

“The kids at this point haven’t had a lot of competition, so I think they are hungry to wrestle. I’m hoping they are excited to wrestle. At this point in the season, you have kids who are excited for the postseason and kids who are ready to be done. We’ll find out the character of our kids and who we are wrestling this weekend,” Martin said.

Seven Huskies are seeded in the top four of their respective weight classes – led by top seed and undefeated Trent Hidlay at 160. The junior is 28-0 on the season and successfully made the drop down from 170 where he looks to get back to the PIAA finals and win it all after finishing second in 2016.

Hidlay has a bye in the first round and will meet the winner of Hollidaysburg’s Noah Hauck and Bald Eagle Area’s Bailey Irwin in the quarterfinals. Hauck is 0-2, while Irwin is 1-13. Hidlay is after his third district crown.

“I feel good. I’m really paying attention to diet and getting the right amount of sleep. I’ve been working with Coach (Tyler) Bedelyon and he kind of walks me through what I should be eating, how many times I should be working out and when I should be working out,” Hidlay said. “It’s the little things that matter at this point and I’m glad I have him helping me out with that. I feel pretty strong and I have to keep that strength up.

“I’m ready to handle anything. It’s tunnel vision right now. There’s one goal. I’m focused on what I have to do. I was put on this earth to come here and dominate kids on the mat. I wrestle everybody like it’s the toughest match of the year. No matter if he’s 0-15 or undefeated, I’m looking to dominate. I’m more mature and confident with myself. Last year, I thought I could win and this year I know I’m going to win. Last year, I was kind of content. When I made the state finals I said to myself even if you lose, you’re still second in the state. You can’t have that mindset. You can’t be content with anything. If I’m confident in myself, I think I can beat anybody in the world.”

Noah Myers (19-6) is the number one seed at 126 and is after his second district championship in as many years. The Husky senior starts his tournament with a quarterfinal match against Philipsburg-Osceola’s Noah Twoey (5-16).

“Mentally, I’m feeling pretty confident. I don’t think there should be anybody in that bracket I shouldn’t be able to pound on. I’m just going to go out there for six minutes and dominate as much as I can, get to my shots and break the kid,” Myers said. “Physically, I feel all right. I don’t have to worry about weight and that’s a plus. I have to keep pushing myself in practice, not getting tired and continue working on my mental game. In the end, the guy in better shape and with a better mindset is going to come out on top. “

Sophomore Christian Fisher (23-5), a regional qualifier last season, holds the second seed at 106 behind Bellefonte’s Cole Stewart, who dropped from 113. Fisher gets a bye in the first round before facing Central Mountain’s Johnny Shreffler (21-14) in the quarterfinals. Fisher owns two victories over Shreffler this season.

“I feel confident. I think I can win districts. I have to keep practicing and working hard, get better in tournaments. I’ve slacked off a little in tournaments and I need to keep the intensity up,” Fisher said.

At 113, Joey Taptich (19-9), a regional qualifier as well, is the four seed and will take on fifth-seeded Andrew Simpson (10-13) of Hollidaysburg in the quarters.

“Mentally, I am feeling pretty confident and excited to get out there for the postseason. Records don’t matter now, everything is reset. Physically, I’m feeling good, getting my weight down early and trying to get a head start,” Taptich said. “This year is going to be tough, just like every year, but I’m going in there with a mindset to attack everybody. I don’t care who it is. I think I can make it there (states).”

Junior Logan Wise and senior Austin Haubrick are seeded third at 132 and 170 respectively. Wise (15-6) didn’t compete at districts last season due to injury. He hooks up with P-O’s Braedon Butler (0-1) in the quarters. Haubrick, who started the season at 195, made the two weight drop and brings a 15-10 mark into districts where he faces off with Kyle Taylor (8-7) of Phillipsburg in a quarterfinal match.

“I feel really confident that I can get to the district finals. I haven’t been healthy the last two years. I was battling a knee injury and re-injured it again last year, but as of right now, I’m healthy and the way I’ve been wrestling this year I’m really confident that I can do well in the postseason. I need to be aggressive on my feet, use lots of motion and hand fighting. That’s where my matches are going to be won,” Wise said.

Scout Kyper (14-10) picked up the fourth seed at 195 where the senior faces fifth seed Tanner Riggle (15-10) in the quarters.

In other quarterfinal action, freshman Derek Burk (11-14) meets third seed Jacob Pammer (15-7) of State College at 120; sophomore Dylan Grassmyer (1-5) takes on top-seeded and unbeaten Cole Urbas (22-0) of the Little Lions at 182, and freshman Hunter Wagner (8-16) battles two seed Micah Sidorick (22-5) of P-O at 220.

Sophomores John Retherford (138) and Brian Smink (145), along with senior Kaden Knouse (152) find themselves in preliminary bouts. Retherford (10-13) goes against Seth McMahon (2-15) of State College; Smink (0-20) meets Tristan Beauseigneur (6-15) of Phillipsburg, and Knouse (4-17) squares off with Richard Taylor (1-8) of BEA.

“A month ago, we were kind of dragging but this last week has been good. There’s been a spark in practice as we prepare for districts. I’d like to see every kid win a match and I’d like to see every kid beat their seed. That’s always one of the goals I lay out for the team,” Martin said. “You just have to win. Some matches you dominate and things are going well. On the other side of the coin, there are matches where you are winning by a point or you have to come from behind. All of those little things we went to stress to our kids to mentally prepare for these situations – like what do I do if the match goes into overtime? What am I going to do in tight match? What am I going to do if I have to ride this kid out?”

Mifflin County does not have an entry at heavyweight. Somerset returns to Class AAA after a lengthy absence. The Golden Eagles are the only 3A school in District 5 after re-certification in 2016.