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Penn State Wrestling Notes: Iowa

| February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

Forfeits Hurt Mifflin County in Loss to Central Dauphin

| February 9, 2018 | 2 Comments

It’s hard enough to win a match at the PIAA Duals with a full squad. Forfeit two weights and it’s almost impossible to claim a victory.

Mifflin faced such a situation against Central Dauphin. The Huskies had two forfeits at 106 and 220 giving the Rams the 42-27 victory in the first round of consolations at the state duals on Saturday morning.

With the loss, the Huskies (11-7) remain winless at 0-8 in four appearances at the PIAA Duals. The forfeits, coupled with toss-up defeats at heavyweight and 145, proved to be the difference as the Rams (20-3) stopped Mifflin County for the second time this season.

Central Dauphin took a 9-0 lead to start the match with a decision and forfeit before Mifflin County rallied to make it 9-6. At 113, Christian Fisher stopped Tye Weathersby 6-0 and Derek Burk made a takedown in the second and an escape in the third stand up in the 3-0 victory at 120.

The Rams captured four of the next five matches to move out to the 30-12 advantage before the Huskies started their comeback. Central Dauphin added bonus points in all four wins with two falls, a technical fall, and a major decision. The only Husky winner during that stretch was John Retherford at 138. Retherford pinned Bryce Buckman in 2:11.

Trey Kibe (30-5) kicked off the rally for Mifflin County with a fall in 2:55 over Tim Smith at 160. The Husky freshman scored a takedown in the first with an escape and deuce in the second before cranking Smith over to his back. Trent Hidlay (31-0) followed at 170 and was like a shark after chum – building a 10-1 lead before decking Micah Hillegas in 1:37. At 182, Jacob Krepps (19-12) had two takedowns, an escape, and a penalty point in the 6-1 win over Jackson Talbott.

With the Huskies trailing 30-27 with two bouts left, Cian Blythe recorded a fall over Dylan Grassmyer at 195 and Mitchell Talbott got the forfeit at 220 setting the final score.

Mifflin County hosts Saint Marys in the final dual of the regular season on Thursday, February 15.

Central Dauphin 42, Mifflin County 27
285: Carter Urich (CDH) over Bronson Smith-Price (MCH) (Dec 1-0) 106: Josh Miller (CDH) over (MCH) (For.) 113: Christian Fisher (MCH) over Tye Weathersby (CDH) (Dec 6-0) 120: Derek Burk (MCH) over Mitchell Arch (CDH) (Dec 3-1) 126: Chris Wright (CDH) over Josh Snook (MCH) (Fall 2:08) 132: Andrew Wert (CDH) over Logan Wise (MCH) (TF 16-0 4:28) 138: John Retherford (MCH) over Bryce Buckman (CDH) (Fall 2:11) 145: Hunter Bentz (CDH) over Brian Smink (MCH) (MD 15-1) 152: Kollin McCullough (CDH) over Brycen Hassinger (MCH) (Fall 1:37) 160: Trey Kibe (MCH) over Timothy Smith (CDH) (Fall 2:55) 170: Trent Hidlay (MCH) over Micah Hillegass (CDH) (Fall 1:37) 182: Jacob Krepps (MCH) over Jackson Talbott (CDH) (Dec 6-1) 195: Cian Blythe (CDH) over Dylan Grassmyer (MCH) (Fall 0:31) 220: Mitchell Talbott (CDH) over (MCH) (For.)

Nazareth Controls Mifflin County in 47-18 PIAA Duals Win

| February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

Christian Fisher works for the takedown against Andrew Smith of Nazareth.          Photo by Jeff Fishbein, sports editor of the Lewistown Sentinel.

Nazareth is a name symbolic with the elite in Pennsylvania wrestling and they showed it Thursday evening in a dominant 47-18 victory in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA Duals.

The Blue Eagles (17-3) were in command on their feet – claiming a 32-12 takedown advantage and winning 10 of 14 bouts with seven earning bonus points.

The Huskies (11-6) had an early 6-0 lead when the ever-improving Bronson Smith-Price turned Justyce Searock over to his back for the fall in 3:56. Smith-Price (11-12) pinned his last three opponents.

Nazareth proceeded to claim the next seven bouts to grab a commanding 32-6 advantage. The Blue Eagles earned two decisions, a forfeit, two falls, and two majors during the run.

Mifflin County slick freshman Trey Kibe stopped the bleeding with an impressive 3-0 win over Nate Stefanik in a battle of state-ranked wrestlers. Kibe (29-5) broke a scoreless tie in the third with an escape and sweet ankle pick for the 3-0 victory. Kibe, ranked ninth, rode Stefanik (No. 14) the entire second period.

Trent Hidlay remained undefeated on the season with a fall in 3:56 over Jake Dressler at 170. Hidlay (30-0), owner of a 68-match winning streak, had nine takedowns and built up a 19-8 lead before getting the fall. At 182, Jacob Krepps (18-12) made a an escape and takedown in the second-period stand up for the 3-1 win over Zach Keifer.

The Huskies face Mid-Penn Commonwealth foe Central Dauphin (19-3) in the first round of consolations today at 10 a.m.

Nazareth 47, Mifflin County 18

285-Bronson Smith-Price, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) Fall Justyce Searock, (NAZARETH AREA) 3:56
106-Andreo Ferraina, (NAZARETH AREA) For Any Wrestler, (MIFFLIN COUNTY)
113-Andrew Smith, (NAZARETH AREA) Dec Christian Fisher, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 6-3
120-Blaine Wilson, (NAZARETH AREA) Dec Derek Burk, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 15-9
126-Drew Clearie, (NAZARETH AREA) Fall Josh Snook, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 0:53
132-Sean Pierson, (NAZARETH AREA) Major Logan Wise, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 19-8
138-Andrew Cerniglia, (NAZARETH AREA) Fall John Retherford, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 3:29
145-Connor Herceg, (NAZARETH AREA) Major Brycen Hassinger, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 15-6
152-Trey Kibe, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) Dec Nathan Stefanik, (NAZARETH AREA) 3-0
160-Samuel Sasso, (NAZARETH AREA) Fall Hadyn Crum, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 2:56
170-Trent Hidlay, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) Fall Jake Dressler, (NAZARETH AREA) 3:25
182-Jacob Krepps, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) Dec Zachary Keifer, (NAZARETH AREA) 3-1
195-Cade Wilson, (NAZARETH AREA) For Any Wrestler, (MIFFLIN COUNTY)
220-Stephen Schott, (NAZARETH AREA) Dec Dylan Grassmyer, (MIFFLIN COUNTY) 5-3

Martin, Huskies Looking For First Win at State Duals

| February 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

There are many accomplishments in the seven-year history of the Mifflin County wrestling program – four District 6 Class AAA Dual meet championships, three District 6 tournament crowns, and a Northwest Regional title.

Even with all the accolades, one team goal on coach Kirby Martin’s to-do list hasn’t happened yet – a win at state duals. Last week’s stunning performance at the District 6 Duals gives the Huskies another chance to notch a win at Hershey. In three previous appearances, the Purple and Black are 0-6 at the Giant Center.

“We still have not one a match down there. It is getting to the point where it’s frustrating because yes, it’s great getting there, but you still want to make ripples at that tournament,” Martin said. “Getting a win down there is one of our top goals.

Standing in the way of that victory is a formidable foe in Nazareth. The Blue Eagles are the defending state champions who demolished Spring Grove 60-3 on Monday in preliminary round action. Nazareth has a tradition dating back to the fifties when Harold Wilson won the first state title for the school in 1954. The program owns two state team championships (2006 and 2017) along with 23 state champions, 50 state finalists, and 97 individual PIAA medals.

The Blue Eagles are 16-3 on the season with two of their losses coming to top-ranked and District 11 rival Bethlehem Catholic. The other loss was to a team from Maryland by one point. To say that Nazareth, ranked fourth in the state, is loaded is an understatement.

Coach Dave Crowell has a lineup stacked with talent featuring seven state-ranked wrestlers led by senior Sammy Sasso, ranked first at 152 and a returning PIAA champion heading to Ohio State. Also ranked are Andreo Ferraina (No. 24 at 106), Andrew Smith (No. 12 at 113), Sean Pierson (No. 10 at 126), Ryan O’Grady (No. 14 at 138), Nate Stefanik (No. 14 at 152), and Cade Wilson (No. 3 at 195).

In addition to Sasso, Pierson, Wilson and Andrew Cerniglia (132), back after missing the regular season due to injury, earned individual medals at states a year ago.

It goes without saying, but Martin knows the challenges his squad faces Friday evening.

“Nazareth is an elite program in Pennsylvania. They have a hall-of-fame coach. They are a powerhouse,” Martin said. “I really respect how they go about their business. Their kids are well-coached and handle themselves off the mat. I have a tremendous amount of respect for who they are and how they wrestle. It’s always an honor and a privilege to wrestle Dave Crowell and one of his teams or kids.”

The Huskies (11-5) are wrestling their best at the right time thanks to a brutal schedule featuring King of the Mountain, Powerade, and the Ultimate Warrior Tournament, as well as an always rugged Mid-Penn Commonwealth slate. The evidence of their toughness was on full display last week in wins over heavily favored Central Mountain (36-35) and BEA (36-33) to claim district honors.

No. 15 Mifflin County has three ranked wrestlers in the fold – junior Christian Fisher (No. 14 at 113), freshman Trey Kibe (No. 9 at 152), and PIAA champion Trent Hidlay (No. 1 at 170). The Blue Eagles defeated the Huskies 31-30 in the first round of the 2016 state duals.

Giving up a forfeit at 106 is not an ideal situation when facing a team like Nazareth which is why Martin must get significant contributions not only from his big five but everyone up and down the lineup. Even in a loss, the key is not to give up bonus points. If he can get the same performances from Derek Burk, Logan Wise, John Retherford, Josh Snook, and Bronson Smith-Price like he did last Saturday, Martin may get that elusive win at state duals.

“We have to wrestle our best match. We have to wrestle with a lot of energy and intensity. We’ll have to weather the storm at times because they have some awesome wrestlers,” Martin said. “The weekend at district duals was outstanding, but representing this county and the kids that are in our program, have been through the program, and are coming up through, to be at the state tournament, whether team or individual event, is the highest level you can reach. We want to continue to set a standard for the younger wrestlers coming up that this is something we are capable of year in and year out if we sacrifice and work hard.”

First-round action with Nazareth gets underway at 8 p.m. Thursday evening at the Giant Center in Hershey. Win or lose; the Huskies face either Central Dauphin or third-ranked Kiski Area in the quarterfinals (2 p.m.) or the consolations (10 a.m.) on Friday. The Rams defeated the Huskies in the regular season 35-26.

Here are the probable lineups for the Nazareth match. Look for the Huskies to move people up for this dual meet, maybe from 152 on up to 220. What I have below will change during the match. This the regular lineup for both teams during the season.

#4 Nazareth Blue Eagles (16-3) vs. #15 Mifflin County Huskies (11-5)

106: Forfeit vs. No. 24 Andreo Ferraina, Fr. (18-12)
113: No. 14 Christian Fisher, Jr. (24-6) vs. No. 12 Andrew Smith, So. (17-5)
120: Derek Burk, So. (16-12) vs. Blaine Wilson, So. (23-12)
126: Logan Wise, Sr. (22-10) vs. No. 10 Sean Pierson, Jr. (31-6)
132: Josh Snook, Jr. (6-16) vs. Andrew Cerniglia, So. (2-1)
138: John Retherford Jr. (13-11) vs. No. 14 Ryan O’Grady, Sr. (21-9)
145: Brycen Hassinger, Fr. (9-14) vs. Connor Herceg, So. (23-9)
152: No. 9 Trey Kibe, Fr. (28-5) vs. No. 14 Nate Stefanik, So. (18-6)
160: Cole Baker, Sr. (2-17) vs. No. 1 Sammy Sasso, Sr. (31-1)
170: No. 1 Trent Hidlay Sr. (29-0) vs. Jake Dressler, So. (15-13)
182: Jacob Krepps, So. (17-12) vs. Zach Keifer, Sr. (11-7)
195: Dylan Grassmyer, Jr. (2-6) vs. No. 3 Cade Wilson, Sr. (28-4)
220: Kross Todaro, Sr. (20-9) vs. Stephen Schott, So. (18-9)
285: Bronson Smith-Price, So. (10-12) vs. Justyce Searock, jr. (13-15)

Mifflin County Stuns the Field to Claim D6-AAA Championship

| February 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

The 2017-18 District 6 Class AAA Dual meet champions.                              Photo by Tish Maclay


For the fourth time in seven years, Mifflin County is the king of District 6 Class AAA wrestling.

The third-seeded Huskies stunned number two seed Central Mountain and top seed Bald Eagle Area to lay claim to the crown after a year’s absence from the event.

No one expected Mifflin County to knock off a 12-1 squad like the Wildcats, who beat them twice in convincing fashion or the Eagles, who came in unbeaten and looking to win their first duals championship since 2006.

But the Huskies picked the most convenient time of the season to wrestle at their best and the results were staggering and shocking – a 36-35 win over Central Mountain on criteria eight (most first points scored) and a convincing victory over BEA 36-33 in which Mifflin County built a 36-12 advantage.

“Today was a very good day. We talked over and over again about how we needed every guy to bring it each match, and if we did that, we stood a chance. As you can see, it worked,” Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin said. “I’m so proud of these kids. It hasn’t gone smoothly the last month of wrestling in dual meets and again, I’m just so proud of the kids who have stuck it out to this point and given us everything they have. I’m so glad these kids wrapped up the District 6 team dual meet title.”

The Husky hammers did their job as Christian Fisher (113), Logan Wise (126), Trey Kibe (152) and Trent Hidlay (170) all went 2-0 on the day. In district duals, you need others to stand up and make significant contributions. That’s just what Mifflin County received and the heroes of the day where young men named Kross Todaro, Bronson Smith-Price, John Retherford, Derek Burk and Josh Snook.

In the semifinals against the Wildcats, the trio of Todaro, Smith-Price, and Retherford where the gold standard – picking up the key wins that gave the Huskies the exciting victory.

“When you have two good teams you have to have guys step up and get wins where they had losses before and that was the big difference in the Central Mountain match,” Martin said.

With the score 16-10 in favor of Central Mountain, Todaro and Smith-Price shifted the momentum on the Husky side for the remainder of the dual.

With the score 1-1, Todaro hit a lateral drop with two seconds on the clock to beat Mahlik Houtz 3-1. The Husky senior lost to Houtz in the previous two meetings.

“I waited for my takedown because I didn’t want to get too tired during the match. I tried it early. I timed it out to see how it was going to work and went for it in the last seconds to see if I could get it.” Todaro said.

Smith-Price, who lost to Jacob Edwards twice as well, proved the third time a charm with a fall in 5:59. Smith-Price was in control the match up 6-1 before his fall brought the Mifflin County crowd to its feet.

“Every since he beat me the last time at Central Mountain I prepared and worked as hard as ever,” Smith-Price said. “I knew that today was the day and I had to work harder than ever to beat him. We knew as a team we had to go out and get the points we needed to win.”

Fisher’s 9-0 major over tough Johnny Shreffler made it 23-22 Huskies before the Wildcats reeled off three of the next four bouts to take a 35-29 advantage with one match remaining.

Martin bumped John Retherford up to 145 and needing a fall to send it to criteria the Husky junior did just that – pinning Lane Porter in 2:13 in what ended up a Mifflin County victory.

“My plan was to break him mentally, take him out of his comfort zone, and do what I had to do to put him on his back,” Retherford said. “I knew I could pin him when I had him on his back the first 20 seconds of the match. I rode him strong the rest of the period and caught him on his back again in the second. We wrestled strong as a team, won the close ones, and got pins where we needed them.”

In the finals, the Huskies and the Eagles each won seven bouts with the difference coming in bonus point victories where Mifflin County had six and BEA four.

In a strange twist, the victory and the district championship was locked up thanks to a loss. Snook, wrestling all season long in place of Joey Taptich, went out at 132 with Mifflin County leading 36-12 with four matches left. All Snook had to do was avoid the pin and the Huskies win.

It didn’t look good at the start as Snook was turned to his back in the second with a tight cradle by Lucas Holderman, but the Husky junior fought off his back and scored a takedown of his own in the third in a 7-2 loss to Holderman.

“At the end, he looked excited and knew what his job was. He scored the last points in the match and you can’t ask for anything more out of him. He laid it all out there for the team,” Martin said.

Snook knew going out that he was the key to victory with the strength of the Eagles lineup coming in Seth Koleno, Garrett Rigg, and Gage McClenahan.

“I was just trying to stay tough at the end. My teammates told me not to give up back points. I was out there trying to stay off my back and that was huge for us,” Snook said. “We came out pretty strong and didn’t let up until the end. Wrestling the strong kids I have this year helped me out for this match.”

Bonus point wins for the Huskies against BEA came in the form of falls by Kibe, Todaro, Smith-Price, a technical fall from Wise, a major decision from Fisher, and a forfeit to Hidlay. Burk had a critical 6-4 decision in sudden victory over Garrett Giedroc at 120.

Martin gives some credit to the Husky schedule for making his charges ready for the rigors of the postseason.

“Our schedule beats us up. We take punches and you just hope the kids get hardened from it and respond in situations like this,” Martin said. “Winning district duals is a testament to wrestling tough kids and tough teams all the time.”

For Hidlay, who had just 26 seconds of mat time, winning the duals his senior year with an underdog team makes all the ups-and-downs this season worthwhile.

“We knew coming into this week we could beat Central Mountain and definitely Bald Eagle or Bellefonte. We worked really hard this week and got our heads right,” Hidlay said. “When you come out here and do the right things consistently, good things happen. Today is a great win for our program and a great win for these guys. I love this team so much. I know how hard we work and to get this recognition and a District 6 title is awesome. I can’t wait for state duals.”

Mifflin County travels to the Giant Center in Hershey Thursday night for first-round PIAA duals action against the Nazareth-Spring Grove winner. Match time starts at 8 p.m.

District 6 Class AAA Duals

Mifflin County 36, Central Mountain 35 *

152: Logan Long (CMH) over Brycen Hassinger (MCH) (Fall 2:45) 160: Trey Kibe (MCH) over Alonzo Henry (CMH) (MD 12-4) 170: Trent Hidlay (MCH) over Austin Confer (CMH) (Fall 0:26) 182: Tanner Weaver (CMH) over Jacob Krepps (MCH) (MD 11-3) 195: Tanner Riggle (CMH) over Dylan Grassmyer (MCH) (Fall 4:50) 220: Kross Todaro (MCH) over Mahlik  Houtz (CMH) (Dec 3-1) 285: Bronson Smith-Price (MCH) over Jacob Edwards (CMH) (Fall 5:59) 106: Jason  Rinker (CMH) over   (MCH) (For.) 113: Christian Fisher (MCH) over Johnny  Shreffler (CMH) (MD 9-0) 120: Dalton  Bechdel (CMH) over Derek Burk (MCH) (Dec 7-5) 126: Logan Wise (MCH) over Davis Seyler (CMH) (Fall 1:15) 132: Cody Coleman (CMH) over Josh Snook (MCH) (MD 13-2) 138: Seth Andrus (CMH) over   (MCH) (For.) 145: John Retherford (MCH) over Lane Porter (CMH) (Fall 2:13)

* Mifflin County wins on criteria 8 – most first points scored)

Mifflin County 36, BEA 33

160: Trey Kibe (MCH) over Bailey Irvin (BEAH) (Fall 0:30) 170: Richard Taylor (BEAH) over Anthony Fultz (MCH) (Dec 6-5) 182: Trent Hidlay (MCH) over   (BEAH) (For.) 195: Dylan Bisel (BEAH) over Jacob Krepps (MCH) (Dec 6-4) 220: Kross Todaro (MCH) over David Close (BEAH) (Fall 0:40) 285: Bronson Smith-Price (MCH) over Asher Burkett (BEAH) (Fall 2:39) 106: Zander Ballock (BEAH) over   (MCH) (For.) 113: Christian Fisher (MCH) over Cooper Gilham (BEAH) (MD 16-4) 120: Derek Burk (MCH) over Garrett Giedroc (BEAH) (SV-1 6-4) 126: Logan Wise (MCH) over Drake Holderman (BEAH) (TF 25-7 5:41) 132: Lucas Holderman (BEAH) over Josh Snook (MCH) (Dec 7-2) 138: Seth Koleno (BEAH) over   (MCH) (For.) 145: Garrett Rigg (BEAH) over   (MCH) (For.) 152: Gage McClenahan (BEAH) over   (MCH) (For