Carson’s Corner: Hidlay Makes Big Splash at KOM

| December 17, 2012 | 0 Comments

MugThe King of the Mountain tournament is so loaded with talent it can be either a humbling experience or one that puts you on the wrestling map, not just in Pennsylvania but the country as well.

Hayden Hidlay, welcome to the spotlight young man.

Yes, I know Hidlay was already an accomplished youth wrestler but youth and high school wrestling are worlds apart. Just like college is a mountainous step up from high school.

What Hidlay did Friday and Saturday opened the eyes of the wrestling community in a big way. The message sent was loud and clear: He is one of the favorites for state gold, despite being just a freshman.

Not  to put any more undue pressure on him but facts are facts.

KOM is one of the toughest in-season tournaments in the Keystone State with this year’s entries featuring seven former or returning state champions, along with 29 other state placewinners. To even place in this tournament takes persistence, mental toughness and skill.

Hidlay, coming from the 10th seed, opened up the event with two pins to reach the quarterfinals. From here on out is when he got the crowd and the wrestling world to take notice.

In the quarters, Hidlay faced Korbin Myers of Bermudian Springs, PIAA second-place finisher in Class AA last season. The result was a 6-3 win for Hidlay and a berth in the semifinals.

There he met Ryan Bennett, fourth-place finisher in the Ohio Division II state championships and the third seed. Another class opponent, another victim. Hidlay disposed of Bennett in 3:29 setting up a spot in the finals against top-seeded Ethan Lizak.

The Parkland junior is a two-time PIAA finalist, taking second in 2011 and first last season. He was the clear favorite to win it all.

Somebody forgot to tell Hidlay.

He gave Lizak everything he had and more with only the guile and experience of Lizak helping him post the 4-3 sudden victory in overtime.

Many people in the area and beyond knew Hidlay would be a very good high school wrestler but how many truly believed he’d be this good so soon?

And the scary thing is what will he be like when he gets older, stronger and more mature?

The sky is the limit and his future in the sport  looks very bright indeed.

Underhill Comes Up Big at KOM

Last but certainly not least is the performance that 120-pound sophomore Isaac Underhill had at the King of the Mountain.

Seeded ninth in the tournament, Underhill went 4-2 on the day to finish seventh. His only losses were to Bethlehem Catholic’s Darian Cruz, returning PIAA state champ bound for Lehigh, in the quarterfinals, and to Tyler Kuzma of Fort LeBeouf  in the consy quarters.

Underhill is now a solid 10-3 on the season and looking much more comfortable in his second year of varsity.

Mifflin County Paces District 6

What was largely unnoticed in the KOM event is the team performance of the Huskies.

Mifflin County led all District 6 teams in the standings with a 19th-place finish, ahead of both Bellefonte (21st) and Central Mountain (25th).

Many felt coming into the season that the Huskies would be a good dual meet team but suffer some come District 6 tournament time. It looks like that may not be the case after the team’s showing at the King.

Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading.


Category: Carson's Corner, High School Wrestling

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