Carson’s Corner: Mifflin County’s Stock Rising After Powerade

| December 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

MugLife is all about perception.

Some take the glass-is-half-full approach, while others focus on that darned half-empty glass. I prefer the former.

After Mifflin County’s performance at the Powerade Tournament, the buzz surrounding the ever improving Huskies is turning into a very loud roar.

In arguably the toughest high school wrestling tournament in the country, Mifflin County placed four wrestlers in the top eight (after having zero seeds) and finished 27th out of 46 in the team standings.

If you are of the half empty bent, you will say more work needs to be done and that’s true, but the future is looking very bright for this young Huskies squad.

Hayden Hidlay (4th at 138), Noah Stewart (7th at 152), Trey Hartsock (8th at 182) and Timmy Pearce (8th at 195) led the Mifflin County contingent at Powerade. All four placed at King of the Mountain as well.

The Huskies finishing where they did without the services of Brandon Wilson, Tre Carter, Kyle Kahley, Keith Corson and Colton Craig is even more impressive.

If you can place at Powerade, you can hang with anybody in the country. Couple this with the performance at KOM and it isn’t hard to see how good this team can eventually be.

Confidence is a fragile, tricky hobgoblin. It comes and goes as it pleases and right now the Huskies confidence level is growing week to week. No more evidence is needed than head coach Kirby Martin’s comments to the Lewistown Sentinel:

“I expected to have some place-winners. I don’t like to put a number on how many, but I did really think we had some kids who could come here and place in spite of not having any seeded wrestlers.”

Expected. Not hoped. Expected.

If that isn’t a word filled with confidence, I don’t know what is?

Let’s look at some facts as we head into the meat of the season:

Only Central Mountain has a chance with them in District 6 and the gap between the schools is starting to widen in MC’s favor. Erie McDowell appears to be the top team in the Northwest Region with the Huskies not too far behind.

All that remains for Mifflin County is becoming a consistent state power. That will take patience, hard work and time – something the coaching staff and wrestlers have in spades.

Another important aspect of becoming a great team is banging heads against the best competition you can find. With Powerade, KOM and the always tough Mid-Penn Commonwealth schedule, which continues Thursday against Cumberland Valley, the Huskies will face some of the best this state has to offer.

All this is good, despite the bumps and bruises, it will make Mifflin County ‘Husky Tough’ when postseason action comes around.

And that’s not just looking at the glass as half full, that’s looking at the situation in the clear light of reality.

Powerade Leftovers

How about the 120-pound weight class at Powerade?

The bracket featured four state champions: Ethan Lizak (Parkland), Luke Pletcher (Greater Latrobe), George Phillippi (Derry) and Sean Collins of Georgia.

Pletcher eked out the 3-2 decision over Lizak in the finals and Phillippi, a freshman state champ last season, finished fifth!

That gives you a good example of how tough Powerade really is.

The only other matchup between two PIAA state champions saw Tyler Smith of Franklin Regional overwhelm Hempfield Area’s Sam Krivus by a 7-0 score.

Canon-McMillan’s Dalton Macri won the OW award with 8-6 decision over Ryan Millhoff of Georgia. Millhoff is a two-time state champ headed to Oklahoma State. Macri will continue his career at Cornell.

Franklin Regional captured the team race by crowning five champions and placing seven for 236.5 points. It’s easy to see who’s going to win Class AAA this year isn’t it? No team in PIAA history has ever produced five state champs in the same year. It could happen this season.

Below are the Panthers’ place-winners:

106: Devon Brown, 1st
113: Spencer Lee, 1st
132: Tyler Smith, 1st
138: Michael Kemerer, 1st
145: Josh Maruca, 2nd
152: Josh Shields, 1st
160: Brandon Yant, 5th

Podium Photos

Here are the podium photos of all four Mifflin County place-winners: (Photos provided by Powerade website)

138-Hayden Hidlay-4th

138

 

152-Noah Stewart-7th

152

 

182-Trey Hartsock-8th

182

 

195-Timmy Pearce-8th

195

Category: Carson's Corner, High School Wrestling

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