RSSCategory: High School Wrestling

Four Huskies Ready to Go For Gold at PIAA Championships

| March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

After a long, grueling regular season and the meat grinder known as the tournament trail, four Mifflin County wrestlers are still alive and in pursuit of their dreams for PIAA gold.

They have fought for the right to stand on the podium and earn a medal at the PIAA wrestling championships beginning Thursday morning at the Giant Center in Hershey, with 3A action beginning at 4 p.m.

The Huskies qualified four for the Class 3A tournament – junior Christian Fisher at 113, sophomore Derek Burk at 120, freshman Trey Kibe at 152, and senior Trent Hidlay at 170. Hidlay won a state title at 160 a year ago, while Fisher placed eighth at 106.

“At Hershey, in most brackets, it’s usually a toss-up on who’s going to win and place during that weekend. We just want to prepare our kids to score, be aggressive, and just get after it,” Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin said. “We don’t have to say much to them, but we do need to stress you have to be scoring and scoring every period. You can’t rest on one or two points. You must keep putting points on the board. We’ll work on the little things and just get excited for Thursday.”

The key for all four wrestlers, according to Martin is to stay on the attack and maintain a confident and poised mindset.

“You can’t go there wrestling not to lose. You have to have the mindset of an attacking wrestler. You have to be prepared for kids scoring on you, but in the end, if you have one more point than your opponent does, you’re going to get the win,” Martin said. “Earning a spot in the state tournament is a big deal. They are not many kids who can brag they’ve been there and wrestled in it because it is rigorous to make it to states. You have to be tough and put in the hours. It is a privilege and an honor. Hopefully, they will embrace it, take it all in and enjoy it.”

Fisher (31-7), fresh off a Northwest regional championship, has a bye in the preliminaries and will meet the winner of Nazareth’s Andrew Smith (28-10) and Dover’s Matt Rodriguez (19-7). Smith defeated Fisher at the PIAA Duals back in February.

Burk (25-15) faces Tyler Kocek (35-6) of Hampton, while Kibe (37-6) gets a bye in the prelims before facing William Evanitsky (41-1) of Scranton in the first round. Hidlay (39-0), a three-time regional champ, battles the Jason Zollers (Owen J. Roberts)-Jesse Quatse (Greensburg-Salem) winner. Zollers owns a 36-7 record, while Quatse is 34-5.

“You can’t worry about the kid, his record or whatnot. You have to believe you belong there. It’s a tournament where everything is possible. You have to take risks,” Martin said. “Getting the first takedown, winning a match down there, all those little things add to building confidence throughout the tournament. The sooner you can build confidence the better off you’re going to be moving forward at Hershey.”

Updated AAA Brackets

Updated AA Brackets

Huskies Send Four to Hershey, Take Second at NW Regionals

| March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Mifflin County wrestling team put on a stellar performance – crowning two champions, finishing second in the team race, and most importantly, advancing four to states at the Northwest Regional Class 3A championships on Saturday.

Making the trek to the Giant Center in Hershey are regional champions Christian Fisher (113) and Trent Hidlay (170), along with runner-up Trey Kibe (152) and third-place finisher Derek Burk (120).

Even better news for Coach Kirby Martin – Hidlay is the only senior in the group. Fisher is a junior, Burk a sophomore and Kibe is a freshman.

“I thought we had a really good tournament. Our kids scrapped from day one. The guys in the wrestle backs did an outstanding job of coming through. I’m very proud of this team and how they wrestled this weekend,” Martin said.

Hidlay (39-0) destroyed the competition on his way to a third regional title. The Husky senior collected three pins and a 23-8 technical fall over Zack Becker of Saint Marys in the finals. Hidlay had an incredible 27 takedowns in the tournament – an average of almost seven per match.

“He’s up over 200 takedowns on the season. He wants to go out, score a lot of points, and dominate. Once more, he loves doing it,” Martin said. “His competitive nature is top notch and it’s something our other kids need to copy.”

Hidlay achieved another milestone in his storied career. With his four wins, Trent passed older brother Hayden as the all-time victories leader in Mifflin County High School history. Hayden finished with 149 career wins. With his 151 wins, Trent is only the second wrestler in the history of the county with 150 or more career wins. Former Lewistown standout Matt Bonson is the career leader with 159 victories.

In the finals, Hidlay, winner of 77 in a row, had nine takedowns as he toyed with Becker, a District 4/9 champion who entered the match 32-4.

“It’s really special for me to be on top of the leaderboard with some great guys and friends of mine. It just so happens Hayden was the leader and I passed him,” Hidlay said. “It’s really cool to have the most wins. I don’t think I’ll have it for long though, the freshman we have (Kibe) should pass me, and I hope he does.

“I feel good. I wanted to make sure I came out here, hit everything right and get into a rhythm for next week. Obviously, next week is the big show, but this is just as big. You have to be able to wrestle hard, get some wins, and get into the state tournament. I’m so proud of the team and how we wrestled this weekend. Now we have to keep it going at states.”
Fisher (31-7) owned the 113-pound weight class, going 3-0 with two falls and an 8-1 major decision over Central Mountain’s Johnny Shreffler in the finals. This is the first regional title for Fisher after taking second a year ago.

“Fisher did a great job of attacking the other side of Shreffler’s body because they were ready for his normal single leg,” Martin said. “He kept them off-balance the entire match and that’s what he needs to do going into Hershey.”

Fisher opened with a takedown, added a reversal and another takedown in the second, and a takedown in the third to defeat Shreffler for the fourth time this season.

“It feels a lot better being first than second like last year. I felt strong the whole tournament. I was able to get to my stuff easily. I just felt great,” Fisher said. “I feel really good heading into states.”

Kibe (37-6), fresh off a 5-4 ultimate tiebreaker win over Gage McClenahan of Bald Eagle Area in the District 6 finals, met his budding rival for the third time this season and it was McClenahan (32-4) who won the rubber match by a 5-1 score.

“We did not attempt enough shots in the match, and I think that would have helped a lot, not only for our pace but to keep McClenahan off-balance,” Martin said. “But we can take this and learn from it and the goal will be to place higher than him at Hershey. That’s the mentality we need to have moving forward.”

After a scoreless first period, Kibe chose down, escaped and the middle period ended with the Husky freshman up 1-0. The third period was all McClenahan. The Eagle sophomore hit a reversal, received a penalty point when Kibe accidentally grabbed his headgear and added two back points to get the victory.

“Both weeks we had a battle. He won this one. I won the last one. It stinks right now, but in the end, next week is what’s going to mater,” Kibe said. “I’m upset about it for sure, but I’m ready for next week. I’m feeling good. I know I can beat him next time.”

In the match for third at 120, Burk (25-15), had a rematch with Matt Ryan of Clearfield, who beat Burk in the quarters, 7-3. The Husky sophomore is a quick learner, adjusting to Ryan’s style and gaining a 3-2 victory and a state tournament berth.

“As coaches, we set down and think of who we feel has a chance and Burk was definitely one of the kids we thought had a chance to make it to states,” Martin said. “Again, what he did really well was making adjustments to kids he had lost to. He lost to Ryan early in the tournament. He lost to (Chase) Chapman in the district finals the week before and he beat him in the consy semis. Those are the things you have to do if you want to advance, so super job by Derek.”

Burk came out aggressively – scoring a takedown inside the first 10 seconds of the match. Ryan escaped and the period ended 2-1. Burk chose down to start the middle period and escaped for the 3-1 advantage. Ryan escaped to open the third and despite some harrowing scrambles, Burk’s defense was able to hold off Ryan for the win.

“The takedown set the pace for the match, but it was a lot of him only shooting one shot and once I figured out how to cut him off from getting that one shot it opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” Burk said. “This was my third time wrestling him and I knew what he was going to do. I’m so happy I made it to states. To be honest, I didn’t expect to make it out of here. Now that I have, I’m on top of the world.”

Seniors Logan Wise (132) and Kross Todaro (220) came up short in their third-place matches and saw their high school careers come to a close. Wise (29-15) lost 10-5 to Andrew Stark of Erie Prep and Todaro (26-12) dropped a 3-2 decision to nemesis Mahlik Houtz of Central Mountain.

Joey Taptich (126), John Retherford (138), Jacob Krepps (182), and Bronson Smith-Price (285) failed to reach the consolation finals and saw their seasons come to a close.

“I’m so proud of this group of guys. Getting four in is awesome. There aren’t many teams that get more than one or two,” Martin said. “For this group and how hard they’ve worked this year, they deserve it. I can’t wait for Thursday to get started.”

Erie Prep ran away with the team title, crowning four champions and scoring 189 points. The Huskies took second with 125.5 points followed by Central Mountain (122.5), Bald Eagle Area (107.5), and Philipsburg-Osceola (80).

The PIAA championship run from Thursday, March 8th to Saturday, March 10th at the Giant Center in Hershey. Class 3A action begins Thursday afternoon with the preliminaries and first round starting at 4:00 p.m.

PIAA AA and AAA Brackets

| March 4, 2018 | 0 Comments
PIAA Pairings for Mifflin County:
113: NW-1 Christian Fisher, Jr. (31-7), bye meets NE-3 Andrew Smith, 12, Nazareth (28-10)-SC-4 Matthew Rodriguez, Dover (19-7) winner
120: NW-3 Derek Burk, So. (25-15) vs. Tyler Kocak, Hampton (35-6) SW-4
152: NW-2 Trey Kibe, Fr. (37-6) vs. SW-3 Luke Kemerer, Hempfield (37-2) Kibe bye in prelims
170: NW-1 Trent Hidlay, Sr. (39-0), bye meets SE-4 Jason Zollers, Owen J. Roberts (36-7)-SW-4 Jesse Quatse, Greensburg-Salem (34-5) winner

Class AAA

Class AA

Northwest Regional AAA Brackets

| March 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

Huskies Advance Four into Quarterfinals of NW Regionals

| March 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

Mifflin County advanced four into the semifinals on day one of the Northwest Regional Class 3A Tournament Friday evening in Altoona.

Christian Fisher (113), Trey Kibe (152), Trent Hidlay (170), and Kross Todaro (220) moved on in the winner’s bracket, while seven Huskies are still alive in consolations.

“Overall, I thought our wrestling was good. I thought every kid went out and got after the win,” Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin said. “It’s a new weekend of wrestling and we knew we were going to get tough matches every round. We just wanted each kid to go out, wrestle as hard as they can, and keep scoring points.”

Fisher (29-7) received a bye in the opening round before decking Joe Dang of Carrick in 2:34 of their quarterfinal bout. The Husky junior collected three takedowns and seven back points in the win. Fisher meets Ben Tirpak of Erie Prep in the semifinals.

“It was good for him to get some mat time. He had a bye in the first round. He needed to go out there, score some points, and get ready for tomorrow,” Martin said.

Kibe opened with 13-1 major over Albert Taylor of Erie Prep. In the quarters, the sensational freshman took care of Clearfield’s Caleb Freeland by an 8-2 count. His semifinal opponent will be Nick Rinella of Meadville.

“He did a great job adjusting to the kids he was wrestling. He’s really wrestling well, trying to keep his pace up, and dictate the match,” Martin said.

Hidlay was his dominant self with two falls to earn his semifinal berth. In the first round, Hidlay (36-0) flattened Liam Stevenson of Warren in 3:22 and then decked Collin Almond of Altoona in 4:17 of his semifinal match. The Husky senior meets Arlan Pulliam of Erie High in the semifinals.

“He wants to go out and dominate and right now that’s exactly what he’s doing. We want him to keep doing that,” Martin said.

Todaro (25-10) pinned Avry Gisewhite of Clearfield in 1:33 and knocked off Kareem Carson of Erie Prep 6-2 in the quarters. Todaro gets undefeated freshman Nate Schon of Selinsgrove in the semis.

“Kross can wrestle with anybody. It’s just a matter if he puts his mind to it. He had two very good matches today. I’m very proud of the way he wrestled,” Martin said.

Derek Burk (120), Joey Taptich (126), Logan Wise (132), John Retherford (138), Jacob Krepps (182), and Bronson Smith-Price (285) all suffered losses and will have to fight to punch their PIAA ticket though consolations.

Burk (21-15) defeated Carter Stanley of Oil City 9-3 but dropped a 7-3 decision to Matt Ryan of Clearfield in the quarterfinals. Wise (26-14) topped Cam Dickey of Williamsport in the first round only to lose by an 18-3 technical fall to Jeffrey Boyd of Erie McDowell.

Krepps (22-15) took care of Nate Powley of Williamsport 8-1 before losing by fall in 3:07 to Luigi Yates of Erie Prep. Yates came into the tournament ranked third in the state. Taptich (3-3) lost his opening round bout to Ed Scott of DuBois. Scott, ranked third in the state, pinned the Husky senior in 3:23.

Retherford (16-15) injured his shoulder against Izek Roberts of Williamsport and had to default in 1:02. Smith-Price (14-16) lost a tough 1-0 decision to state-ranked Nick Morelli of Meadville in the opening round – a second period escape by Morelli being the difference.

“They need to open up in the consolations. This is it. You have to go after it. We’ll keep telling them to keep scoring points,” Martin said. “You never know in the consolation brackets. There are kids who haven’t lost that much and they aren’t used to being there, so it’s important to score early and keep scoring points the rest of the match.”

Mifflin County is currently fifth in the team standings with 31 points. Erie Prep is in first with 55, followed by Central Mountain (47.5), Philipsburg-Osceola (45), and Bald Eagle Area (38).

Action gets underway tomorrow morning with first-round consolations beginning at 10 a.m. Semifinals start at 12:30 with the finals starting at 6:15 p.m.

Northwest Regional Results

First Round

113: Christian Fisher, Mifflin County, bye.

120: Derek Burk, Mifflin County dec. Carter Stanley, Oil City, 9-3.

126: Ed Scott, DuBois pinned Joey Taptich, Mifflin County, 3:23

132: Logan Wise, Mifflin County dec. Cam Dickey, Williamsport, 7-4.

138: Izek Brooks, Williamsport Inj. Def John Retherford, Mifflin County, 1:02.

152: Trey Kibe, Mifflin County major dec. Albert Taylor, Erie Prep, 13-1.

170: Trent Hidlay, Mifflin County pinned Liam Stevenson, Warren, 3:22.

182: Jacob Krepps, Mifflin County dec. Nate Powley, Williamsport, 8-1.

220: Kross Todaro, Mifflin County pinned Avry Gisewhite, Clearfield, 1:33.

285: Nick Morelli, Meadville dec. Bronson Smith-Price, Mifflin County, 1-0.


113: Christian Fisher, Mifflin County pinned Joe Dang, Carrick, 2:34.

120: Matt Ryan, Clearfield dec. Derek Burk, Mifflin County, 7-3.

132: Jeffrey Boyd, Erie McDowell technical fall Logan Wise, 18-3 (4:00)

152: Trey Kibe, Mifflin County dec. Caleb Freeland, Clearfield, 8-2.

170: Trent Hidlay, Mifflin County pinned Collin Almond, Altoona, 4:17.

182: Luigi Yates, Erie Prep pinned Jacob Krepps, 3:17.

220: Kross Todaro, Mifflin County dec. Kareem Carson, Erie Prep, 6-2.