Fab Freshmen Lead Mifflin County to District 6 Class AAA Title

| February 23, 2013 | 0 Comments


The Mifflin County Huskies: 2013 District 6 Class AAA Champions!

The Mifflin County Huskies: 2013 District 6 Class AAA Champions!

And a child shall lead them. Very talented children to be precise.

The Fab Freshmen aren’t your normal ninth graders and they proved that at the District 6 Class AAA championships Saturday night at the Altoona Field House.

Hayden Hidlay (113), Noah Stewart (126) and Brandon Wilson (145) joined Kenny Whitsel and Mike “Chub'” Robinson as the only freshmen from the county to ever win a district title.

“Thankfully, they’ve trained and wrestled and been in environments similar to this. Still, it can be nerve-wracking on them because it’s  the first time at the high school level to be in the district finals, but they all wrestled very, very well in the finals,” said Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin. “To their credit they’re just going to continue to grew exponentially and it’s going to be fun watching them develop in the coming years.”

Their performance, along with second-place finishes from Isaac Underhill (126), Lucas Besch (132) and Joe Knarr (152) lifted Mifflin County to the District 6 Class AAA tourney title, the first by a county team since Chief Logan did it back in 1979. The Huskies finished with 198.5 points, out-distancing Central Mountain, who finished with 189.5 points.

“I think it speaks a lot about the quality kids we have in our program right now and the hard-working coaching staff in place,” said Martin, the 2013 District 6 Class AAA Coach of the Year. “You have to put measurable goals out there for these kids and try to make some history this weekend by being a team champion. It’s been a long time since any team from Mifflin County has done that. With this team it seems to really help them with goals to reach for.”

Also making the trek back to Altoona for the Northwest Regionals will be Kevin Bair, third at 138, along with Drew Hannon (195), Kyle Kahley (220) and Caleb Rhodes (285), who all finished fourth.

In the finals, the Fab Freshmen shined.

Hidlay used a slick single and a beautiful sweep single to dominate Travis Giedroc of Bald Eagle Area by a 9-1 score. Hidlay (24-4) scored two takedowns in the first for a 4-1 lead. An escape in the second made it 5-1 and the trip and two-point nearfall closed it out in the third.

Hidlay was very cerebral when talking about his opponent and what he needed to do to beat him.

“I knew coming into it  he was a defensive wrestler and he had a pretty squared stance so I knew if I got him out of position his leg would be ready for me,” said Hidlay. “My original game plan was to go after the high crotch but he kept giving me his leg, so I just did a sweep single instead. I did it (sweep single) a couple of times this year. I hit it on (Ethan) Lizak earlier in the year. I knew he didn’t see it coming and that’s when it works out the best.

“It feels pretty good to be in that category of people I look up to. Kenny (Whitsel) and Chub (Robinson) did well in high school and it’s nice to be there with them,” Hidlay said when asked about joining the Mifflin County freshman district champion club. “I knew there would be some jitters early but once I hit my moves I had a lot of fun out there. I have a lot of confidence going into the rest of the postseason. My goal is to just beat everybody from here on out and be a state champion, because that’s been my goal since I was a little kid.”

The Fab Freshmen: District 6 AAA Champions from left to right: Brandon Wilson, Noah Stewart and Hayden Hidlay.

The Fab Freshmen: District 6 AAA Champions from left to right: Brandon Wilson, Noah Stewart and Hayden Hidlay.

Stewart followed with his typical solid performance on the mat. Stewart (28-5) had a takedown in the first, a reversal in the second and rode P-O’s Brian Evans in the third for the 4-1 victory.

“It’s great to get that win. One of my goals coming into this was to win a district championship as a freshman. It was good to have it under my belt,” said Stewart. “I kind of put him (Evans) out my mind and just use what I do in practice and what I’ve trained for. Just go out there and wrestle like that.

“Honestly, I was a little jittery, this being high school and stuff. That all comes with experience. You lose that once you get out there and start wrestling and whenever it’s just you and him out there that’s all gone.”

Wilson made it 3-for-3 for the Fab Freshmen with another steady, under control match for the 6-4 win over State College’s Derek Horner. Up 2-1 after one period, Wilson (20-5) created some breathing room with a reversal and a takedown sandwiched between two Horner escapes for the 6-3 advantage. Wilson gave up an escape in the third but held on for the victory.

“Before I wrestled Stew (Noah Stewart) came back to me and asked me if I was nervous I said I felt the same when I was at PJW state champs. It was a good win,” said Wilson. “I majored him (in the dual meet) and I knew it wasn’t going to be the same match. He knew what I was going to do. My goal was just to get out and get the opening takedown and work from there.

“We go at it hard in the practice room and keep making each other better. It’s sad to see Joe (Knarr) and Lucas (Besch) leave, but we’ll just keep bringing better and better kids in.”

It was a trifecta victory for Mifflin County. In addition to Martin being named coach of the year and the Huskies claiming the team title, Dale Searer, Joe Eckenroth and Adam Stout won Coaching Staff of the year in District 6.

District 6 Class AAA Finals:

106: Damian Huff, Hollidaysburg dec. Luke Leathers, Bellefonte, 5-1.
113: Hayden Hidlay, Mifflin County major dec. Travis Giedroc, BEA, 9-1.
120: Trevor Corl, Bellefonte dec. Isaac Underhill, Mifflin County, 5-1.
126: Noah Stewart, Mifflin County dec. Brian Evans, P-O, 4-1.
132: D.J. Hollingshead, Altoona pinned Lucas Besch, Mifflin County, 3:54.
138: T.J. Brandt, Altoona pinned Joseph Powers, BEA, 2:27.
145: Brandon Wilson, Mifflin County dec. Derek Horner, State College, 6-4.
152: Chad Reese, Central Mountain dec. Joe Knarr, Mifflin County, 2-1.
160: Gavin Caprio, Central Mountain dec. Markief Knode, Altoona, 1-0.
170: Nick Shawley, Bellefonte dec. John Prentice, P-O, 5-0.
182: Jacob Taylor, BEA dec. Blaze Buckwalter, Central Mountain, 7-3.
195: Aaron Varner, BEA dec. Mante Barnes, Altoona, 7-4.
220: Nate Sharkey, BEA major dec. Cameron Porter, Central Mountain, 11-1.
285: Matt Barton, Hollidaysburg dec. Garrett Poorman, Bellefonte, 4-0.

OW: T.J. Brandt, Altoona – 138
Coach of the Year: Kirby Martin, Mifflin County

3rd Place:

138: Kevin Bair default Caleb Shively, P-O.
195: Loc Long, Central Mountain dec. Drew Hannon, 4-2.
220: Nick Gray, P-O dec. Kyle Kahley, 3-2 UTB
285: Austin Rosenberry, Altoona dec. Caleb Rhodes, 6-0.

5th Place:

106: Daulton Wilson tech fall Jeff Bryan, Altoona, 16-0 (2:07).
160: Jesaiah Wilson, Johnstown dec. Darion Pierce, 6-4.
170: Keith Corson dec. Ian Bilofsky, Hollidaysburg, 9-6.

Final Team Score:

1. Mifflin County 198.5
2. Central Mountain 189.5
3. BEA 166.5
4. Bellefonte 134.5
5. Altoona 128.5
6. P-O 115
7. Hollidaysburg 89
8. State College 75.5
9. Johnstown 27

Complete D6 Brackets

Category: High School Wrestling

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