Four Huskies Look to Stand on the Podium at States

| March 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

The goal of every wrestler who makes it to the PIAA state wrestling championships in Hershey is simple – get on the podium and earn a state medal.

For four Mifflin County wrestlers that dream is in sight as Hayden Hidlay (138), Noah Stewart (152), Trey Hartsock (182) and Timmy Pearce (195) go for the gold when the Class AAA portion gets underway at 4 pm tomorrow.

Hidlay (35-2), making his second appearance at states, faces Wesley Hoover of Dallastown in the opening round. Hoover (29-7) finished fourth at the South Central regional last week.

Waiting in the wings in the quarterfinals is Hempfield Area’s Michael Kemerer. The junior is 40-2 on the season, 117-8 in his career, and a two-time state runner-up. It’s too bad they couldn’t be in separate halves of the bracket, but it should be a good one when they meet. Kemerer owns a 7-2 victory over Hidlay at Powerade back in December.

Stewart (33-8) is in one of the toughest brackets in the whole tournament. He opens with Pine Grove’s Mason Bentzel, a South Central runner-up.

Bentzel (37-3) was a state qualifier a year ago, with a seventh-place finish coming in 2012. If he gets past Bentzel, Norristown’s Michael Springer awaits. Springer is a three-time state qualifier who placed eighth in 2012. If he gets by those two, waiting in the semifinals should be state runner-up Josh Shields of Franklin Regional.

A very tough bracket to get through for the Husky sophomore.

Hartsock (31-10) is having a stellar sophomore season, winning  District 6 and NW Regional titles, including a big 4-3 victory over Tyree Spearman of Erie McDowell last week.

His first-round opponent will be Casey Glunt of James Buchanan. Glunt is 32-7 on the season. On paper, Hartsock has the best bracket of any Mifflin County wrestler. He can definitely win his first two matches and get to the semis to face Zack Zavatsky, two-time state placer and the No. 1 ranked kid in the state. Hartsock is peaking at the right time and could make serious noise at states.

Pearce (33-8) has arguably the toughest first-round match of any Husky when he meets up with Nezar Haddad of Parkland. Haddad (42-2) hasn’t won a medal at Hershey, but he is a three-time qualifier who is currently ranked third in the state. The Parkland senior has a 126-37 career mark.

Pearce is having an amazing senior season after being a 138-pound backup as a junior. He is mentally tough, confident and strong with his upper body moves. Haddad may be the only thing standing between Timmy and a berth in the semifinals which would guarantee him a place on the medal stand.

The goal – win your first two matches for a guaranteed medal – is simple to understand but very hard to accomplish. It’s a challenge that four Mifflin County wrestlers will attempt to conquer starting Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Category: High School Wrestling

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