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

Category: High School Wrestling

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