Hayden Hidlay Transcript Interview After Making NCAA Finals

| March 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

Q. Talk us through the six-point move you hit in the first period, and what that does for you getting a lead like that early?
HAYDEN HIDLAY: Well, early in the match I tried underhooking and he wasn’t baiting for it. I think he scouted a little bit and didn’t want anything to do with it. But I changed a little bit and went with a shot first and then kind of transitioned into upper body. I was in a position where he hit some guys before in a hip toss, and he went for it, and I kind of switched my hips and reversed it on him. I have a Greco background, and I don’t mind throwing guys, so it was there. My coach just said, be aggressive. If you see something big, go for it.

Q. Hayden, I know you expected to be here, but how does it feel to be in the finals?
HAYDEN HIDLAY: Feels incredible. I think the atmosphere was more than I could ever dream of, just being out there and — when we were on a restart, I couldn’t hear the whistle one time because I think Nolf was turning a guy on the other mat, but I kind of just let the guy react first and then I went into his move. But great atmosphere, just really thankful to be here.

Q. Growing up as close as you did to State College, there’s a lot of people in Mifflin County that as you ponder rankings this year anticipated this matchup. How long ago did you anticipate being in the finals against Nolf?
HAYDEN HIDLAY: I think last year whenever I was sitting at home watching the Nationals, I was on a redshirt so I didn’t come with the team. I was just sitting in my apartment visualizing myself being here, and I think once I beat Lavallee earlier this year who made it to the national finals, I’m going to go forward and go after the top guy.

Q. You talked about growing up 30 miles from Penn State. Did you grow up a Penn State fan?
HAYDEN HIDLAY: Yeah, I think it’s going to sound strange to people, but probably up until I was about 16 years old, I had season tickets to the Penn State wrestling matches. That’s kind of crazy to think about now. Once the recruiting process started opening up, I went my separate way from Penn State just because they were pretty full at that weight class at the time. I started looking at other schools, and I got attached to NC State, and I was sold on the message of you come to NC State, you’re going to compete against Iowa, Penn State, Oklahoma State every year, and we want you to be a part of that.

Q. You’re following up what was a really strong redshirt freshman campaign with what is an incredible freshman campaign. Talk about your decision last year to take that year, and then just going into this year what that gave you knowing how well you wrestled as a redshirt.
HAYDEN HIDLAY: Well, when I talked to Pat and the rest of the coaching staff, they had it pretty set in stone that my plan was going to be to redshirt, learn from older guys in the room, people like Pete Renda, Tommy Gantt, Kevin Jack, be around those guys, kind of soak in how they work and what their competitive drive is, and then whenever I was able to take the stage this year. I was going to be able to have the same results that they’ve had in the past. It obviously has paid off.

I took some lumps in the redshirt year, I think I had a couple losses, but just the training day in and day out and you didn’t get to see as much competition, that was really hard for me. So I was able to learn a lot from that and take the next step into the scene this year.

Q. I know you’re focused on yourself, but when you look up at the team score, you see NC State in fifth place right now, I believe. That’s got to feel pretty good.
HAYDEN HIDLAY: Absolutely. I think just the whole process that we’ve been taught since my day one here with the class that was brought in by Pat and all the other coaches, they told us that we were going to be in moments like this, and they wanted us to lead the charge. So thankfully I’ve had really great leadership from seniors like Pete Renda, Kevin Jack, and Michael Macchiavello, this new wave of us, we’re running to the top five and we want to compete for a team trophy.

Category: High School Wrestling

Leave a Reply