Husky Duo Look to Win PIAA Gold

| March 6, 2013 | 0 Comments
Hayden Hidlay looks to score points against Erie Prep's Jake Gromacki at the NW Regionals.

                                                     Photo by Tim Shumaker
Hayden Hidlay looks to score points against Erie Prep’s Jake Gromacki at the NW Regionals.

Kyle Kahley (Left) goes for the takedown on General McLane's Jake Baker at the NW Regionals.

                                                Photo by Tim Shumaker
Kyle Kahley (Left) goes for the takedown on General McLane’s Jake Baker at the NW Regionals.

The goal of every high school wrestler in Pennsylvania is to make it to Hershey and compete for a state championship.

It’s not easy. Most don’t make it. The ones who do had to work their tails off, make sacrifices and ignore bumps, bruises, aches and pains.

All the hard work is worth it though when you reach your goal. All the hardship and struggles vanish in a blink of an eye when you step on the mats of the Giant Center.

Mifflin County’s Hayden Hidlay and Kyle Kahley will experience that exhilarating feeling come Thursday at the PIAA Class AAA Championships. Action gets underway at 4 pm.

“Right now it’s business as usual. When we get down there, work out on the mats, we’ll take a little time to talk about the atmosphere, the jitters and how we’ll approach it,” said Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin. “Down there, I would want somebody to tell me you belong, you deserve to be here and when you step on the mat have no fear. It’s very important to attack and don’t be afraid of losing.

“You want them to enjoy the experience and go out and wrestle hard. Only 16 kids per weight get here, so it’s a big deal. The state of Pennsylvania is really tough in wrestling, so to be a state qualifier is huge. It’s something to really be proud of. We want to make sure they make the most of it.”

Hidlay, second in the Northwest Regionals at 113, brings a 27-5 mark into the tournament where he’ll face Central Dauphin’s Austin Camacci, a 32-9 senior.  Camacci, who spent three years as a backup on a deep Rams squad, has a 49-23 career mark.

The two met back in the January dual meet with the Husky freshman coming out on top with a 6-4 win.

“I didn’t want to change anything I was doing to prepare for this because you can’t change your wrestling style,” said Hidlay. “You just have to work at the little things you’re doing wrong, work hard and get a little sweat in. I feel like I’ve done that these last two days. I’ve had good practices.

“I was down about it (losing at regionals) on Saturday night. I woke up Sunday and saw the brackets and I said it doesn’t even matter about that I just have to worry about Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I was coming off an injury when I wrestled him (Camacci). I wrestled pretty well against him, but there was some things I need to work on and I’m ready. I can’t take him lightly even though I already beat him. You can’t take anybody lightly at states.

“I’ve been training hard all my life for this so I don’t really think I should be too worried about it. If I go there and do what I’m supposed to do, I’m going to do well. That’s how I look at it.”

Kahley, third in the regionals, has the unenviable task of facing Solanco junior Thomas Haines in the opening round. All Haines has done is win two state championships and boasts a career record of 128-5. He is rated No. 3 in the nation in his weight class by Intermat and has already committed to Penn State.

The Husky junior brings a 27-12 record into the tourney, while Haines stands in at 34-1, his only loss coming at the hands of phenom Kyle Snyder at the Powerade Tournament.

“There isn’t much more than I can do then wrestle who they put me up against,” said Kahley. “I have no butterflies. I already wrestled down there at team states. I like the big crowds, I like the spotlight. My work ethic is good and I’m trying to improve on my skills but nothing has changed, it’s just wrestling.

“I know my first match is Thomas Haines. It’s a great opportunity to wrestle someone as good as he is. My mindset is just to go out and wrestle hard and anything can happen. After that, whatever happens, happens, but if I would lose my mindset would be not to go 0-2. My goals is to get two wins and place at states.”

Tough task indeed. Tough, but not impossible. No wrestler is unbeatable. Even Cael Sanderson lost in freestyle competition.

For those who doubt and think I’ve gone off the deep end, do you remember Jeremy Lengle? If you’re too young to know who he is let me fill you in.

Lengle, from Pine-Richland High School, pulled off the biggest upset in PIAA history back in 1995 when he defeated Warrior Run’s Jason Betz in the semifinals of their 125-pound match.

Betz came into the contest with a 145-1 career record and on track for his fourth state championship. Lengle wasn’t given much of a chance and early on it didn’t look good. Then lightning struck.

Down 10-2, Lengle caught Betz in a spladle and pinned him in 3:45 as the stunned crowd looked on. Betz, who’s only loss until then was during his freshman season, failed in his attempt for four titles. Lengle lost in the finals and Betz settled for third.

What Lengle did proves one thing…nothing is impossible.

Kahley has his hands full and is a decided underdog, but confidence and belief in oneself can work magic. If the young man has those qualities alive in him, stranger things have happened. Just ask Jason Betz.

At states, everybody is back to 0-0. It doesn’t matter what happened before. The object was to qualify and Hidlay and Kahley did that. It’s a fresh slate for the Husky duo. The time has come to go for their dreams.

A PIAA title is within their grasp. Now all that’s left is to go and get it.



Category: High School Wrestling

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