MC dominates at Husky Duals

LEWISTOWN – There are two things Mifflin County wrestling coach Kirby Martin expects out of his wrestlers – consistency and all-out effort.

Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes there are blips in the radar, like the Central Mountain and Chambersburg dual meets. But at the Husky Duals on Saturday, there were no blips.

The Huskies were aggressive, sharp and consistent. They dominated the action from start to finish and came away with a 5-0 record and the team championship at the Husky Duals.

Mifflin County, now 14-4 on the season, defeated Wellsboro (66-6), Souderton (70-3), Pen Argyl (49-22), Conestoga Valley (33-22) and Penn Manor (51-12). For those scoring at home, that comes out to a 269-65 margin of victory.

The Huskies were dominant to say the least, and that dominance stems in part from Mifflin County’s entry into the Mid-Penn Conference this year.

“What I was hoping for was just consistency all day long and I felt that was a key to our victories today,” Martin said. “We’re learning some things when we wrestle these Mid-Penn teams. We picked up some strategies from them that I feel helped in today’s matches. It is so important to be able to take care of the little things in a dual meet.

“I mean even if a kid loses it’s not a failure if he does his job and doesn’t give up bonus points. I tried to emphasize that to the kids. It’s always a work in progress. What I want to see is that fire in their belly getting ready for district duals. That is our focus right now.”

Hayden Hidlay (113), Noah Stewart (126), Brandon Wilson (145), Joe Knarr (152-160) and Kyle Kahley (220) all went 5-0 on the day. Hidlay’s day was very short, 14 seconds to be exact, as he picked up four forfeit victories and the super fast pin. The 14-second fall of Wellsboro’s Tyler Evans set the school record for quickest fall. Hidlay is now 18-2 on the season.

Stewart (22-5) had two falls and two major decisions. Knarr (19-9) collected two falls, a tech fall and a major and Wilson (18-5) and Kahley (19-6) didn’t allow a takedown to any of their opponents.

“There were a lot of components to that (lopsided scores). The kids scoring bonus points when we needed to and kids not giving up bonus points. Keeping their matches to regular decisions. That’s just good team wrestling and I was very proud of what they did today,” Martin said. “The Chambersburg match I thought we would win it, but they did a good job of taking care of the little things, like not giving up bonus points and we learned from that and it showed today. I just want to be consistent and be ready for district duals.”

Daulton Wilson (106), Isaac Underhill (120) and Lucas Besch (132) went 4-1 on the day. Wilson (16-9) scored two falls, Underhill (24-6) picked up two falls and a technical fall and Besch (17-8) continued the bonus point barrage for the Huskies with two falls of his own.

McKenon Todaro (160-170), Tre Carter (195) and Caleb Rhodes (285) went 3-2, while Kevin Bair (138) and Keith Corson (170) were 2-2. Wyatt Renninger (182) was 2-3, Luke Bender (138) was 1-0 and Carter Saxton was 0-1 at 152.

Saxton had the misfortune of going up against his second state champ in a week. Saxton lost to Chambersburg’s Garrett Hammond on Thursday and fell to Pen Argyl’s Mikey Racciato on Saturday. Racciato won the Outstanding Wrestler Award.

“Once again I believe wrestling in the Mid-Penn has helped us considerably,” Martin said. “We know we have to wrestle a full six minutes. Your conditioning has to be good and you cannot be lax in matches because the talent level of the Mid-Penn is very high right now.

“Iron sharpens iron. It is helping us. Would I say we are at the level of a Central Dauphin, Cumberland Valley or Chambersburg? Not yet. But we are getting there.”

Conestoga Valley and Pen Argyl rounded out the top three to earn medals. Penn Manor, Souderton and Wellsboro finished fourth through sixth respectively.

Next up for the Huskies will be a showdown with Mid-Penn Commonwealth power house Central Dauphin, the second-ranked team in the state.

“If we can wrestle like we did today, I’m excited. If we wrestle like we did against Chambersburg, I’m concerned,” Martin replied. “I just want consistency from one match to the next. Win or lose, I just want to be consistent. We need to keep that fire in our bellies.”