Grappler Underhill leads local Mid-Penn All-Star contingent
Mifflin County sophomore Isaac Underhill didn’t win a district title. He just missed going to states. And he was a runner-up for the Rod Tate Award in his second year as a member of the Mifflin County wrestling team.
But he did accomplish one thing that none of his teammates were able to match – he was named to the first team of the Mid-Penn Conference Commonwealth Division all stars.
Underhill had an outstanding year his coach Kirby Martin said. He was the team leader in wins and wins by fall. Overall, Martin said, his improvement from a year ago was notable, taking him to the cusp of an appearance in the PIAA championships.
“Underhill did not lose a Mid-Penn match,” Martin said, explaining why he was a good candidate for the top squad. “The Mid-Penn all stars were based mostly on how the kids did in the duals we had with our other Mid-Penn opponents.”
Underhill, a 120-pounder, didn’t lose too many, period.
His overall record for the season was 34-10. He ended the campaign as a runner-up in the District 6 Class AAA tournament and was fourth, one place shy of advancing, in the Class AAA Northwest Regional.
Three others from the team were voted to the second squad: Hayden Hidlay (113 pounds), Noah Stewart (126) and heavyweight Caleb Rhodes.
Hidlay’s freshman season was filled with accolades, starting with the No. 2 spot in the King of the Mountain tournament. He won the District 6 title in his weight class and was regional runner-up, advancing to states. He led the team in takedowns on the way to a 28-7 record – short, perhaps, because he missed part of the season with an injury.
Martin said Hidlay is a “hard worker, has no fear of competition. (His) only losses this year were to the PIAA state champion and placewinners.”
Stewart, another ninth grader and one of the Huskies’ young guns who helped define the team’s first year in the Mid-Penn, is another hard worker, Martin said. He also won a district title, and ended the year with a 31-7 record.
“(He’s a) fierce competitor, hates to lose,” Martin said.
Rhodes earned his selection in the regular season, rolling up a 16-14 overall record but contributing in dual meets.
“We were very thankful to have him wrestle heavyweight this year,” Martin said. “(He) made improvements all season long and finished strong by going 2-2 at regionals.”
Martin said it was difficult to pick all stars by weight class because so many of the wrestlers moved up and down in Commonwealth Division competition.
“Still – to have four all stars from a conference that had Central Dauphin, Cumberland Valley, and Chambersburg is a fine accomplishment,” he said. “It does speak volumes for the talent we have in our program.”