Two-time state champ is two-time Tate recipient
LEWISTOWN — Trent Hidlay was honored Wednesday with the Rod Tate Award, which is presented annually to Mifflin County high school’s best wrestler.
Junior Christian Fisher finished second in the voting with freshman Trey Kibe coming in third.
Hidlay won the Tate for the second straight year after posting a 43-0 record at 170 pounds en route to his second PIAA championship. Hidlay went 81-0 without allowing a takedown in two seasons. The Husky senior finished his career with a 154-14 career record, making him the second winningest wrestler in the history of the county.
“I’m really fortunate to be surrounded by such a great group of guys, a team, and a community that cares for me and wants to see the best for me. Winning the Rod Tate Award is very special to me,” Hidlay said. “It’s a privileged to win this award. You look at all the names on the award and to be listed with these great wrestlers, some of them my mentors and role models, to be a part of history like that, is just the icing on the cake for my high school career. Now it’s time for me to move on to bigger and better things and keep progressing as a wrestler.”
This is the sixth year in a row a Hidlay won the Tate Award. Brother Hayden won four straight (2013-16) and Trent two. The Hidlay family now owns nine MERF/Big Lewie Awards with Heath Hidlay winning one in football and their father Mark capturing two in different sports (football and basketball), the only athlete in the history of the awards to do so.
“It says a lot about the work we’ve put in and the relationships we’ve had with the coaches and this team. and the goals we have and what we wanted to accomplish here at Mifflin County,” Hidlay said. “I remember one night texting my brother, I was in eighth grade, and he said we are going to be the best two brothers to come out of Mifflin County wrestling wise and I believed him.
“It all starts with a dream and a vision. It was a slow process. I had a lot of bumps in the road. In 10th grade, I had a lot of second-place finishes, but I continued to work hard and finally broke through.”
Reflecting back on his high school career, Hidlay credits that work ethic and a lofty vision for his success on the mat.
“It’s been a great four years, more than I could have ever asked for. It starts with a dream and a vision. I wasn’t that good coming into high school. I was talented but I didn’t win junior high state titles. I was never the best guy in the room,” Hidlay said. “One day me and my brother (Hayden) sat down and decided we wanted to do something special. I know it’s cliche to say hard work pays off but it’s the only way to accomplish anything in this sport.
“My vision was to be one of the best to ever come out of this school and be a great role model for the kids coming up. I want these younger guys to look up to me and I hope they pass me. I want to see the first three-time or four-time state champion in Mifflin County. I believe we can do that.”
Fisher finished eighth in the state at 113 pounds with a 33-10 record. He was a District 6 and Northwest Regional champion. Kibe won a district title, came in second at regionals and went 1-2 at states to end his freshman campaign at 38-8.
The Tate Award is presented annually by Big Lewie Radio to Mifflin County’s top wrestler. Nominees are voted on by local media, including The Sentinel, and representatives of the Mifflin County High School’s athletic department. Each voter chose three candidates, with points awarded to first, second and third-place vote recipients with the award going to the athlete with the highest vote total.