Kibe brings football skills to the mat
Huskies seek 4th gold in as many years
HERSHEY — It’s a good thing Trey Kibe got so much experience at linebacker during the football season.
The Mifflin County sophomore found that his skills playing defense were necessary to propel him into the final four of the PIAA Class 3A wrestling championships Friday at Hershey’s Giant Center.
It worked, and he gutted out a 4-2 sudden victory win in the 160-pound quarterfinals over Dylan Reinert of Gettysburg. After dropping out of the medal race a year ago, Kibe clinched hardware and will wrestle this morning in the semifinals and a chance to try for gold.
Mifflin County wrestlers have taken home gold in each of the last three state tournaments — Hayden Hidlay in 2016 and Trent Hidlay the past two years.
Kibe’s semifinal opponent this morning will be Luca Frinzi of Bethlehem Catholic, a 37-8 senior who has followed a similar path through the tournament — two decisions, the second one closer than the other — to get to this point. Kibe (39-1) was a regional champion, while Frinzi was runner-up in the Class 3A Northeast Regional.
Against Reinert, Kibe scored first — defensively; an escape — then tied the match on another escape after Reinert scored the first takedown.
“It wasn’t one of my best matches,” Kibe said. “I let him dictate the pace, let him use his offense. I was defending a lot of his shots most of the match but it wasn’t a very good match.”
The flurry of scoring took place in the second period. The first and third periods were scoreless. Kibe takes some of the blame for that — he didn’t go after the Gettysburg wrestler.
“Sometimes I’m just tentative to pull the trigger on my shots. I’ve been working on my neutral — it’s by far my weakest position,” Kibe said. “I’m getting better but I need to pull the trigger more times on my shots in bigger matches.
“Sometimes in big matches wrestlers tend to freeze up, to not get to their offense,” — that, he said, was his potential downfall. And it allowed Reinert to frustrate Kibe.
“I wouldn’t say frustrating but he had heavy hands, he was good at hand fighting,” the Husky grappler said. “He moved me and he got to his shots so I give him credit for that.”
Here’s what else Kibe gave his opponent: a trip to the consolation bracket. Just 15 seconds into the sudden victory overtime, Kibe got the takedown and the win.
“I’m in the semis now, so that’s guaranteed top six place,” he said. “I’m getting a state medal — that feels amazing. But I’m looking for more. I’m going to go see who I have next and give it all I got.”
Mifflin County’s second remaining entry, 106-pounder Nic Allison, won a difficult second consolation round match against Bethlehem Catholic’s Dante Frinzi, 2-1. Frinzi escaped with 20 seconds left in the match, its first score, but Allison got a takedown to win with one second left on the clock.
But Allison lost an overtime match to Easton’s Braxton Appello to end his freshman season.
PIAA Class 3A championships
160: Trey Kibe, Mifflin County, dec. Dylan Reinert, Gettysburg, 4-2 SV
Second consolation round
106: Nic Allison, Mifflin County, dec. Dante Frinzi, Bethlehem Catholic, 2-1
Third consolation round
106: Braxton Appello, Easton, dec. Nic Allison, Mifflin County, 6-4 SV