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Wrangle delivers on fun for mat fans

LEWISTOWN — Wrangle in the Wild II lived up to all the hype and high expectations on Saturday evening at Mifflin County High School.

The event highlighted an evening of quality wrestling. Wrangle featured a mix of old and new from all age brackets and divisions.

For founders Hayden and Trent Hidlay, and Joey Bender, the night couldn’t have gone any better.

“The main impression I have from Wrangle II was the incredible community support. It was great to get families involved in a fun night of wrestling,” Hayden Hidlay said. “I was happy with how many people came up to us and said how fun it was for their kids to see. We want to continue to make it a community tradition, and getting families involved is a good start to making that happen.”

With more than 600 in attendance and hundreds more on the live stream, Wrangle II was a rousing triumph.

“The turnout for the event was great. We had around 650 people come out and pack the Mifflin County high school gym. You could tell there were some exciting moments during the matches, and it got loud,” said Trent, the younger Hidlay brother. “It was cool to see people winning the raffle prizes and wearing the Wrangle II shirts in the stands. I was happy with the performance of Wrangle II. Our main goals are to involve the community, enjoy watching wrestlers from our area compete and raise money for the local wrestling programs. We were able to accomplish all those things and it was a fun night for everyone involved.”

Chesney Auctioneering sponsored the Hammer Time squad. Smeltz & Aumiller supported the Roof Raisers.

An exciting dual meet ended with Hammer Time getting a 33-32 victory, the difference being Hammer Time won the fall battle 4-2. The Roof Raisers held an 8-7 lead in matches won. Both teams had four bonus-point wins.

Each match consisted of two periods of two minutes, with college scoring rules in effect.

“This year was elevated with the bigger venue, better matchups, and more sponsors involved. We were able to prove ourselves last year with the inaugural Wrangle in the Wild, so people were more interested in watching and helping us raise money for the local community’s wrestling program,” Trent said. “Everything was on a bigger scale and our marketing and promoting efforts increased. One of my favorite parts of the event is hearing the positive feedback from fans that tell us how much they enjoy the event. It makes me feel like we can bring a positive impact back into Mifflin County, which is exactly what we are shooting for.”

Hammer Time jumped out to a 24-10 lead by winning five of the first eight matches. Jase Atherton, Kaden Knouse and Avery Aurand led the way with pins.

The Roof Raisers rallied in the main event, winning five of seven, picking up the bonus in three bouts. Jake Boozel and Trey Shoemaker had pins, while Ronnie Garbinsky scored a major decision in the last match.

Logan Wise notched a fall and Trey Hartsock won by a decision to clinch the win for Hammer Time.

Matt Bonson, the all-time wins leader in county history with 159, and 2022 PIAA qualifier Kyler Everly squared off in the match of the night.

After a scoreless two periods, Bonson secured the takedown in overtime for the win.

“I believe both Wrangle I and Wrangle II delivered entertainment to the fans. This year’s wrestling was even better, evidenced by the one-point team score differential,” Hayden said. “The elevated event added a few instances of extra work and volunteers, but it was very rewarding when it was all said and done. Thanks to the sponsors and all those who attended the event, we can’t wait to put on Wrangle III next August.”

Long-time referee Gary Barger served as the official.

In the end, the Wrangle isn’t about who wins and who loses. It’s about coming together. A gathering to celebrate the rich tradition of wrestling in Mifflin County.

And have a good time, too.

Wrangle in the Wild II

Hammer Time 33, Roof Raisers 32

Early Prelims

Jase Atherton (HT) pinned Lincoln Knable (RR).

Andrew “Goo” Alexander (RR) dec. Jake Knable (HT), 2-1.

Paxton Shawver (RR) major dec. Layten Bowersox (HT), 10-1.

Undercard

Kaden Knouse (HT) pinned Ben Snyder (RR).

Scott Hays (RR) dec. Chad Curry (HT), 3-2.

Avery Aurand (HT) pinned Jonah Kile (RR).

Kross Todaro (HT) dec. Garry Price (RR), 6-1.

Blaine Davis (HT) dec. Jake Ryan (RR), 4-1.

Main Event

Cody Johns (RR) dec. Jacob Schultz (HT), 5-4.

Jake Boozel (RR) pinned Jacob Cunningham (HT)

Logan Wise (HT) pinned Kyle Miller (RR)

Trey Shoemaker (RR) pinned Mason Grove (HT).

Trey Hartsock (HT) dec. Adam Stout (RR), 6-1.

Matt Bonson (RR) dec. Kyler Everly (HT), 2-0 (OT)

Ronnie Garbinsky (RR) major dec. Adam Will (HT), 8-0.

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