HERSHEY - There are 112 bouts wrestled in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA tournament. There are seven possible types of outcomes, although more often than not, it's one of the four scoring types of victories a wrestler earns on the mat.
Thursday, Hayden Hidlay became the exception to the rule.
Mifflin County's 113-pound freshman was set to take on Central Dauphin's Austin Camacci in the opening round of this year's event. Camacci was not there - illness befell the Ram senior, and Hidlay got a rare free pass into the second day of the tournament.
Sentinel photo by JEFF FISHBEIN
Mifflin County’s Kyle Kahley, left, is tied up by Solanco’s Thomas Haines in their 220-pound first-round bout in the PIAA Class AAA wrestling championships Thursday in Hershey.
Teammate Kyle Kahley had a longer day at the tournament, but a shorter stay - his season came to an end in the first consolation round, when he was pinned in the second period by Canon-McMillan's Alex Campbell.
Kahley was a victim of a difficult draw, which pitted him in the opening round against Solanco's Thomas Haines, who just happens to be the defending champion at 220 pounds. Kahley was simply overmatched in that one, giving up a takedown and two three-point tilts in the first period, then a reversal and a trio of two-point near falls quickly in the second, a 16-0 technical fall for Haines in 3:17.
Hidlay was disappointed Camacci had to forfeit.
"I've been looking forward to this all week. It's a little bit of a bummer coming in here and now I'm not going to get a match," Hidlay said. "I guess I've got to look at it as a win. You've got to take anything you can get down here in Hershey."
What Hidlay was hoping to do was the same thing he did when the two met in season: win.
"I beat him 6-4 earlier in the year, and I still had some things to improve on. I was hoping to do that," he said. "I hope he's alright with whatever happened to him. I'll just look forward to the match (today)."
Hidlay's draw for the quarterfinals is Zack Fuentes of Norristown, the senior Southeast region champion who brings a 43-4 record into the tournament. Hidlay, one of only two freshmen in the bracket, has his sights set on the other side - where the few wrestlers who beat him this year can be found.
The road to the top goes through Northwest region champ Jake Gromacki of Cathedral Prep, and the two opponents he faced in the team tournament, Parkland's Ethan Lizak and North Allegheny's Dom Forys, the latter two being top-ranked wrestlers he lost to in the state team tournament last month.
"It was a good test for me," Hidlay said. "They were both close matches. I'm looking forward to getting back at them this weekend."