LEWISTOWN - With winning comes recognition. In sports, that recognition leads to awards and honors.
For the wrestling squads from Mifflin County, Juniata and Midd-West high schools, it means all-star selections in the Mid-Penn Conference, Tri-Valley League and Heartland Conference, respectively.
The Huskies placed five on the 2013-14 All Mid-Penn Conference team with Hayden Hidlay (138) and Trey Hartsock (182) earning first-team honors. Noah Stewart (152), Timmy Pearce (195) and Kyle Kahley (220) made the second team.
The Indians had Jared Benner (152); Derek Beitz (160), Taylor Foster (182) and Ty Treaster (195) make the TVL All-Stars. The league selects only one team.
In addition, Juniata coach Mike Robinson was selected TVL co-coach of the year, sharing the award with Upper Dauphin's Todd Rupp.
Midd-West's Corey Stauffer (113), Tanner Ebright (132) and Alex Lieberman (170)
Hidlay finished his sophomore season with a 38-5 mark and a sixth-place finish at states. He won his second District 6 Class AAA title and his first Northwest Regional crown. Hartsock, just a sophomore, ended his first varsity campaign with a 31-12 record, winning district and regional titles. He failed to place at Hershey, going 0-2.
"Making first team Mid-Penn, especially in our division, is a huge accomplishment because we are wrestling big schools that are part of the wrestling elite in our state. It helps putting kids in the first team because it builds notoriety for our program," Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin said. "It's huge that we have two more years with Hayden and Trey. The accomplishments they had this year were great and both are hungry to do much more before their careers are over."
Stewart and Pearce were state qualifiers with the latter capturing a District 6 championship at 195 after being a backup at 138 a season ago. Stewart, just a sophomore, was a district and regional runner-up who posted a 34-10 record. Pearce ended a solid senior campaign with a 33-10 mark. Kahley fought through an injury-riddled senior season and failed to get back to Hershey after qualifying a year ago. He ended the season at 11-6.
"They were significant in our team's success, especially during the dual meet season. We could count on them for consistent wins," Martin said. "Being state qualifiers was huge this season. Timmy always wanted to get there; unfortunately, it had to be his senior year when he did it.
"Noah had a great season and hopefully that translates to the podium and possibly a future state championship. Kyle had a tough season. He just didn't seem to click this year. He had injuries throughout the year. He never put in a solid stretch of practices and competitions to get where he wanted to be. Effort and attitude were there, just a lot of obstacles in the way. The upper weights anchored our lineup this year."
Benner (32-8) placed fifth in the District 6 Class AA tournament, one short of moving on to regionals. Beitz (39-5) placed third in districts, but failed to get out of regionals. Foster (32-10) placed sixth at districts, while Treaster (24-14) didn't escape districts.
"All four were our captains this year. It was nice to see two seniors make first team. They had excellent seasons. It's just an added bonus they were voted first team TVL. They represented themselves very well in the league and the tournament trail. Being nominated is a great way to finish out their season here," Robinson said. "Treaster and Foster are juniors who have an exceptional work ethic. I look forward to having great seasons out of them next year.
"Derek Beitz finished out his senior year with 100 wins and trip to regionals. He showed a lot of character where he stands as a wrestler. One of his losses was a one-point loss to the state runner-up (Jared Walker of South Fayette). Derek was an exceptional leader on our team. Benner is a hard-nosed young man. We enjoyed having him. He's a lot of fun to work with. He made a name for himself in Juniata wrestling."
Robinson, a former PIAA runner-up at Lewistown in 1984, is looking forward to another year of wrestling from Foster and Treaster.
"Foster is one of the strongest young men I've ever coached. He takes his training and weightlifting seriously and it shows. The season Taylor had was exceptional. He hasn't been wrestling long but we expect big things from him next season," Robinson said. "Treaster is an all-around good athlete. He does a lot of extra work in the offseason. He's dedicated to the sport of wrestling and wrestling has helped him out in other sports. We look forward to both of them returning and we wish Derek and Jared best of luck in their future endeavors."
Robinson led the Indians to a 17-win season, a berth in the District 6 Class AA team tournament and a share of the TVL championship, earning him a share of coach of the year honors.
"It's an honor to be voted on as co-coach of the year. We had a very competitive league this year. You see the performance and the numbers growing in the TVL," Robinson said. "I'm very happy to receive this honor. I just want to thank everyone who gave their support for Juniata wrestling. The community support we have is unreal."
Midd-West's Lieberman made it to states for the second year in a row after working through a season in which he wrestled at three different weights.
"He consistently got matched up with the best wrestler at those weights," Mustangs coach Clint Swartz said. "He was a great quiet leader in the room."
Stauffer failed to make it back to Hershey; he and Ebright ended as Class AA Northeast regional wrestlers.
Stauffer was a "consistent winner for us and a good wrestler to start our lineup. He helped improve the lightweights in practice room by being a good drill partnerm," Swartz said. "(Ebright) was counted on for a lot of wins this year. He wrestled up a weight most of the year to help the team."