Powerade wrestling notebook: North Hills’ Hillegas makes return

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Sunday, December 31, 2017 | 12:26 AM


North Hills sophomore Sam Hillegas is finally back on the wrestling mat this week at the Powerade Tournament.

Hillegas missed the first month of the season while recovering from a cauliflower ear that was drained a few times according to North Hills coach Jose Martinez.

The 2017 WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion and Powerade winner at 113 pounds in '16 settled for a third-place finish at 126 pounds after falling 2-0 to Wyoming Seminary sophomore Beau Bartlett. He defeated DuBois sophomore Ed Scott, 10-0, in the third-place match.

“The canal in his ear with filling up with blood, so we had it drained,” Martinez said. “We wanted to wrestle in this tournament. We have special headgear for him, but he didn't wear it.

“Beau is a good rider, and we couldn't score. We'll have to change our attack, but it was good for him to get back on the mat.

Young man

Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) eighth grader Nic Bouzakis is the youngest wrestler to compete in the tournament, and to the surprise of many, he reached the finals at 113 pounds. He also was the youngest to claim a Powerade title, easily defeating Reynolds junior Beau Bayless, 10-4.

Yes, he's in eighth grade and he made the finals in one of the prestigious tournaments in the country. By the way, he's already a Florida state champion at 106 pounds.

Wrestlers are allowed to compete on the varsity team in Florida in seventh grade.

Bouzakis was 23-0 and won the Class 1A title for Citrus Park Christian in Tampa in 2017. He transferred to Lake Highland Prep in Orlando.

Tough night

The WPIAL had eight wrestlers in the finals, but only Norwin sophomore Kurtis Phipps and Canon-McMillan senior Logan Macri won titles.

The Powerade committee made the 126-pound match between Jefferson-Morgan senior Gavin Teasdale and Wyoming Seminary's Bartlett the showcase match.

It was exciting, with Bartlett stunning the previously undefeated Teasdale, 4-3.

The first final of the night — 132 pounds — was just as exciting with Wyoming Seminary freshman Carson Manville edging Lake Highland Prep senior Joey Silva, 3-2, in ultimate tiebreaker. Silva was ranked No. 1 in the country by Intermat and FloWrestling.

There were no major decisions, technical falls or pins in the finals.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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