Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: North Hills’ Sam Hillegas

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 1:22 PM

WRESTLER OF THE WEEK: Sam Hillegas, jr., North Hills

One of the most dominant wrestlers in the state, Hillegas continued his mastery of opponents by winning his third consecutive WPIAL Class AAA championship.

Hillegas (39-0) rolled through the 132-pound bracket, pinning his first three opponents — one in 29 seconds, another in 37 and a third in 1 minute, 57 seconds — to reach the final, where he beat Latrobe’s Gabe Willochell by 18-2 technical fall. He was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

Next, Hillegas will turn his sights to Hershey, where he’ll go for a third straight PIAA title.

Other nominees

Colton Camacho, sr., Franklin Regional: The Pitt recruit lost twice this season to Kiski Area’s Darren Miller, but he avenged that in the WPIAL championships, beating Miller, 4-2, in the 126-pound final. It was the second consecutive WPIAL championship for Camacho, who next will look to improve upon his PIAA runner-up finish from last season.

Cam Connor, sr., Kiski Area: Connor joined teammate Jack Blumer as the fifth and sixth two-time WPIAL champ in school history by winning the 152-pound bracket. After two pins to open the tournament, the Penn recruit held off Waynesburg’s Luca Augustine in the semifinals and beat Thomas Jefferson’s Alex Weber by major decision in the finals.

Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, so., Seneca Valley: He won a PIAA title but not a WPIAL one last season, but the sophomore rectified that at the WPIAL Class AAA championships by winning the 113-pound weight class. After a pin, technical fall and decision led him to the finals, Herrera-Rondon beat Hempfield’s Kyle Burkholder by major decision to claim the title.

Kurtis Phipps, jr, Norwin: The 120-pounder joined Hillegas as a three-time WPIAL champion last weekend, getting a pin and two major decisions to reach the final, where he beat Belle Vernon’s Logan Seliga by decision. A PIAA runner-up last season, he’ll attempt to become Norwin’s first state wrestling champion this weekend.

Jake Slinger, sr., Upper St. Clair: It was a productive weekend for the heavyweight, who became both Upper St. Clair’s all-time winningest wrestler and a WPIAL champion for the first time after beating Mt. Lebanon’s Nathan Hoaglund in the finals. He takes a perfect record into Hershey for the PIAA tournament.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, or via Twitter .

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