Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: North Hills’ Sam Hillegas
By: Likitha Janga
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | 1:39 PM
Wrestler of the week: Sam Hillegas, jr., North Hills
Sam Hillegas won PIAA wrestling championships each of the past two years, and he looks well on his way to another one this spring.
The North Hills junior won his second consecutive title at the Allegheny County tournament, dominating a difficult 132-pound bracket that included two other previous county champions.
Hillegas wrestled five matches in the county tournament at Fox Chapel and won by pin in each one; just one bout reached even the second period. He pinned Quaker Valley sophomore Conner Redinger — a defending county champion — in 53 seconds in the championship match. For his performance, Hillegas was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
In addition to the championship, Hillegas reached a personal milestone by getting his 100th career victory with a quarterfinal pin of Montour’s Nick Reconnu.
JohnRocco Kazalas, sr., Quaker Valley: The Binghamton recruit won the difficult 145-pound weight class at the Allegheny County Tournament, earning his first county title. Kazalas won twice by pin and once by technical fall to reach the finals, where he earned a hard-fought, 6-3 decision over Mt. Lebanon’s Jackson Gray in the finals.
Max Shaw, sr., Thomas Jefferson: Tied with Hampton’s Justin Hart in the final period of their Allegheny County Tournament 195-pound final, the star football player/wrestler used a football-style tackle for the winning takedown to claim his first county title. Shaw was one of three individual champions for TJ, which won the county team title for the first time.
Luke Stout, jr., and Mac Stout, fr., Mt. Lebanon: The Stout brothers lived up to their name at the Allegheny County Tournament, both securing individual championships. Luke Stout won his third title in as many tries by pinning all four of his opponents in the 182-pound bracket, including a second-period pin of Keystone Oaks’ Nick Whittington in the finals. Mac Stout came into his first county tournament as the fifth seed at 160, but he knocked off No. 2 Grant Walnoha of Upper St. Clair with a major decision in the semifinals, then beat Quaker Valley’s Patrick Cutchember by decision in the finals. Mac Stout joined his older brothers Luke and Kellan as county champions.
Ryan Sullivan, sr., Shaler: The defending PIAA champion earned both his 100th career victory and his second consecutive Allegheny County championship with a dominant performance in the 120-pound bracket. Sullivan won his first four matches by technical fall, then pinned Allderdice’s Troy Jacobson in the finals in 1 minute, 47 seconds.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at [email protected] or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
ljanga is a Tribune-Review freelancer. You can contact ljanga at [email protected].