After a marked one-year improvement at the Pennsylvania Independent School Wrestling Tournament (PAISWT) saw Hill qualify seven competitors for the 2020 National Prep Championship, the team sought to take another step forward from a year ago. In 2019, all three of Hill’s competitors were unexpectedly eliminated on the first day of the two-day, double-elimination tournament.
Competitors who place in the top-eight of their weight class are considered National Prep All Americans. As the Hill team piled into school vans to travel from Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena to the historic Hotel Bethlehem for the annual Hill Wrestling Association end-of-year dinner, three team members did so with medals around his neck and All-American designation, helping lead Hill to a 17th place finish out of 121 competing teams, an improvement of 24 places from a year ago.
It is another indication that Hill Wrestling is on the rise.
Kade Davidheiser ’23 finished fifth at 106, Kelvin Griffin ’22 placed sixth at 126, and Sam Beckett ’22, who spent most of the season competing at 138, placed sixth at 145.
Davidheiser, who reached the public school Regional round with Boyertown High School in 2019, finishes the season with a record of 32-11 and third-place finishes at the PAISWT and the prestigious Prep Slam tournament. Griffin, a National Prep veteran, placed sixth a year ago at 113 while competing for Brooks School before transferring to Hill this year. Known for his relentlessness while on top, Griffin led the team with 37 wins in 50 bouts. His decorated season included top-five finishes at the Beast of the East, Escape the Rock, and Prep Slam tournaments, and he was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Invitational, a tournament that Hill won. Beckett, meanwhile, made his second-consecutive trip to National Preps in a Hill singlet. He competed at 138 until PAISWT, when he bumped up to 145 and placed third.
Joey Asterino ’23, Ethan Kreuzberg ’21, Michael Stevens ’20, and Derek Schmaeling ’21 also competed at National Preps but were eliminated prior to the final rounds.
After the event, all team members were joined by 12 Hill Wrestling alumni representing six decades at Hotel Bethlehem for the annual HWA reception.