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Stevens, Hedash continue tradition

  • tj engle/times news Northern Lehigh wrestlers Nikko Stevens (left) and Colin Hedash both recently recorded their 100th career victories.
    tj engle/times news Northern Lehigh wrestlers Nikko Stevens (left) and Colin Hedash both recently recorded their 100th career victories.
Published February 24. 2011 05:00PM

A few weeks ago, Colin Hedash and Nikko Stevens followed in the footsteps of some successful wrestlers close to their hearts.

Over the last few years, Hedash watched both of his older brothers win 100 matches as Northern Lehigh wrestlers.

For Stevens it was his uncle and current Bulldog assistant coach Whitey Chlebove, who reached the milestone back in the 1990's with a Northampton program.

Hedash and Stevens earned a place next to their family members as both recently scored their 100th career varsity victories.

"We have a lot of family tradition here and I think that's a big part of it," Northern Lehigh coach Todd Herzog said. "The younger brothers came through, or the nephew also in this case, and they wanted their families to be proud."

Stevens and Hedash both reached the coveted mark on the same day, during a double-dual meet late last month. They both went into the meet with 98 wins and left with their names in the history books.

Stevens scored a pin in one minute and 25 seconds in his 140-pound match. Six bouts later, Hedash raised his arm victoriously after a 14-4 major decision at 215.

"It was pretty neat because we always have been good friends since Nikko moved here in junior high," Hedash said. "We were able to keep the same winning percentage throughout tournaments and dual meets throughout our career and then we wound up getting our 100th win on the same day."

Hedash joins brothers Casey (104 career wins) and Craemer (100) on the list of Bulldogs to reach the century mark.

Herzog, who has been with the program for 16 years, has now coached 19 of the 22 Bulldogs to record 100 career wins. It was the first time two of his wrestlers reached the milestone on the same day.

"Some schools don't have two in their school's history," Herzog said. "For us to see two happen on the same night, that was incredible. I don't even know if I ever had two get it in the same week, let alone all in the same night. It was unique and it was a fun situation for two deserving kids."

Hedash is up to 113 career wins, tied for ninth on the Northern Lehigh career win list with Jim Milot (1983). Stevens has 109 heading into this weekend's district tournament and is tied for 14th with Justin Herzog (2001).

Stevens, who will wrestle at 135 in the postseason, is happy to have the milestone behind him and ready to focus on advancing through and maybe winning some titles along the way.

"I really don't keep track of wins, losses and things like that," said Stevens, who placed sixth at states last year. "I just want to go out and wrestle whoever is in front of me. I don't know names or anything like that. I just go out and wrestle. It definitely feels good to have that 100th win down.

"Hopefully I get a lot more down the road before the season is over. I want to do real good at districts, regionals and states to pile more wins on that mark."

While Stevens is the No. 2 seed in his weight class, Hedash is the No. 1 seed in the 171-pound weight class and districts is where he plans to put a memorable ending on his career at Northern Lehigh.

Hedash echoed his teammate's thoughts about concentrating on the postseason. He knows 100 wins is a great accomplishment, but the focus right now is forward.

"I guess it (reaching 100 career wins) will mean more when I look back on things," said Hedash, who would like to add a state gold to his fourth and fifth place PIAA medals. "But, right now, it really doesn't matter how I finish in districts or regionals; that weekend at states, I want to show up and put on a good show."

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