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NC State sweeps ACC wrestling season honors

Hayden Hidlay was selected ACC Wrestler of the Year (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Led by a historic first by brothers Hayden and Trent Hidlay, Atlantic Coast Conference champion NC State has swept the league's season honors for 2019-20.

Hayden Hidlay (157 pounds) was selected the ACC Wrestler of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches, while Trent Hidlay (184) earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors. In addition, the Wolfpack's Pat Popolizio was chosen by his peers as the ACC Coach of the Year.

Hayden and Trent Hidlay are the first pair of brothers to claim both ACC major season wrestling awards (in the same year or otherwise). It marks the 10th time that an NC State student-athlete has been voted the ACC Wrestler of the Year and the fourth time a Wolfpack wrestler has been named the ACC Freshman of the Year.

Three NC State coaches have earned ACC Coach of the Year honors a total of nine times. Popolizio was recognized for the second time after guiding the Wolfpack to its 17th ACC title, tying for the most among current league schools. NC State's unbeaten dual season (15-0) was the first in the 91-year history of the program, and the Wolfpack ended the year ranked No. 3 nationally.

Hayden Hidlay, who earned a No. 2 NCAA seeding, finished the year 28-1 overall, including a 12-0 record in dual matches. The redshirt junior from Lewistown, Pennsylvania, claimed his third conference crown at 157 pounds and has never lost to an ACC opponent in a dual or tournament match. He was 10-1 versus fellow ranked opponents in 2019-20. Hidlay became the 11th wrestler in NC State program history to earn three ACC titles and was a three-time ACC Wrestler of the Week in 2019-20.

NC State has claimed five of the last seven ACC Wrestler of the Year honors.

Wrestling in the competitive 184-pound weight class that featured three conference wrestlers ranked among the nation's top six, Trent Hidlay earned All-ACC honors with a second-place finish at the ACC Championship and was seeded No. 5 nationally by the NCAA. The redshirt freshman, who was ranked among the nation's top three at 184 much of the year, finished 23-4 on the season, including a 14-1 dual record and six wins over fellow ranked opponents.

Popolizio's three league titles are the most among active ACC coaches. Hayden and Trent Hidlay were among eight NC State wrestlers that were NCAA qualifiers under his watch in 2019-20, four of which ranked among the top 10 and six of which were top-15 seeds.

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