3 WPIAL wrestlers emerge from star-studded field to win Powerade gold

Thursday, December 30, 2021 | 9:21 PM

Penn-Trafford senior Troy Hohman hadn’t won a big wrestling tournament before Thursday.

But he did something that can elevate his career.

Hohman escaped with 11 seconds left to defeat Malvern Prep sophomore Jack Consiglio, 4-3, in the 120-pound final at the prestigious 55th Powerade Wrestling Tournament to claim the biggest win of his career. He had won the Eastern Invitational twice.

Hohman, who was seeded fifth, jumped out to a 3-1 lead before Consiglio, the 2020 champion at 106, tied the score with a takedown with 23 seconds left at Canon-McMillan High School.

The N.C. State signee then reached behind the head of Consiglio, arched his back and flipped free for the winning escape. It was a move he and his father, Larry, a 1988 runner-up, talked about.

“It wasn’t there the first time I used it, and I almost gave up back points,” Hohman said. “When I reached back the next time, I felt it was there and went for it.”

Hohman, who is expected to wrestle at 126 pounds next week at the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament, won a loaded weight class that included Waynesburg sophomore Joe Simon and Latrobe junior Vinny Kilkeary.

But Hohman has bigger goals ahead. Winning Powerade was just one of them. He finished fourth in the PIAA Class 3A tournament at 113 in 2020.

Two Pitt recruits — Mt. Lebanon senior Mac Stout and Mt. Pleasant senior Dayton Pitzer — also won.

Stout defeated Wyoming Seminary freshman Jude Correa, 4-2, in the 189 final, and Pitzer used a reversal in overtime to edge Blair Academy senior T.J. Stewart, 4-2. Pitzer stopped Stewart from winning the December trifecta of the Ironman, Beast of the East and Powerade tournaments.

Mac Stout joined his siblings, Kellan (2014) and Luke (2019), as possibly the first set of brothers to win Powerade titles. Powerade Tournament director Frank Vulcano Jr. said he was unsure if they were the first to win.

“I don’t know if it’s a fact, but all my hard work paid off,” Mac Stout said. “I knew when I’m wrestling my match, I can beat anyone. I was really happy for Dayton. It was an awesome win. I’m super excited for my future teammate.”

Pitzer gave up the first takedown to Virginia Tech commit Stewart. But he tied the match with two escapes and in the third period didn’t let Stewart escape.

After a scoreless sudden-death period, Pitzer took bottom and hit a quick switch for a two-point reversal and a 4-2 lead. He wouldn’t allow Stewart to escape in his overtime period and celebrated the win.

“It was a tough tournament and tough match,” Pitzer said. “A couple weeks ago we were recalling my freshman year when I let up a lot of first takedowns. But the biggest thing I learned was there was still a lot of time left to make up the difference.

“It’s something I didn’t want to do, but I keep mentally strong and kept pushing through the match.”

Pitzer said winning the title means a lot after finishing second last year.

“Coach Robbie (Waller) said at practice that the Powerade is not the end all, be all,” he said. “There is definitely a lot of work left in the season.”

Pitzer is looking to become at three-time PIAA and WPIAL Class 2A champion.

Thomas Jefferson freshman Maddox Shaw opened some eyes even though he dropped a heart-breaking 5-4 decision to Wyoming Seminary freshman Vince Bouzakis in the 126-pound final.

“I think people knew who I was coming into the tournament,” Shaw said. “If they didn’t, they know who I am now. I learned a lot that when I’m on my feet I have to be more effective. It almost hurt me in a couple of my matches. I wasn’t able to get the first takedown, but, fortunately, it worked out for me.”

His brother, Max, was a Powerade champion in 2018.

West Allegheny junior Ty Watters had a solid tournament until the finals when he fell to Wyoming Seminary junior Meyer Shapiro, 7-0. Shapiro was ranked No. 1 in the state by FloWrestling and No. 4 in the country. Watters was unranked at 145.

Waynesburg junior Mac Church also came up short in the finals, falling 3-2 to Wyoming Seminary senior Nic Bouzakis at 132 pounds. Nic Bouzakis was a Powerade champion as an eighth grader for Lake Highlands, Fla., in 2017.

Pitzer won the award for most falls in the least amount of time, and Malvern Prep heavyweight Nic Feldman, who won his second consecutive Powerade title, was awarded the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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