Kilkeary-Hohman, Priest-Roth rematches highlight WCCA championships

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Saturday, January 8, 2022 | 9:11 PM


“Until we meet again.”

That’s what four Westmoreland County wrestlers have in store for the rest of the season.

And that’s what Latrobe junior Vinny Kilkeary and Penn-Trafford senior Troy Hohman, and Hempfield senior Briar Priest and Latrobe junior Nate Roth said after their matches Saturday at the 69th annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament at Kiski Area.

This time, Kilkeary and Priest celebrated county titles. For Kilkeary, it was his third trip to the finals and second title. Priest claimed his third title by reversing a loss to Roth on Wednesday.

All four agreed future meetings are in store.

Kilkeary used a takedown at the buzzer to edge Hohman, 3-1, in the 120-pound final. He was awarded the takedown after official Tim Williams conferred with side official Joe Makara.

“Me and Troy go way back,” Kilkeary said. “We’ve gotten much better, both of us. We wrestle every week in the room, and it’s always fun to go out and compete on the mat in singlets.”

The two exchanged escapes before Kilkeary attempted one more takedown.

“I just missed on the first one, so I said let’s rip one more,” Kilkeary said. “I didn’t want to go into overtime. So I decided to take another chance.”

He said the takedown was an inside step.

Hohman was coming off his biggest tournament win when he claimed the 120-pound title at Powerade. He wanted to face Kilkeary and others to continue to improve. Kilkeary finished fifth at Powerade.

While Hohman came up short, he said he learned not to let it up to the referee.

“I need to get to my attacks quicker,” Hohman said. “I don’t have any regrets. I wrestled tough. He wrestled tough. I can’t be disappointed in myself.”

Not to be outdone was the match between Priest and Roth at 138.

On Wednesday, Roth defeated Priest, 8-5. This match was a different with Priest outscoring Roth, 10-3.

“I didn’t have a gameplan for Nate the first time we wrestled,” Priest said. “I had a better idea how I wanted to wrestle him.

“It’s back-and-forth every time we face. Like (Latrobe coach Mark) Mears said, ‘Iron sharpens iron.’ It’s nice to have another title.”

Priest became the 42nd wrestler to become a three-time champion.

Roth, who won a county title as a freshman, lost to Priest 2-0 in the 2021 finals.

He said he’s looking forward to another rematch.

“I’m sure we’ll meet again,” Roth said. “There were a lot of flurries with him, and I got caught in one. I need to get back into the room and improve a lot. I need to work. I’m happy to be wrestling.”

And when Priest and Roth battle, the matches get crazy.

“I like the fireworks. It’s fun,” Roth said. “I love the sport of wrestling, and I want to keep going. I can’t wait to meet him again.”

Latrobe won the team title with 252 points. The Wildcats had eight finalists and four champions: Luke Willochell (106), Leo Joseph (113), Kilkeary and Jack Pletcher (152).

Hempfield was second with 188 points and three champions: Ethan Lebin (126), Eli Carr (132) and Priest. Lucas Kapusta lost to Franklin Regional senior Finn Solomon, 2-1, at 145.

Kiski Area finished third with 159.5 points and one champion: senior Enzo Morlacci (160), who claimed his second title. Ryan Klingensmith (132) finished second and was denied his second title.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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