Penn-Trafford wrestlers get needed win thanks to 2 football players

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Sunday, December 19, 2021 | 11:01 AM


After an extended and rewarding football season for Joe Enick, the junior probably could have taken a few weeks off before he started the wrestling season.

But Enick didn’t want to let his teammates down in a key WPIAL Class 3A Section 1B battle against Plum on Dec. 15.

They needed him and he delivered.

Enick got a pin against Olandis Freeman at 1:14 in the heavyweight match to cap a 33-30 come-from-behind victory.

Pins by Adam Hall at 189 and Owen Ott at 215 set up Enick’s clincher.

“Joe came to me at lunch time and got all his paperwork in order,” Penn-Trafford coach A.J. Brentzel said. “I didn’t expect him back until January, but he came back for his teammates. It was his teammates who asked him if he could wrestle. He and Tasso (Whipple) made a difference.”

It was a team win for the Warriors as numerous wrestlers stepped up to defeat an improved Plum squad.

The Warriors also got a pin from North Carolina State commit Troy Hohman at 126 and then three tight wins from Hayden Coy at 132, Whipple at 152 and Dominic Hartman at 160.

Coy pulled out a clutch 2-0 win against Nino Walker; Whipple edged Dakoda Pisano, 8-7; and Hartman nipped Jack Tongal, 3-2.

“It was a must win for us,” Brentzel said. “Plum is a good team. Having Joe and Tasso show up showed the solidarity of the team. They showed up for their teammates.”

Brentzel said Coy’s win was also huge.

Penn-Trafford opened the season by placing tenth at the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway. The Warriors finished with 89.5 points. The team was missing numerous starters for various reasons.

Hohman won the 126-pound title by defeating Kiski Area’s Ryan Klingensmith, 13-2. He also defeated Franklin Regional’s Justin Bass, 21-5, in the semifinals, pinned Bethel Park’s Aden Stout in the quarterfinals and pinned Highlands’ Montrell Johnson in the opening round.

Wesley Stull placed third at 172 pounds and Ott finished fifth at 189.

Stull missed the Plum match.

Brentzel said he hopes the team will continue to improve after finishing second to Franklin Regional in Section 1B and falling 39-36 to Kiski Area in the Section 1 finals.

The Warriors then dropped a 46-18 decision to Connellsville in the WPIAL Class 3A Team Tournament quarterfinals.

“We’ll be a different team later in the season,” Brentzel said. “The lineup will adjust when we get the two-pound allowance.”

Brentzel said he is also excited to see how the team comes together, especially Hohman, Coy and Whipple, a freshman.

“Troy is a different wrestler,” Brentzel said. “He’s stronger and more physical. He’s a team leader.”

Penn-Trafford will compete in the Powerade Tournament on Dec. 29-30. The Warriors had dual meets scheduled against Gateway on Dec. 22 and Hempfield on Dec. 23.

“I’ll find out more about our team the next few weeks,” Brentzel said. “We’re building the program to compete in the WPIAL tournament.”

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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