Penn-Trafford’s Hohman pulls off upset to reach WPIAL Class AAA wrestling semifinals

Friday, February 28, 2020 | 9:55 PM

Penn-Trafford sophomore Troy Hohman entered the 2020 WPIAL/PIAA Class AAA Southwest Regional wrestling tournament as sort of an unknown.

He was seeded sixth at 106 pounds with a 17-3 record.

He is no longer an unknown after stunning third-seeded Canon-McMillan sophomore Jacob Houpt, 7-1, in the quarterfinals Friday at Canon-McMillan.

Hohman used takedowns in every period and great balance to fend off Houpt’s attacks in controlling the match.

Hohman will face second seed Mac Church of Waynesburg in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Hohman started the season by winning the Eastern Invitational at Gateway in early December. Then an illness sidelined him until mid-January. After a dominating two-week stretch, Hohman got mononucleosis and was sidelined another month.

“I just listened to the coaches and took their advice,” Hohman said. “When I needed to take time off, I took time off. I still ran and lifted. I just didn’t wrestle as much.”

Hohman said he wrestled Houpt in the preseason Surge tournament and lost by a point.

“I felt good,” Hohman said. “I wrestled him earlier in the year, and I felt like I did what I had to do to win. I executed my gameplan.”

Hohman needs one victory Saturday to achieve his goal of making it to the PIAA tournament, and he wants to make the finals.

“That’s what I’m shooting for,” Hohman said.

The other upset at 106 was Latrobe freshman Vincent Kilkeary’s 4-2 win against Hempfield sophomore Briar Priest. Kilkeary, who lost his three previous matches to Priest, closed the gap at the Section 1 tournament, falling 5-4.

“I just didn’t finish against him last week,” Kilkeary said. “I had an arm bar on him for half the match and didn’t score. I just knew I had to continue to work

“He’s cutting a good bit of weight and I knew if I stayed after him I could tire him out. I worked in the top position. That was my gameplan.”

Kilkeary will face No. 1 Ty Watters (16-0) of West Allegheny in the semifinals.

Like Hohman, Kilkeary needs one win to qualify for the state tournament.

“I’m just going to go after him,” Kilkeary said of wrestling Watters.

Latrobe had two other wrestlers reach the semifinals — freshman Nath Roth at 120 and senior Gabe Willochell at 132.

Roth, the No. 2 seed, rallied to edge Gateway senior Evan Whiteside, 7-6. Roth will face Connellsville freshman Jace Ross in the semifinals.

Willochell, the top seed at 132, collected a pin and technical in his two wins. He will face West Allegheny senior Jordan Watters in the semifinals.

Hempfield had three wrestlers move on to the semifinals — junior Ethan Berginc (113), junior Ty Linsenbigler (145) and junior heavyweight Isaac Vance.

Greensburg Salem senior John Meyers, the top seed at 220, had two pins in fewer than 45 seconds, and sophomore heavyweight Billy McChesney had two wins, including a pin.

Norwin senior Kurtis Phipps (126) gets another showdown with Franklin Regional sophomore Finn Solomon in the semifinals. Phipps had two wins, including a pin. Junior John Altieri (138) also reached the semifinals, where he will face No. 1 ranked Sam Hillegas of North Hills.

Franklin Regional junior Carter Dibert (113) and senior Mason Spears (145) are in the semifinals, along with Belle Vernon sophomore Cole Weightman (220).

Action resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday with the second round of consolations.

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

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