When asked, DuBois Area senior Kolby Ho expected to be where he is. The 145 pound State finals on Saturday where he will face top ranked Sammy Sasso of Nazareth. It was a spot that almost never happened.
In the championship semifinals Ho faced a familiar opponent – Northern York senior Micah Hoffman. The two faced off on January 13th and Kolby lost 5-4 in a match that the senior felt he was the better wrestler.
“I knew I could take him down because I’ve wrestled him before. I bumped up (t0 152 pounds) and he beat me – but some calls in the match were controversial.”
Ho left no doubt this time around. After a slick takedown to start the match, Kolby earned a reversal in the second to go up 4-1. After letting Hoffman go the senior once again connected on a takedown to bring the advantage to 6-2.
“I knew he would hang with me on my feet but I felt comfortable” stated Ho.
Then things got interesting.
Hoffman was able to reverse Ho late in the second period before earning an escape. Down 7-4 Hoffman took bottom and quickly escaped. He tied the match 7-7 with a takedown of his own. Suddenly things started slipping away.
“I was a little flustered. Every year at States I choke. Like last year I was beating Trampe and got pinned.”
With the match tied 7-7 Hoffman elected to cut Ho and give up the escape point where he would attempt to win it on his feet. Ho kept his composure and never allowed Hoffman to penetrate his legs, holding on to an 8-7 victory.
Now he finds himself in the PIAA State Finals against one of the State’s best wrestlers. For a kid who has only been wrestling for a little over five years, it’s an impressive feat.
“I started wrestling when I was in seventh grade – and I never thought I would be in the State finals. If anything I thought my younger brother (Chandler) would be.”
“I’m excited, he (Sasso) is really tough. I need to keep the pace and not lose my head like I did in the last one.”