After strong season, future bright for Plum wrestling program
Saturday, April 2, 2022 | 11:01 AM
Seven Plum wrestlers took part in the WPIAL/Southwest Regional Class 3A tournament March 4 and 5 at Canon-McMillan High School.
The wrestling over those two days capped a strong season for the Mustangs, who displayed competitiveness and depth throughout a youthful lineup.
With just two graduating — Lucas Heath and Vinnie Citrano — coach Mike Supak said the future is bright.
“Some of the guys had proven themselves the past couple of years, and some of the younger ones had done good things for a number of years at lower levels, so we were expecting a lot of that to continue,” Supak said.
“It was good for them to continue to put in the hard work and see it pay off. There were eight or nine who won 20 or more matches this season, and some others who were approaching 20 wins. They all worked in the offseason. They didn’t just let themselves sit around. They went out to tournaments and camps hoping to get better every day.”
Plum finished its dual-match schedule 5-2 overall and was 3-2 in section matches. The Mustangs lineup was consistent in tournaments with a second-place finish at the Southmoreland Holiday Classic and thirds at the season-opening Eastern Area tournament at Gateway, the Allegheny County Tournament at Fox Chapel and the Buckeye Local Panther Classic.
Citrano (132) as well as sophomores Rylen Campbell (106), Sam Snyder (113), Dylan Overcash (120) and Jack Tongel (160) and juniors Frank Macioce (215) and Olandis Freeman (285) qualified for the WPIAL championships.
Citrano finished his final season 29-3 and capped it with a 2-3 mark at WPIALs. Of his three losses, one came in overtime, and the other two were by a combined four points.
He also brought home titles at Eastern Area, Southmoreland, Allegheny County and Buckeye Local.
“I made a heck of a run all season,” Citrano said. “It was tough not making it to states. Things didn’t go my way at the end, but it just makes me want to work harder and gives me more motivation for other things like college and kind of be on the right path.”
Citrano said he is still working to find the right college fit that will give him an advantage both on the wrestling mat and in the classroom.
Citrano joined exclusive Plum wrestling company at the regional tournament as he scored his 100th win in a 12-4 major decision over Highlands’ Brayden White in the 132-pound bracket. He finished his Plum varsity career with 102 victories against just 20 losses.
Among the victories this season were ones that enabled him to claim his first section championship after taking third and a pair of runner-up finishes.
“I am just so grateful to be a part of this program and to have the opportunity to reach that mark,” Citrano said. “I am happy to leave knowing that I made an impact on the program and the team and, hopefully, the future of the program as well.”
Campbell broke out in his first varsity season to lead the team with 30 wins against just eight losses. He placed third at the section tournament.
Of his 30 wins, 17 came by fall, and four were by technical fall.
He won the 106-pound title at the Southmoreland tournament and was runner-up at the county tournament and at Buckeye Local.
Others surpassing the 20-win mark were Snyder (27-11), sophomore Antonino Walker (26-8), Tongel (24-17), Macioce (23-15), junior Andrew Claassen (22-13), and sophomore Carson Yocca (21-10).
Snyder went 3-3 at 113 pounds at WPIALs and joined Citrano in the sixth position on the medals podium.
Walker captured 126-pound championship at the Bo Wood and Buckeye Local tournaments.
While the present is strong for Plum wrestling, Supak said he’s also excited for the future.
Eighth-grader Alaina Claassen recently captured championships at both the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling and Keystone girls state tournaments.
Others from Plum wrestling who qualified for state tournament competition included Frank Grazulis, Maddie Killmeyer, Jake Ligo, Nicholas Pifer, Addison Claassen, Douglas Harchick, Owen Campbell, AJ Pifer, Cade Grazulis and Kamryn James.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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