Expectations rising for veteran Plum wrestling team

Saturday, December 4, 2021 | 11:01 AM

Expectations are on the rise for the Plum wrestling team this winter. The Mustangs return several contributors from last year who had winning records and will be looking to make some noise in Class 3A.

Coach Mike Supak expects his wrestlers to achieve team success as well as some individual accomplishments.

“As a team, we are striving to place at team sections and wrestle in the team playoffs,” Supak said. “Individually, we have several wrestlers striving to qualify for WPIALs, as well as PIAAs.”

Last year’s Plum squad finished third in the subsection with a 3-3 mark, one spot from qualifying for team sectionals behind Kiski and Penn-Trafford. The Mustangs managed a winning record overall at 9-7.

Ian Lamia (285), who placed twice at sectionals, has graduated. This year’s team is loaded with freshmen and sophomores with only four seniors. However, the group is talented and gained valuable experience a year ago.

Leading the way for the 2021-22 Mustangs will be senior Vince Citrano (126 pounds), who is a three-time WPIAL qualifier and has twice been runner-up in the section.

Citrano has 73 wins and Supak expects him to push the triple-digit plateau this season. He was 16-7 in the shortened season a year ago but compiled 30 and 27 wins in his first two varsity seasons.

Another key contributor will be sophomore Nino Walker (113) who went 22-4 in his first season with 10 pins, both top marks for Plum. Walker was a WPIAL runner-up a year ago, falling to Seneca Valley’s Tyler Chappell, who ended up third in the state. Walker also qualified for the PIAA Southwest Super Regional.

However, there are several more experienced wrestlers the Mustangs and Supak have confidence in sending out on the mat on a nightly basis.

“Carson Yocca, Sam Snyder, Jack Tongel, Jay Thornton and Andrew Claassen all return with winning records and are striving to advance to the WPIAL championships,” Supak said. “Frankie Macioce has also returned from injury and is expected to do well.”

Yocca and Snyder (106) are sophomores and combined to go 20-4 a year ago. Claassen (160), a junior, was 14-7 and finished fourth at the section meet. Thornton, also a junior, finished fourth at the sectionals, going 9-10 last year. Tongel went 11-9 in his freshman campaign.

There are also several newcomers in the mix for Plum. Dylan Overcash, Rylen Campbell, Dakoda Pisano, Julien Sepelyak, Trent Reese, Steven Thompson and Charlie Campbell will compete for starting spots.

Pisano (145/152), a junior, wrestled for Fox Chapel last year and compiled an 11-12 record.

Plum will match up in section with Franklin Regional, who opted out of the section team championships last year, Gateway, Penn Hills, Penn-Trafford and Woodland Hills.

The Mustangs’ season begins with the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway on Dec. 10-11. Section action begins Dec. 15 at home against Penn-Trafford.


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