Plum wrestler Vince Citrano a man on a mission in Class AAA postseason

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 6:02 PM


Plum sophomore Vince Citrano has been a man on a mission all season long.

After coming up just short in the section tournament as a freshman last year with a second-place finish and then not placing in the WPIAL tournament, Citrano was motivated to come back even stronger this season.

So far, he has.

The 113-pounder has only lost one match all season. He’s won five tournaments, including capturing an Allegheny County title, and now Citrano has his eyes set on postseason accomplishments.

“I’m really excited,” Citrano said. “I love the end of the year because that’s when it gets down to the toughest guys and you have those awesome matches.”

Citrano heads into the WPIAL Section 1-AAA tournament this weekend as the No. 3 seed in the 113-pound weight class behind Franklin Regional’s Carter Dibert (31-2) and Hempfield’s Ethan Berginc (26-4). Although he’s just a sophomore, after his performance this season, Citrano believes that he can use his seeding as a motivation for the rest of the postseason.

“It definitely gets me going,” Citrano said. “It gets me through all of the hard workouts that I’ve been putting myself through, and it helps me keep on drilling hard so I can beat those top-seeded guys.”

Last season, Dibert handed Citrano two of his six losses and also stopped him from capturing his first section championship. The eventual state champion at 106 pounds earned a 15-5 major decision over Citrano in the section championship last year. But after a full year of hard work with a focused mindset, Citrano feels ready for the challenges ahead of him.

“I got a good feel of (Dibert) last year, and I’ve been training hard all season long and this offseason,” Citrano said. “So I think I can be pretty good heading into the tournament.”

Since the beginning of the year, Citrano has shown he has taken that next step. He’s 21-1 and he won his weight class in every tournament that the Mustangs have entered, including the Eastern Area Invitational, the Armstrong Winter Classic, the Steve DeAugustino Holiday Classic, the Allegheny County Championships and most recently, the Buckeye Local Panther Classic.

“The tournaments are just an extension of the way he works in the room,” Plum coach Mike Supak said. “He works to keep scoring in the room and improve every day. So every time he’s on the mat, he sees it as another opportunity to get better. The tournaments have just been giving him multiple opportunities in a row.”

Citrano has been dominant every step of the way. He’s registered four decisions, one major decision, nine technical falls and seven pins during his sophomore campaign. His only loss came in a dual against Penn-Trafford, when Citrano bumped up a weight class to 120 pounds and lost a 10-3 decision to Boaz Chishko.

When it comes to succeeding this weekend in the sectional tournament, the 113-pounder says he just has to stick to what he knows.

“I’ve just been cool and calm during my matches this year,” Citrano said. “I’ve just been wrestling what I know how to do, and I’ve been wrestling my match.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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