Plum wrestlers look forward to competition in Section 1B
Sunday, January 10, 2021 | 9:01 AM
After more starts and stops to the season than he cares to remember, Plum wrestling coach Mike Supak said he’s anxious to see his team begin competition this week.
The Mustangs, who had conducted only a couple of practices before Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown orders Dec. 10 as part of overall mitigation efforts to slow the covid-19 spread, got back in the wrestling room Jan. 4. So far, Supak likes what he sees from a roster of 16.
“By now, we would have half our dual meets done and two tournaments under our belts,” Supak said.
“We’ve had just a few practices. It’s been very inconsistent, but the guys have rolled with it the best they can. They are ready to go out there and compete.”
Plum remains in Section 1-AAA and will wrestle in the 1B subsection with Franklin Regional, Gateway, Penn Hills, Penn-Trafford and Woodland Hills.
Subsection 1A features Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Highlands, Indiana and Kiski Area.
Section matches, scheduled to start Wednesday, will consist of a quad format over four weeks through Feb. 3. Plum, which hosts a quad on Feb. 3, will wrestle two matches each Wednesday to complete its section slate.
The Mustangs also are looking forward to multiple opportunities to wrestle at Saturday’s Seneca Valley Duals.
Team and individual postseason tournaments begin Feb. 8.
“The (athletic directors) have been pretty creative in putting together a schedule to get each team the most matches possible before team and individual sections,” Supak said.
Junior Vinny Citrano, 27-4 last year between 113 and 120, anchors the Mustangs at 126. For the second year in a row, he finished one win short of a trip to states, falling in the consolation semifinals at the WPIAL Class AAA tournament.
“I was down on myself after both of those losses in the blood round at WPIALs the last two years, but after a couple of days, I got back on the horse and saw what I could do to keep on going,” Citrano said.
“There is a lot of motivation to now put myself in the position to win those big pressure matches and get past that wall.”
Supak said Citrano, who produced 11 technical falls, eight regular falls and one major decision among his 27 victories last year, is looking really good right now.
“He’s put in a lot of work in the offseason despite all the stuff with covid,” Supak said. “He’s looking forward to getting on the mat and seeing where he is and what he needs to still work on.”
Supak also is eager to see if junior Paul McClintock (132) and sophomore Andrew Claassen (160) can take that next step.
The duo tied for second on the team in wins last year with 16. In his varsity debut, Claassen (16-17) placed fifth at 145 at the section tournament and qualified for WPIALs.
McClintock led the team with 11 pins.
Ian Lamia, a senior at 285, fell one win short of a trip to WPIALs last year. He is the only senior on the roster.
Others with varsity experience hoping to make their mark this year are juniors Lucas Heath (189) and Dom Sheffo (120). Heath picked up nine varsity wins last year (9-18) between 170 and 182, and Sheffo finished with an 8-8 record at 113.
Younger wrestlers in the Plum lineup include sophomores Carl Raitano (138), Jay Thornton (152) and Kade Thomas (170) and freshmen Sam Snyder (106), Carson Yocca (106), Antonino Walker (113), Grant Durst (120) and Jack Tongel (145).
“They are working hard to get in shape and get ready for competition,” Supak said. “They did a lot on their own during the time off, but now they are back together, and that helps a lot.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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