Plum’s Citrano, Highlands’ Burford claim Allegheny County wrestling titles
Saturday, January 15, 2022 | 9:31 PM
Plum senior Vincent Citrano and Highlands senior Jrake Burford sure celebrated after winning their second Allegheny County Wrestling titles Saturday at Fox Chapel.
Citrano and Burford captured their first titles in 2020. The 2021 tournament was canceled because of covid-19.
Citrano (16-0) defeated Thomas Jefferson super freshman Maddox Shaw, 3-2, to win the 132-pound title, and Burford (21-3) collected his fifth pin of the weekend when he decked North Allegheny sophomore Travis Stipetich in 2 minutes, 39 seconds to earn the 145 crown.
Both celebrated by holding two fingers up to the crowd.
“It was a big win, but that’s not the goal,” Citrano said. “The goal is to win the state title, and this helps it along. I see where I am every week and improving off it.
“Not being invited to Powerade and stuff, and I wrestled a guy who is nationally ranked, and he beat some guys who I wanted to wrestle, it meant that I should have been there and I belong with the best.”
Shaw (27-3), who finished second at the Powerade tournament at 126, bumped up to 132 for the competition.
“I respect that he came up,” Citrano said. “He’s going to be a great wrestler.”
Citrano said the plan is to stay at 132 pounds for the remainder of the season.
“I feel strong. I don’t cut a lot of weight, and it’s where I feel the best,” Citrano said. “I get to lift every day, wrestle every day and feel good.”
Plum had two finalists. Freshman Rylen Campbell was beaten by North Allegheny’s Casey Walker, 10-6, in the 106-pound final.
The Mustangs finished with 11 placewinners, third overall in the team race with 198.5 points.
North Allegheny won the team title with 222.5 points, and Quaker Valley was second with 209. Pine-Richland was fourth with 195.5, and Thomas Jefferson rounded out the top five with 168.5.
“It was a very big match for Vincent,” Plum coach Mike Supak said. “He’s been working hard and been successful, but this was one of his biggest matches in his high school career so far. He definitely wanted it.”
Supak said he felt the team did well overall.
“We did very well for being a young team,” Supak said. “He had to do it the hard way through the consolation brackets.”
The Mustang placewinners were Antonio Walker (fourth, 126), Jack Tongel (fifth, 160), Andrew Claassen (fifth, 172), Sam Snyder (seventh, 113), Carson Yocca (eighth, 113), Charlie Campbell (eighth, 138), Dakoda Pisano (eighth, 145), Frank Macioce (eighth, 215) and heavyweight Ollie Freeman (seventh).
Jrake Burford and his brother, Aiden, were among the six Rams to earn medals. Aiden placed fifth at 126 pounds. The others were Noah Leslie (fourth, 285), Brayden White (fifth, 132), Bryan Randolph (sixth, 152) and Tyler Bender (sixth, 189). Highlands finished sixth with 162 points.
While Jrake Burford was a little disappointed he didn’t win the award for most pins in the least amount of time, he was pleased with his overall performance.
“Winning means a lot,” Burford said. “Allegheny County is not easy, but to win it not once but twice is something to be proud about.
“It also feels great to get a pin in the finals. This is Year 2 that it has happened.”
While Burford is proud to win counties again, his goals are much larger. He wants to be a state champion.
“I wanted seven, but we got six places,” Highlands coach Grant Walters said. “We had a super improvement because two years ago, we had one county champion and one placewinner.
“I’m proud of my guys. All the work is finally paying off. I’m really excited to see what the rest of the season brings.”
Fox Chapel ended up ninth with 140.5 points.
The Foxes’ placewinners were Ray Worsen (third, 138), Alexander Kaufmann (fourth, 145), Trevor Katz (sixth, 172), Landon Funk (seventh, 106), Josh Alexander (seventh, 126) and Jacob Patterson (189).
Mt. Lebanon’s Mac Stout captured his third county title by defeating Patrick Cutchember, 11-3, in the 189-pound finals. He was named most outstanding wrestler.
Pine-Richland heavyweight Joey Schneck won two awards: most pins in the least amount of time and Ron Harrison Brotherhood of Wrestling Award for sportsmanship.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
More High School Sports• Despite short playoff run, Hampton girls lacrosse team savors season’s successes
• Hampton staying sharp with summer basketball schedule
• Shady Side Academy boys lacrosse overcomes challenges during successful season
• Fox Chapel freshman shows worlds of potential in discus, shot put
• Westmoreland County high school notebook: New Hempfield girls soccer coach up for a challenge