Plum wrestlers close out season at WPIALs
By Michael Love
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Plum senior Jake DiGuilio had a tough WPIAL experience in 2012, as he found himself in a pigtail match where the loser of the bout is eliminated and can't continue in the consolation bracket.
DiGuilio lost that pigtail bout at 220 last year, and he vowed to get back to WPIALs and produce a better showing.
His third-place finish at 220 at the Section 3-AAA tournament two weeks ago assured a spot in the main draw at WPIALs.
Despite not finishing as one of the top three that advanced to states on Saturday at Norwin High School, DiGuilio went 3-2 in his final high school tournament and made it to the consolation quarterfinals.
“Jake felt he wrestled a solid tournament,” Supak said.
“He performed really well against everybody he wrestled. His goal was to make it to states, but he knew that after last year, he wanted to come back with a strong performance. It was important because other wrestlers coming up see that as well, and they want to make their push at WPIALs.”
DiGuilio finished his senior season with a 28-11 overall record.
He started off his tournament with a 10-2 victory over Baldwin sophomore Devontae Evans and then ran into familiar foe Cole Macek, a junior from Montour.
Macek upended DiGuilio, 5-1, in the quarterfinals, and Macek went on to place third overall and qualify for states.
DiGuilio dropped to the consolation bracket and won a pair of matches to set up a consolation-semifinals showdown with No. 4 seed Noah Shulman, a senior from Hampton.
DiGuilio needed to beat Shulman to set up a rematch with Macek in the consolation finals, but Shulman stopped DiGuilio, 3-1.
Shulman then suffered a 9-4 loss to Macek in the third-place match.
DiGuilio finished his varsity career with 68 victories.
“Jake was one of those guys that as he was getting older and going through everything, he would do a lot of the extra things,” Supak said.
“He would wrestle in a lot of tournaments out of season and attend camps without the coaches asking him to do it. He was a captain, and he would lead in the (practice) room and on the mat by putting forth his best effort. He made sure he helped the other guys and encouraged them if they didn't have their best match.”
Junior Eric Green also wrestled at WPIALs for the second time, and he went 1-2 at 138 to finish his season with a 26-12 record.
Freshman Tommy Zummo competed at his first WPIAL tournament.
He won his first bout at 120 before falling to No. 3 seed Vincenzo Joseph, a sophomore from Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
Zummo dropped down to the consolation bracket and faced Waynesburg freshman Shaun Wilson.
Wilson led 6-2 after the second period, but Zummo used a takedown and three nearfall points to take a 7-6 lead with about a minute left in the third period.
Wilson got an escape with one second left to tie the match, and then he won it, 11-7, in overtime.
“There were two referees, so when one referee's back is to the clock, the other referee counts the time down and say ‘time' so the one referee can watch the match and hear the voice of the other referee,” Supak said.
“They talked and agreed the kid go the escape in time. There's not much you can do at that point. Tommy was disappointed, and he felt he should've gone farther. We talked about what he is going to take from this experience and how he will learn from it and build on it with three more years left. I am excited to see him come back next year.”
Sophomore Nate Turchick (182) and junior Stephen Turchick (285) each went 0-2 at the tournament.
Nate Turchick finished his season at 21-13, while Stephen Turchick finished 20-16 overall.
Sophomore Zach Martin found himself in a pigtail bout at 152, and he suffered a close 6-5 loss to Moon freshman Luke McConaghy.
Martin wraps up his season at 25-14.
Several Plum wrestlers took part in an amateur tournament on Sunday, and a couple of guys, Supak said, have talked about qualifying for Greco Roman and freestyle states for a shot at moving on to nationals.
The qualifiers start in early April.
“There was a buzz even before the section started,” Supak said.
“There is a solid core returning, and they have that whole year's experience together. I hadn't even had an end-of-season meeting, and they were already doing some things to help them get ready for next year.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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