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Experienced Plum wrestling team opens season with 6 wins

File photo - Plum's Zach Martin finished in third place at the Eastern Area Tournament at 152 pounds.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>File photo</em></div>Plum's Zach Martin finished in third place at the Eastern Area Tournament at 152 pounds.
File photo - Plum 126-pound sophomore Tommy Zummo finished in fifth place at the Eastern Area Tournament.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>File photo</em></div>Plum 126-pound sophomore Tommy Zummo finished in fifth place at the Eastern Area Tournament.

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By Kevin Ritchart
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Make your next match your best match.

That's the mindset Plum wrestling coach Mike Supak has instilled in his team this season, and so far it's working.

The Mustangs entered this week with a 6-0 record in dual matches and have been making their mark in local tournament action as well.

“The guys look good,” Supak said. “Things have been going really well so far.”

Earlier this month, eight Plum wrestlers – led by Hunter Fenk – placed in the Eastern Area Tournament at Gateway High School. As a team, the Mustangs finished fifth in the event.

Fenk posted a 2-1 decision over Jack McGillick of Penn-Trafford in the championship match at 182 pounds.

Supak has seen a great deal of improvement in Fenk's approach on the mat, and his 9-0 record thus far is proof that his efforts are paying off.

“He's a hard worker,” Supak said. “He works year-round at it.”

In an effort to further hone his skills, Fenk has been entering offseason freestyle and Greco-Roman tournaments.

“(Entering those tournaments) allows him to compete against better wrestlers,” Supak said. “He's learned how to put different kinds of moves together.”

In addition to Fenk's first-place finish at the Eastern Area event, Tony DiNinno (106), Eric Green (145), Zach Martin (152) and Stephen Turchick (heavyweight) placed third.

Tommy Zummo (126) and Nate Turchick (195) grabbed fifth place, and Dom Davido (120) took sixth.

As the season progresses, Supak expects his team – which is largely comprised of seniors and juniors – to continue to perform at a high level.

“There's a lot of leadership with the group I have,” Supak said of his veteran grapplers. “They have more maturity than most groups.

“The young guys feed off them.”

While the Mustangs have been successful early on this season with their current lineup, Supak will have an even deeper talent pool to choose from in the weeks to come.

“We're still filling out the team,” Supak said. “We have some guys coming back from injuries sustained during the football season, so that will help us.”

Regardless of who steps on the mat, Supak wants his wrestlers to be aggressive in their approach.

“I want them to push the action,” Supak said. “I want them to set up good shots without a whole lot of work.”

After opening Section 3B-AAA action with a home victory over Hampton last week, the Mustangs face a tough road test at Fox Chapel on Thursday, Dec. 19.

The match is slated to start at 7 p.m.�

Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.

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