Plum wrestling quartet fares well at state tourney
A quartet of Plum wrestlers, all of whom compete for the Lower Burrell-based Bones Wrestling Club, fared well at the Pennsylvania Amateur Wrestling Federation state championships the weekend of May 30 at Chambersburg High School.
Three of them will move on to USA Wrestling national competition this month and in July.
Recent Plum graduate Hunter Fenk, who will wrestle collegiately at Shippensburg, placed third in both the 182-pound junior freestyle and Greco Roman tournaments at states.
He went 2-1 in both brackets.
Fenk bounced back in the Greco Roman consolation rounds with two technical fall wins by a combined 23-1.
In his freestyle bracket, Fenk lost his first bout, but he then won by technical fall in his first consolation bout and scored a close 3-2 win in the consey final to secure third.
Fenk will compete in the freestyle tournament at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championships July 13 to 21 in Fargo, N.D.
He will be making the trip for the second year in a row.
The top three finishers in the state freestyle and Greco Roman tournaments qualify for nationals.
Fenk decided to opt out of the Greco Roman tournament at nationals.
He's also been selected to represent Pennsylvania at the USA Wrestling Junior National Team Duals on June 23 to 28 in Oklahoma City.
Fellow 2014 Plum graduate Eric Green competed at the PAWF state tournament at 152 pounds, and he claimed fourth and fifth, respectively, in competitive Greco Roman and freestyle brackets.
There were 20 wrestlers in Green's freestyle bracket, and his two losses came to Franklin Regional powers Josh Shields and Josh Maruca, rising seniors on the Panthers varsity team.
Shields scored a technical fall over Green in the championship bracket, while Maruca did the same in the consolation round, but Green did put two big consey wins in his pocket.
He beat Frank Carrozza, 11-0, and Francesco Fabozzi, 19-18, in the consolation bracket.
Fabozzi was coming off three straight technical fall victories by a combined 35-1.
“It was an exciting match (against Fabozzi), and people were crowding around the mat because of all the points being scored,” said Mike Supak, Plum's head coach who also works as a coach with the Bones Wrestling Club.
Green went 3-2 in the Greco Roman bracket. He earned two pins and a technical fall in the consolation rounds before losing in the third-place match.
Despite not placing in the top three, Supak said, Green hoped to find out this week if he would be bumped up into the top three because of any higher-finishing wrestler not going to nationals in either freestyle or Greco Roman.
Plum rising junior Tony DiNinno placed third in the 106-pound junior freestyle round-robin format at states. He went 1-2 and scored a 14-4 technical-fall victory in his second of three bouts.
The trip to nationals will be the first for DiNinno in his first year of freestyle and Greco Roman competition.
Fellow Plum rising junior Nate Hoff wrestled for the cadet Greco Roman title at 220 pounds, but he had to settle for second after a tough loss to Josiah Jones from Valley High School and the Young Guns program.
Hoff, also in his first year of freestyle and Greco Roman action, has decided not to compete at nationals this year, Supak said.
The four Plum wrestlers continue the recent string of spring and summer USA Wrestling success, and Plum graduates John Marotto, Anthony Dilonardo and D.J. Martin also have fared well on the state and national level in recent years.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at email@example.com or via Twitter at Mlove_Trib.