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When Bruno Iorfido volunteered to help out at a wrestling camp that former Pitt-Johnstown teammates Isaac Greeley and Aaron Rendos were running in Port Allegany in June 2003, the future seemed set for the UPJ star.
A three-time Academic All-American who finished eighth at that year's NCAA Division II championships as a junior, Iorfido would shoot for the top of the podium in his senior year before returning to his hometown of Ridgway, where he'd won four consecutive District 9 titles as an Elker, to teach and coach at his alma mater.
â€śBruno was at the first camp here. Then I did a camp with him two weeks later, and I remember that camp,â€ť UPJ head coach Pat Pecora said. â€śThey had a national champ who was there in the same weight class from Division I, and they wrestled for about 25 minutes. They were toe-to-toe. Everybody in the whole place was watching them. Afterward, I'm outside and I'm saying, 'Man, you're going to win the national title next year!'
â€śAnd then, it was the next week...â€ť
Tragically, Iorfido and two friends were killed in an auto accident that July. Soon after, camp organizers Greeley, Rendos, and Sean Lathrop â€“ who had been friends with the Iorfido family since 'Little Bruno' started wrestling in Junior Olympics â€“ decided to honor their friend by renaming it in his honor, awarding scholarships in his memory, and trying to pass on the values he lived by.
â€śI felt and Sean felt that we owed this to Bruno. He was at our camp from the very beginning, and I've known Bruno since he was a kid,â€ť Greeley said. â€śBruno was like a younger brother to me. I miss him and I think about him all the time.
â€śHe makes me make positive decisions in my life. Whenever I get to a point where I think, 'I don't need to do this the right way, I can always just do it the easy way,' he's always in the back of my head. I think he follows me around.â€ť
Full story can be found in the Thursday, July 3 edition of The Ridgway Record. Story used with permission of the Port Allegany Argus.View more articles in: