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.
“Bruno was at the first camp here. Then I did a camp with him two weeks later, and I remember that camp,” UPJ head coach Pat Pecora said. “They 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!'
“And then, it was the next week...”
Tragically, Iorfido and two friends were killed in an auto accident that July. Soon after, camp organizers Greeley, Rendos, and Sean Lathrop – who had been friends with the Iorfido family since 'Little Bruno' started wrestling in Junior Olympics – 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.
“I 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,” Greeley said. “Bruno was like a younger brother to me. I miss him and I think about him all the time.
“He 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.”
Full story can be found in the Thursday, July 3 edition of The Ridgway Record. Story used with permission of the Port Allegany Argus.