A-K Valley wrestlers named among top 100 in junior class

Friday, September 6, 2019 | 12:01 AM

When PA Power Wrestling, a media company that covers high school wrestling in Pennsylvania, released its Class of 2021 rankings earlier this week three wrestlers from the A-K Valley were among the top 100 in the state.

Last year, Burrell’s Ian Oswalt and AJ Corrado were major contributors to their team’s 13th straight WPIAL championship and quarterfinal finish at the state tournament. They combined to produce 85 wins and 38 pins during their sophomore seasons.

Earlier this week, the pair was recognized as two of the best junior wrestlers in the state. Oswalt, who wrestled at 120, 126 and 132 pounds last year, was ranked No. 17, and Corrado, who competed at 138 and 145 last year, was ranked No. 20.

Burrell coach Josh Shields believes their rankings are just a result of the hard work they have put in throughout their first two years. But they are the type of kids who are never satisfied, either.

“They have bigger goals that they want to achieve,” Shields said. “So that keeps them working, it keeps them grounded, and they are two good kids to have on your team for younger kids to look up to.”

But while the rankings can be a form of recognition, athletes also can use them as motivation. Oswalt, for example, said he got a little joy from being ranked among the top wrestlers of the 2021 class, but he’s ready to put in the work to improve that standing.

“I think the rankings don’t really mean anything,” Oswalt said. “I shouldn’t listen to what I am ranked because it only matters to me what I think I should be ranked. I know I am better than that, and that’s why I’ll work even harder this year to prove that I am better than that rank.”

Oswalt and Corrado will be the winningest returners for the Bucs this season after reaching the semifinals and the round of 16, respectively, at the PIAA championships last year. Shields also will return Trent Valovchik (30-17), Richard Feroce (32-15) and Nicholas Salerno (29-10).

“I enjoy coaching these guys because they care about the team aspect as well,” Shields said. “They are super competitive, and they want to win individually and they want our team to succeed. They want the team to eventually win a state medal.”

The Burrell grapplers weren’t the only ones from the ’21 class who were recognized by PA Power Wrestling. Kiski Area’s Brayden Roscosky (35-8) came in at No. 65, and teammate Sammy Starr (28-19) came in just outside of the top 100, at No. 107.

Last season, the Cavaliers placed third in the PIAA Class AAA tournament. Roscosky and Starr were a big part of that.

The final A-K Valley wrestler on the list was Apollo-Ridge’s Logan Harmon (22-6), who came in at No. 76. Harmon didn’t have a wrestling home until his sophomore season when Apollo-Ridge and Armstrong agreed to a co-op agreement. He reached the 195-pound WPIAL Class AAA semifinals before losing 9-5 to eventual champion Max Shaw of Thomas Jefferson. Then, he lost to Greensburg Salem’s John Meyers, 4-3, in the third-place match.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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