Burrell wrestler Ian Oswalt earns career win No. 100

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | 7:18 PM

This past weekend, Burrell junior Ian Oswalt reached a milestone in his third year of high school that some wrestlers never reach in their entire scholastic career.

With a 1-0 decision over Muncy’s Bryce Vollman at the King of the Mountain tournament, Oswalt earned his 100th win, something 28 other Burrell Bucs have done.

“It’s a milestone for sure, and it feels good that I reached 100, but hopefully there’s many more to come after that,” Oswalt said. “But overall, I’m pretty happy with it.”

Burrell coach Josh Shields said Oswalt is on pace to break the Burrell school record of 177 wins, which was set by Shane Welsh in 2008. Welsh finished with a career record of 177-26.

In his first two seasons, Oswalt earned 47 and 48 wins respectively. He’s also won WPIAL titles at 113 pounds and 120 pounds and he’s placed in the top five of the state tournament both years. Oswalt has displayed a few things that have allowed him to succeed early in his career, but Shields believes his mat intelligence sets him apart.

“He doesn’t really put himself in bad position,” Shields said. “He doesn’t give up bad points, and if you score on him, you really earned it. He wrestles mistake-free matches. That’s not all the time and he’ll be the first to admit that, but overall, he’s always in good position and he’s tough to score on.”

When Oswalt first started his high school career, he didn’t think he’d have this much success this quickly. But over the past few years, he’s worked hard, taken advice from teammates and coaches and has put it all together.

“There are a lot of factors that have helped me,” Oswalt said. “But I’d say the biggest one has been the consistency in the practice room. Just always trying to get a workout in and our coaches always helping me improve and fixing things that I may not be that great at.”

So far through his junior season, Oswalt has produced a record of 5-2, but both of his losses came against highly talented individuals. His first loss came against Waynesburg Central’s Wyatt Henson, an Iowa commit, in a dual match to start the season.

Then, this past weekend, Oswalt earned a spot in the 138-pound championship and lost to Williamsport’s Riley Bower by a 7-1 decision. Bower is 10-1 this season.

Although Oswalt came out on the losing end of both of those matches, he tested himself against tough competition and was able to take something away from both matches in order to improve moving forward.

“I come away with a lot more from losses than I do with wins,” Oswalt said. “When I lose, I know what I did wrong. For example, this weekend in the finals match, I lost but I think I took a lot away from that. Obviously, I don’t want to lose, but I’d rather get those losses out of the way at the beginning of the year so that stuff doesn’t happen later in the postseason.”

Oswalt has accomplished a lot through the first two-plus years of his high school career, and this past weekend, he reached a big milestone. But with the type of qualities that Oswalt has displayed, Shields believes he has an opportunity to do a lot more.

“You look at a kid’s past credentials and what he accomplished and usually that translates to the varsity level,” Shields said. “Just like with anything else, it’s not guaranteed. But I knew with his work ethic and his passion for the sport, that if he continued those things throughout his varsity career, he would have an opportunity to really etch his name (with) the top wrestlers of this program.”

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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