Burrell’s Ian Oswalt commits to Brown to continue wrestling career
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | 6:01 PM
Having one Burrell wrestler in a college program is enough to make an impact, but now the Brown Bears will have two on their roster in 2021.
After senior AJ Corrado committed to the Rhode Island school earlier this fall, classmate Ian Oswalt also decided to join in on the fun and announced his signing with Brown earlier this week on his Instagram account.
Before the coronavirus shutdown, Oswalt said he and Corrado took a visit to Brown, which is in Providence, and the three-time WPIAL champion said the campus and the program just felt like home.
“Of all the schools I visited, especially the Ivy League schools, Brown was just like, I just felt like the coaching staff was one of the deciding factors,” Oswalt said. “I really like coach (Todd) Beckerman and I really like coach (Matt) Meuleners. I was really happy with the coaching staff, and I really think they can get me to where I want to be wrestling wise.”
Outside of athletics, Oswalt said Brown’s academic structure was a part of his decision as well, although he’s not sure what he plans to study.
He said the school gives him the freedom through the first few years to explore options and take different classes to figure out what he wants to do down the road.
“You can just try to figure out whatever you want to do, and I really liked that aspect of it,” Oswalt said. “Then they have a pass-fail system, which is kind of nice in the aspect of you have to balance high academics and Division I wrestling, so it’s kind of like a good balance if you want to focus on both a lot and still do well.”
The 132-pounder did have a few schools to choose from, including Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, and Lehigh, but once he was able to visit Brown with Corrado and meet the team, it felt right.
“It was like a year ago this week, and we went up there and hung out with the team and had a good time,” Oswalt said. “The coaches were super nice, and it just felt like the right place. It is hard to describe, but after you visit so many colleges, you kind of just have that feeling of which place is for you. Like when I stepped in and talked to everyone, it just felt right.”
Oswalt (132 pounds) and Corrado (152 pounds) have built impressive resumes during their first three years at Burrell. Oswalt is a three-time WPIAL champion and has accumulated a career record of 140-21 with 65 pins.
He has also won one regional tournament, three section championships and come as close as possible to a state title this past season before losing to Glendale’s Brock McMillen in the PIAA 132-pound title match.
With his college decision off his shoulders, Oswalt is looking forward to getting back on the mat and working toward his No. 1 goal of winning a state title.
“Throughout my entire career of wrestling, I’ve never had a state title, so that’s been my goal my whole life,” Oswalt said. “It sucks when you get so close, and I’ve taken second multiple times. But in high school I have made it to the quarters, the semis and then the finals. So hopefully this year, it’s my time to win it all.”
Winter practices are set to begin on Friday.
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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