BROOKVILLE — He’s won three District 9 titles and two fourth-place PIAA medals. Now, Brookville Raiders senior wrestler Owen Reinsel has his college future figured out as he signed his National Letter of Intent with NCAA Division I Lehigh University last week.
With that decision made, Reinsel now focuses on getting his broken hand mended in time for the beginning of his final high school season with the Raiders.
He’s sitting with a 99-18 career record as well. So a milestone 100th win at the beginning of a season, he’s looking forward to finishing with a bang is staring him in the face.
His choice of Lehigh began with a visit with then-teammate and now freshman heavyweight at Lehigh in Raiders state champion Nathan Taylor last spring.
“It all started whenever I filled out the application for Lehigh and I mentioned Nathan and they messaged me back and said they’d love to have me out to campus and Nathan and I went in March,” Reinsel said. “I hung out with some of the guys and I just fell in love with the campus. It’s amazing. It’s top of the line everything, the wrestling facility and the campus is beautiful. It doesn’t get any better than that out there.”
Located in Bethlehem, the Mountain Hawks are a strong program residing in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and managed to qualify all 10 of their wrestlers for last spring’s NCAA Championships.
The team is coached by Pat Santoro, who won his sixth EIWA Coach of the Year honor this spring as the Mountain Hawks won their fourth straight conference title. As a wrestler, Santoro was a four-time All-American at Pittsburgh.
Reinsel plans to major in Civil or Aerospace Engineering.
“I’m pretty happy for him,” Raiders head coach Dave Klepfer said. “He’s the type of kid that deserves it. He’s the package and that’s kind of what Lehigh is lucky to get. He’s a great student and obviously he has some credentials on the mat, so it should be a good fit for him.”
As far as the upcoming season goes, Reinsel broke the first metacarpal bone in the pointer finger of his right hand wrestling at a tournament in mid-October. He’s been lifting in the meantime and anticipates being ready by the beginning of the season if not soon after that.
“He’s pretty close to being back and this is a big year for him,” Klepfer said. “He’s come up a little big short (of a state title) the last couple years. He’s excited and was having a good preseason until the injury. Once he gets back in there, I expect him to step into that leadership role and take a real good mix of kids from ninth through 12th and show them how it’s done.”
Reinsel, who figures to be at 130 pounds by the postseason, expects nothing to be any easier than the past three years, earning any state medal the hard way in loaded brackets.
“The competition is going to be the same and I’m going to approach it the same,” Reinsel said. “Most of the kids who beat me graduated except for (Mason) Gibson (at Bishop McCort). I’m glad I got my college decision out of the way, but I plan on pursuing being a state champion. I wouldn’t settle for anything less than that. Coach Klepfer thinks we’ll have a good team and being in the running for a state title as a team, so I’m excited for that.”