The Banachs, the Brands, the Altons, and now the Scotts. For as long as I can remember, the sport of amateur wrestling has been no stranger to its fair share of historic tales involving twin brothers who have gone on to lead their respective schools to national prominence. For Cornell University Head wrestling Coach, Rob Koll, the hope is that there is magic in another set of siblings as late last night, Craig and Owen Scott broke the news on their facebook accounts that they have elected to verbally commit to the reigning EIWA team Champions/NCAA National runners-up. The brothers, who enter their senior campaign as both returning individual and NYS DII team champions, become the second and third blue-chip members of the class of 2011 to announce their intentions to continue their academic and athletic careers at the Ithaca, New York based campus. They are joined by Caleb Richardson of Blair Academy who several weeks ago become the first student-athlete to commit to Koll and his staff.
Sharing the #7 spot on the New York Top-10 in InterMat’s Wrestling-49 series, winning at all levels is something that has become a right of passage for the dynamic duo from Palmyra-Macedon High School. Combining for a quintet of all-state honors (Craig- 4th in 2008, 2nd in 2009, State Champion in ’10; Owen- 4th in 2009, State Champion in 2010), the brothers Scott have been every bit as success nationally as they have been within the friendly confines of the Empire State. Despite not making the podium in Rochester as a freshman, nationally it would be Owen who distinguished himself first, finishing as the NHSCA National freshman runner-up in Virginia Beach. A third place finish the following year among his grade level peers would make it a cool 2-for-2 for Owen….However, not to be outdone, Craig would add a pair of All-American finishes to his resume as well, taking 6th in 2009 before improving his position by one slot, finishing 5th at the NHSCA National Junior tournament. Should they decide to make one final trip to Virginia to close out their scholastic careers, it goes without saying that both will be primed and prepared to claim the national titles that have thus far escaped their individual grasps.
Expected to compete at 160 (Owen) and 171-pounds (Craig) respectively in 2011, the brothers are being projected at 174 and 184/197 on the collegiate level. In doing so, they will join what has quickly become a very stacked collection of Big Red upper-weights, consisting of the likes of 2x All-American Cam Simaz, 2010 NCAA Qualifier Steve Bosak, as well as 2010 recruits Matt Cunningham, Michael Alexander, Jace Bennett, Evan Knight, and Billy George….One thing is for certain, with a top level assistant coach in the person of former 2x National Champion Damion Hahn cultivating the Cornell big guys, regardless of who wins the starting spots, Cornell will be rock solid from 174-197. But alas, as a native NYer, I would be lying if I did not say that I hope it is two of my guys (the Scott brothers) who are the ones making some serious noise on behalf of the EIWA perennial powerhouse Big Red.
Commenting on the breaking news, both brothers were candid in stating that they have always wanted to attend the Ivy League institution of higher learning, emphasizing the educational opportunities as well as the overall strength of the wrestling program as primary factors in helping them to reach this mutual decision. Summing it up, Craig put it best when he said, “the more I thought about it, I could not see myself anywhere but Cornell.” Both Owen and Craig cited interest in Binghamton, Virginia Tech, and Hofstra before ultimately letting their hearts and minds lead them to their dream school.
On behalf of all of the amazing people at LHW, I sincerely congratulate both Owen and Craig, their family, and their coaches on this immense accomplishment. We wish them all continued success in 2011 and beyond !