Northern Tier Sports Report
In Pennsylvania, Penn State is the University. While most don’t go, many treat it as their own, as if they are alumni. When local graduates are accepted, it’s celebrated with a little extra pizazz; when the rare few local athletes make it on their teams, the huzzahs are heard across the league.

And at Penn State, after football, wrestling is the next biggest sport, so when Wyalusing’s Creighton Edsell made the team as a redshirt, it was revered.

Now, after four years, he’s moving on after making his mark.

“Looking back at my career at Penn State, as of right now, I don’t regret a thing,” said Edsell. “I truly believe that I put everything I had into my four years there. Ever since I started school at Penn State I was there in the summertime training with the best guys, and making the most of the opportunities I had while being there.”

He broke into the line-up twice, both as a redshirt freshman and again as a redshirt junior. It wasn’t easy, though, despite coming with a strong pedigree of three state medals, including a PIAA state championship as a junior.

“I believe the biggest jump from high school to college is the practice partners, and how coaches approached practice everyday,” explained Edsell. “I loved the sport of wrestling in high school, but really loved, and enjoyed it once I got to college with coaches teaching the team good, valuable life lessons, and what they’ve learned throughout their wrestling lives.”

Things didn’t start out so dreamily, as injuries sidelined him, but that was also one of his biggest sources of motivation.

“I would say I learned my redshirt year, honestly, is how to deal with an injury, and adversity,” said Edsell. “It was probably one of my lowest of lows in my college career. I didn’t get to compete at any opens my freshman year due to having labrum surgery.”

His perseverance paid off his sophomore year, as Edsell was able to break into the line-up, posting a 13-5 overall record. He went 3-0 in dual meets, and 2-0 in Big Ten Duals - all while bumping up to 184 pounds.

“When the coaches asked me if I would be our 184-pounder, I didn’t even have to think a second, especially thinking about running out in Rec Hall, which was one of my dreams,” recalled Edsell. “Coaches and I both knew I was not even close to being a 184-pounder, but they put the confidence in me, and the opportunity to go out, and compete.”

His two Big Ten wins were 4-1 against Northwestern, and 5-2 versus Maryland.

The next year Edsell wrestled in dual meet ‘extras’, where he went 5-0, including one major decision, but wasn’t able to get back into the line-up. However, it may have been the most important season of his career, in terms of development.

“Looking back, this is where I think I made my biggest jump throughout this time period,” explained Edsell. “With trying to creak the line-up, but trying to beat out the National Champ at the weight. I practiced with Carter (Starocci) and Aaron (Brooks) basically most of the time. Wrestling them is when I started to see big improvements, and the confidence they gave me is something I never really had. So I really focused on going to practice everyday, making the most of it - focusing on the little details, and being present, and in the moment at every practice.”

It was this past year where he made his biggest impact, helping Penn State to a 17-0 regular season dual meet record, and a second place finish at the Big Ten Championships.

Edsell went 10-3 while in the line-up on the year, including a 5-0 start to the season.

“I certainly knew I was capable of being competitive at 165 (pounds), and it was a great feeling going 5-0 right off the bat,” Edsell said. “I truly do think it helped being down at 165, but if I’m going to be honest with you, I think, as the year went on, and the more times I kept making it week in and week out, it really took a toll on my body towards the end of the season.”

Edsell lost his spot in the middle of the year, but got it back for the final run, returning with a win against Ohio State. He finished the final five duals meets with five victories, including a win in the Big Ten Dual Meet season title clincher against Nebraska.

It was a bittersweet final season for Edsell.

“This was another one of my goals, was to be the ‘guy’ for one of the best teams in Division-I sports history,” said Edsell. “I think one thing that was brought to my attention throughout this year, though, is that life isn’t always fair. It was brought to my attention that sometimes hard work and sacrificing yourself for the team doesn’t just guarantee you a spot at something you think you deserve. I will say this, and I’m not saying this to change kids’ minds that are thinking about going to a Division-I college, but, from my perspective, and looking back at my career, is that college sports are becoming more and more of a business. At first, I didn’t really understand why the coaches did some of the things they did, but once I sat down, and thought about it, and talked to some people, coaches basically make their money off winning. So, putting what the coaches think is the best team at winning Nationals, to get bonuses to give back to the staff, I honestly can’t blame them for some of the decisions they made.”

Edsell was ranked nationally this past year, though he didn’t pay too much attention to it.

“I guess I never really thought about it, being ranked nationally,” he said. “For the most part, I stayed off social media, and off wrestling pages. It is something that is going to be pretty cool to tell my kids one day, and show them pictures.”

While most athletes around here dream of being a Nittany Lion, Edsell can say he lived it.

“I truly am thankful for my career at Penn State, from the coaches and staff, to all of the amazing people I met throughout the four years I was there,” he remarked. “Thank you Penn State, and my family.”

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