Cache wrestler Swanson bound for Penn
CACHE Rambunctious like most 5-year-old boys, Josh Swanson first used wrestling as his outlet to be crazy and burn off all his energy.
More than a decade later, Swanson, who scored a 33 on his ACT while taking multiple honors courses and advanced placement classes, now possesses just as much brains as he does brawn.
Swanson, one of the youngsters largely responsible for rejuvenating the Cache wrestling program, has signed with the University of Pennsylvania where he will wrestle collegiately while pursuing a degree in finance.
The Ivy League school in Philadelphia touts perhaps the top business school in the country in The Wharton School of Business, featuring well-known biz-wiz alumni including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Donald Trump and John Sculley.
Despite most of his family attending Oklahoma State, Swanson wanted to broaden his horizons. Wrestling collegiately while getting a first-class education made Penn a no-brainer.
"It was either staying home and doing what I know or branching out and doing something exciting," Swanson said. "You can't really beat Penn. The prestige alone of any Ivy League school is a big deal. It's a great opportunity, and it all came back to the Wharton School of Business."
Swanson garnered Class 4A All-Star honors thanks to his 42-3 record and a third place finish at State this year.
"In Oklahoma, a third place is like a first place in a lot of other states because this is one of the toughest wrestling states in the country," Cache wrestling coach Jimbo Smith said.
Swanson went 33-8 along with a fourth-place State finish his junior year and went 20-10 his sophomore year and still made State despite tearing his meniscus during football and not wrestling until January.
Swanson, who lists scoring on his feet and showcasing his "fireman's carry" takedown as strengths, wrestled in the 152-lb. weight class his junior and senior seasons and will join the Penn team which is led by coach Roger Reina.
Smith said that Reina is adding not only a fantastic student and talented wrestler, but he is also inheriting a quality leader in Swanson.
"Josh has been a good leader," Smith said. "It makes my job so much easier when you have his type of leadership on your team."
Smith is aware some wrestlers tout better records than Swanson, but he's seen four-time state champs with bad habits off the mat, unlike Josh.
"Those guys will never step on an Ivy League campus. Character counts," Smith said. "When programs are going to invest thousands of dollars in you on a scholarship, they want you to be there for the long haul. You have to have the discipline to make good choices, and that's where Josh sets himself apart from other recruits. He's the whole package."