Matt Ostovich and J.R. Lewis were four-year wrestlers and two-year captains for , both amassed more than 100 career victories, and both qualified for state twice, with Lewis finishing sixth or better both times.
Now Ostovich is wrestling at Milwaukee School of Engineering while Lewis is doing the same at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and both achieved Academic All-American status this season.
As part of a new weekly feature called Names in the News, Greenfield Patch caught up with Ostovich. We hope to have Lewis' responses soon.
Patch: When did you graduate from GHS? What are you majoring in? Why did you choose your respective college?
MO: I graduated Greenfield High School in 2009. I am currently finishing my junior year at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, majoring in architectural engineering with a emphasis in building mechanical systems. I chose MSOE because I wanted to get into Architectural design. MSOE is currently rated as one of the top 10 engineering colleges in the nation and rated by the Princeton Review as the best engineering school in the Midwest.
Patch: The Academic All-American status is based on 20 or more wins, a winning percentage of .667 or better and a 3.2 or better GPA. Which has been more difficult to accomplish: the victory total or the high grades?
MO: If I had to pick one it would be the course work. The schoolwork comes hard and fast and since we’re on a trimester our semesters are 11 weeks long instead of a typical 16-week semester. There’s a lot of work to do and it seems that there is never enough time to get work done. In addition, if you play a sport or are involved in any of the number of the nationally ranked design teams, which I am also involved with, school becomes exponentially harder.
Patch: What is the biggest difference between wrestling in high school and wrestling in college?
MO: The biggest difference that most newcomers to college wrestling struggle with is the intense and physical nature of this sport at the college level. College wrestling is much more physical than anything I experienced in high school. In high school I relied on my athleticism. In college, if someone gets a hold of you, you are not going to getting away. So, I had to change my wrestling style. I now match my opponent’s physical style with my own and he can’t get away from me. This allows me to get to a point in a match where I can create an opening so that I can use my athleticism and speed to my advantage.
Patch: What was your greatest experience or memory while wrestling for Greenfield High School?
MO: My fondest memory was qualifying for state my first time. I needed to beat Franklin in order to qualify and lost to him the previous week in a tight match. This time it was a very physical match and I came out with the victory. We were butting heads like two rams but I refused to lose. I left it all on the mat that match. … (but) my best memories where with my teammates and the fun times I had with them. I have never wrested with a better bunch of guys.
Patch: How instrumental was in shaping your wrestling career or you personally?
MO: I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Coach Keith Morin. He is not only my coach, teacher, and mentor, but I feel like he is family. I can honestly say that through my Greenfield career that while I had a lot of successes I wrestled more for him than me. In the third period of a wrestling match when your lungs feel like there on fire and your heart feels like it is about to jump from your chest, you need that little extra to want to succeed. All I had to do was look at my coaches in my corner. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Coach (Kevin) Murphy. Murph doesn’t get enough credit for being a good coach and for the vast knowledge he has, and I owe a lot to him as well. Me and my Greenfield teammates would run through a wall for them.