Recruiting Thursday: Norwin's Campbell will wrestle at Navy

The Knights senior placed fifth at the PIAA tournament this season

Thu Mar 21, 2024 - 4:26PM

Jack Ridenour Jack Ridenour
Norwin's Nate Campbell finished his high school career with a 96-40 overall record.Norwin's Nate Campbell finished his high school career with a 96-40 overall record.

Last Updated: Thu Mar 21, 2024 - 4:38PM

Choosing to serve for your country’s military is not an easy decision. Just like in wrestling, when you make a choice, you want to make sure it’s calculated.

Norwin senior grappler Nate Campbell has thought long and hard about his future in the military. After an impressive showing at the Beast of the East Tournament, he caught the attention of Navy’s wrestling program, which led to his commitment to the Midshipmen last month.

“Everything,” he responded when asked about what drew him to commit. “First is academic; academics are bar none and top of the line - that was a no brainer. The wrestling culture is amazing, as well. A top program in Division I, the team has a lot of resources. And, obviously, becoming an officer in the Navy, that’s really cool.”

Despite having relatives that served in the military, Campbell didn't really think about serving his country initially.

“It was never a career I wanted to do from day one, but once I talked to Navy for wrestling, it opened my eyes,” he added. “I realized that this could be a really cool opportunity for me to do all of that.”

He has different options he’s thinking of pursuing in the Navy. He considered a surface warfare officer on a ship, but after his visit, he realized there are numerous paths he can choose.

“There are a bunch of people who go on to be a Marine Officer,” he added. “That’s one option, and then there is a wild card option of being a cargo pilot. I was thinking of being a cargo pilot in the Navy and then switching to a commercial pilot later in life.”

His success with the Norwin Knights has led him to this point in his career. However, he never forgets where it all started for him as a young wrestler.

When he first began wrestling, his initial partner was Kurtis Phipps, who went on to be a PIAA Champion in Class 3A for Norwin in 2020. Those early duals with Phipps elevated his development on the mat.

“Being in that same room and atmosphere and having a role model to look up to really helped me stay on the right track with wrestling,” the future Midshipmen mentioned. “Along with stuff outside of wrestling, as well in life. He is a great person to look up to."

That early exposure to high level wrestling paid off for Campbell at Norwin. This season, Campbell placed in the highly competitive PIAA tournament for the first time in his career taking fifth in Hershey. He finishes his high school career with a 96-40 overall record including a 38-10 mark this year.

But with his time wrapping up with the Knights, he knows he has a lot more ahead of him as a Midshipman. A lot of people have helped him get to this point in his career and life, and he hopes that he is leaving behind a strong legacy for others to follow.

“I hope kids have someone to look up to that was a good role model, that did the right things on and off the mat,” he shared. “Make good decisions with everything - socially, what food you put in your body, all of those things that make you a successful athlete. I hope that kids look to me and they see someone like that.”