The three-time state champion chose the Wildcats over Oklahoma State, having also visited Michigan and Wisconsin. Attending Northwestern will allow Tsirtsis to more easily continue to train with his brother and mentor, Alex, a four-time undefeated state champion at Griffith who went on to become an All-American at Iowa.
“Both (Northwestern and Oklahoma State) are great programs, and what helped me decide on Northwestern was being close to home, having my family close, especially Alex. That was huge,” Jason said. “It was a really tough decision — I don’t think I could’ve made a a bad decision. It’s been a long process, and I feel confident with my choice.
“The Big Ten is the best wrestling conference in the country, so that’s another plus. The academics, either way I would’ve gotten a great degree, but Northwestern is second to none with academics. It was really hard to find a factor that really separated one school from the other. It was just neck-and-neck in different areas — it was a really tough choice, but a good one.”
Tsirtsis, planning to wrestle at 145 pounds for CP this season, is a lock — barring something extremely unforeseen — to become the eighth four-time champion in state history. The only two losses of his high school career came as a freshman; he avenged one in the state semifinals, and he defeated the other opponent three other times that season.
In July, he added a prestigious line to his impeccable resume — freestyle junior national title in Fargo, N.D., at 140 pounds.
“Northwestern’s not known to have the top program around, but they have a lot of great guys around my weight, and the coach is really dedicated to me,” said Tsirtsis, anticipating wrestling at 141 as a freshman, and considering studying biology, with an eye on becoming a dentist.