For fourth-grader Kyle Mosher, wrestling is all he and his family have ever known.
His brother, Craig, is a varsity wrestler at Kellenberg Memorial High School. His cousins wrestle. His uncles were all grapplers and his grandfather, Bill Linkner, coached 14 champion wrestling squads at Valley Stream South High School.
With wrestling in his bloodline, it should come as no shock that the 65-pound Mosher won his second New York State Wrestling Championship in three years in Bay Shore a few weeks ago.
Kyle didn’t lose a single point during qualifiers for the tournament, and won each of his matches up until the final one via a pin or technical fall — a sign of his domination over the competition. In the final, he defeated the top-seeded wrestler in the 65-pound division in his closest match — a 15-4 decision.
Linkner, a long time RVC resident who has since retired to Hilton Head, S.C., said he believes that Kyle has a bright wrestling future as long as he continues to love it.
“My youngest son was a really good wrestler, and he went to UConn," he said. "Kyle, if he keeps it up, can do it as long as he wants. He truly loves it, and that’s the most important thing. You can’t push someone his age – you can’t have him pull weight, that’s the worst thing you can do – that’s the quickest way to turn someone off of wrestling.”
Kyle, who is coached by the trainers of the Long Beach Gladiators, got his wrestling start four years ago after following in his brother’s footsteps. South Side High School can only hope that as he continues to perfect his craft, Mosher doesn’t follow in his brother's path again and take his talents to Kellenberg.
“He has some great coaches from the Long Beach program that he’s been working with," Linker said. "They are really high on the kid, and he just loves to wrestle more than anything. We’ll see where he chooses to go to high school in a few years. The family loves Kellenberg, but as long as South Side continues to have a dedicated coach in the building that's not afraid to put his time in, I hope he goes there.”
Mosher has a natural wrestling talent, Linker said, and is also technically sound. He added that Mosher's technical proficiency will only grow has he matures.
“He’s very aggressive," he said. "He’s got a natural balance that I’ve rarely seen in my 20 years of coaching."