Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips
After failing to place at the state tournament the last two years, Shiloh's Ryan Mosley is determined to earn a medal this year. Mosley only has two losses this season.
Like a lot of kids, Ryan Mosley grew up playing football and baseball. He dreamed of one day being a two-sport star.
Then he was introduced to wrestling.
Instead of focusing on excellence in two sports, Mosley wanted to be the best in all three.
THE MOSLEY FILE
Who: Ryan Mosley
Favorite TV show: “Jersey Shore”
Favorite sports team: Atlanta Falcons
Dream job: High school teacher and wrestling coach
What do you do before a match?: “I warm up really hard. That’s one thing I learned from college wrestlers. You warm up to get a sweat going. You don’t want to go out there dripping wet, but if your singlet isn’t wet then you didn’t warm up good enough.”
• Won Gwinnett County championship this season
• Won Area 8-AAAAA title last season
• Two-time state qualifier
• Played quarterback on football team and catcher on baseball team as a sophomore
• Maintains a 3.1 GPA
“I always thought I was going to be a great football player or baseball player,” Mosley said. “Then once we found out I had a little athleticism with wrestling, I got involved with wrestling more.”
Playing three sports year-round eventually took its toll on Mosley and he had to drop football last year. That allowed him to spend more time with wrestling, his favorite of the three.
The extra time has paid off. Mosley spent the entire summer and offseason going to wrestling camps and tournaments. After two years of failing to place at the state tournament, he’s emerged as a title contender.
“This is the first year I put the whole summer into wrestling,” Mosley said. “Ever since I lost last year, wrestling has been the most important thing.”
Mosley sports a 39-2 record, which includes 28 pins. He won the Gwinnett County championship last month in convincing fashion with four pins.
“It’s not that I won county, it’s that I dominated everybody at county,” Mosley said. “I pinned everybody in 30 or 40 seconds. That’s what made me feel like I’ve got a shot at winning state this year.”
Of the few blemishes on Mosley’s record this season, one is a 2-1 loss in the finals at the Stockbridge tournament. Mosley didn’t get a late reversal and lost the decision.
The loss came in mid-December before the county meet and refocused Mosley.
“My training has gone from like a level 5 trying to get to a level 10,” Mosley said. “I’ve been working harder and harder. That one loss made me feel like I could have had that undefeated record, but there’s always next year.”
Mosley’s only other defeat was to Tucker’s Gabriel Miller, the top wrestler at 130 pounds in Class AAAA, by a 4-2 decision.
Mosley has been wrestling since he was 7. He went to two youth practices at Parkview before his first tournament and took second. That’s when he knew he could be pretty good at the sport.
He won two kids state championships and entered high school with a lot of expectations while he juggled football and baseball. He went 1-2 at state as a freshman and failed to place.
“When he first got here, he was expecting to win it every year,” Shiloh coach Jose Helena said. “But like I told him, AAAAA is a totally different ball game. You just have a bigger challenge. To him it has been somewhat of a disappointment and I think that’s why he worked so hard during the offseason.”
As a sophomore, Mosley saw action as Shiloh’s quarterback and got a late start to the wrestling season. He placed fourth at county and won the Area 8-AAAAA title, where he earned most outstanding wrestler honors.
An injured toe hurt Mosley at state and he was one match away from placing. His losses were to the second- and third-place finishers.
“I think that motivated him a lot,” Helena said. “He should have placed last year, but you never know what’s going to happen until you get to state.”
Mosley dropped football this fall, which allowed him to attend intensive wrestling camps and tournaments.
Now Mosley is ranked No. 3 in the 130-pound weight class. Shiloh hasn’t had a state champion since Justin Musarra in 2000, but Mosley’s new dedication could change that.
“He’s definitely underrated,” Helena said. “Basically, he’s a real special individual. He has a work ethic that is out of this world.”