Ryan Mosley, the Daily Post's Wrestler of the Year. Mosley won the Class AAAAA state championship at the 138-pound weight class. Mosley, a senior at Shiloh, is hoping to wrestle at the university level.
A year ago when Ryan Mosley lost in the semifinals of the state wrestling tournament, he knew he needed to do something different.
If the Shiloh wrestler ever wanted to be a state champion, then he would have to step up his offseason training program.
So Mosley spent a month last summer at the prestigious J Robinson intensive wrestling camp in Minnesota.
When he arrived there, he was given a booklet and told to rip out the front page and tape it to the ceiling above his bed.
Every day when Mosley woke up, he read the message ‘Every day has a purpose.’
“My whole summer pretty much was all wrestling,” Mosley said.
The camp and the dedication paid off for Mosley in February. The Daily Post’s Wrestler of the Year won the Class AAAAA 138-pound state championship. The title completed an undefeated season and gave the senior the title he’s worked so long to obtain.
“It’s weird the way your mind works,” Mosley said. “You write something on paper and you start believing in it and start thinking you’re the best wrestler in the state.”
After Mosley left the wrestling camp, he continued the same goal writing at home. Next to his bed, he kept a list of athletic and academic goals. They included winning state, going undefeated, a national title and being recruited as Division I wrestler. In the classroom, he wanted to make A’s and B’s, score 1,500 on the SAT and be in the top 100 in his class.
Mosley nearly followed the family line of athletics in football. His father Rufus was an all-conference lineman at Livingstone College and his older brother Rufus Jr., just completed his sophomore year at the North Carolina school.
Mosley was a quarterback as a sophomore, but gave up football and baseball to commit his time to wrestling.
“It’s probably the best decision I ever made,” Mosley said. “(My dad) didn’t want me to quit football at all. It’s a big football family. I look at the outcome of it now and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made.”
Mosley grew up as a successful youth wrestler, winning six kids state titles. It was a different story when he got to high school. He failed to place at the state tournament as a freshman and sophomore.
“He had these expectation to place as a ninth and 10th grader,” Shiloh coach Jose Helena said. “Not placing made him work that much harder.”
Mosley reached the state semifinals as a junior, losing to eventual state champion Jeremiah Lutz from Etowah. Mosley battled back to place third and finished the year 54-4.
He spent the summer going to camp after camp, including the one in Minnesota. He trained at nearly every wrestling facility in the state, gaining valuable mat time against the state’s best.
The hard work paid off early in the year. By the time the Gwinnett County tournament rolled around at the end of December, Mosley was undefeated.
“It started to hit me when I was 30-something and zero. My dad and I were brainstorming and I was like I haven’t given up a point this year,” Mosley said. “It hit me then, I couldn’t just go undefeated. I needed to go undefeated and unscored on and everything.”
Mosley didn’t allow an offensive point, such as a takedown or reversal, all season.
“He just had a chip on his shoulder,” Helena said. “There was a sense to push him and win a state championship. I didn’t think he would go all year without getting scored on, but he turned up his work ethic.”
None of Mosley’s matches were close, except for his 3-0 win over Collins Hill’s Spencer Rickman in the state finals.
“The biggest thing that fueled me for that match, I understand he was a state finalist and he’s going for that title,” Mosley said. “I was 58-0 before that match and nobody had stopped me all year. I blocked out the cameras, the crowd, the coaches. I blocked out Coach Helena if you can believe that. I couldn’t hear anything. It was me and him out there. It was my time to shine.”
Mosley became Shiloh’s first state champion since Justin Musarra in 2000. Mosley will wrestle at Senior Nationals later this month, where he hopes to boost his recruiting stock. He’s gained interest from schools in the Big 10 and in the Southeast. Despite all of his success this season, there’s still plenty of room for Mosley to grow in college.
“I feel he still has a chance to grow at the next level,” Helena said. “You have to be ready at all times. Just wrestling a dual or a tournament is like a state finals match.”