Ryan Hsu, Norwood Wrestling

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
February, 2020
Article Body: 

As a baseball player, Norwood’s Ryan Hsu was looking for a sport to fill his winter that would help him get in shape for the upcoming season. Originally, Hsu was gravitating toward track as it seemed like the obvious choice until his friend, JT Timlin, convinced him to check out wrestling.
“JT wrestled in middle school and told me I should go to the meeting,” Hsu said. “I got to meet the coach and thought that by going to the meeting that I was committed to wrestle. I didn’t realize at the time that I didn’t have to, but I’m glad I did.”
Hsu made the junior varsity wrestling team his freshman season and soon found out that wrestling was a totally different sport than anything he had ever taken part in prior.
“Wrestling was physically demanding, but it really got me in shape,” Hsu said. “As a first year wrestler, I was ok being on the JV team and didn’t have any thoughts of wrestling on the varsity team that year.”
After his very first meet, a tri meet, Hsu left the mat undefeated and 3-0. Not only surprising his coaches, but himself as well. At first the young wrestler thought it was a fluke, but soon realized that he had a knack for the sport. Before long he was sporting a 5-0 record and getting a call-up to the varsity team, where he would go 10-10 on the year.
Just like wrestling on the junior varsity squad for the first time, Hsu found the varsity sport quite different.
“Varsity was much tougher than I expected, it was like starting all over again,” Hsu said. “It was totally a different animal that I was used to. I just worked as hard as I could in practice. My wrestling partner, Mike White, was a great influence and got me prepared to take over for him.”
Hsu, who wrestled in the 195 pound weight class, finished fifth that season at the Sectionals. The following year as a sophomore, he continued to wrestle in the 195 pound weight class for the Mustangs where he would post an impressive second-year record of 23-5 and captured the Sandwich Tournament. He would go onto wrestle in the Sectionals where he finished third and then finished eighth in the States.
“Last year as an underclassmen he really had nothing to lose,” Norwood Wrestling Coach Bill McDermott said. “When Ryan is wrestling neutral looking for the takedown that’s when he’s at his best.”
Wrestling in the State Tournament for the first time last winter, Hsu found himself nervous at the beginning as he stared out at the huge gym full of people, but eventually composed himself and went at the task at hand.
“Being in that gym in Beverly was very intimidating, especially as a sophomore,” Hsu said. “I just collected my thoughts and wrestled. This is a sport where experience helps your confidence and ability to win.”
During summer vacation, Hsu attended a team camp at Brown University where he got to participate in the sport with a lot of state teams. Here he found that he wasn’t in the best of shape and needed to work on conditioning himself the rest of the summer if he was to be successful in the upcoming season.
In addition to all the work he did over the summer to get ready for the wrestling season, Hsu also plays football for Norwood during the fall and he feels that also got him ready with all the running the team did.
Unfortunately, the junior hurt his shoulder and wasn’t himself and was unable to compete in the team’s first quad meet, but since then he has compiled an 11-4 record, where he finished second in the Sandwich Tournament and took fifth in the Marshfield Tournament.
“There were 29 in his weight class at the Marshfield Tournament,” Coach McDermott said. “He’ll get another chance at a lot of those same guys throughout the season and the second time around he’ll be more familiar with them and I’m positive he’ll get the win.”
Coming into the season the junior is looking to win the State Title in his weight class.
“It’s defiantly something that is within my reach,” Hsu said. “It’s a long season and I just need to focus on getting to the end while wrestling my best and then push myself into the post-season on a high note.”
Hsu has already got himself moving in the right direction, he just needs to stay the course and he’ll be wrestling once again in the Sectional and State Tournaments, where he is looking to improve upon his last performances there.