PALERMO — Ryan Mosher has developed a swing for every season, and his continually improving golf shot has helped the Mexico High School boys varsity team through a landmark season.
Mosher, a junior who plays varsity hockey for the Ontario Bay Storm and varsity baseball for the Tigers, has spearheaded a group of dedicated varsity mainstays that have thrust Mexico into contention among the top teams in Section 3 and the Freedom American League.
The Tigers entered this week with an 8-3 overall record, the highest win total in John Hansen’s five seasons as head coach, and will make their fourth straight appearance in the Section 3 fall boys golf championships on Tuesday at Rogue’s Roost East Golf Course in Chittenango.
“We’ve been deep,” Mosher said prior to a recent practice at Emerald Crest Golf Course, Mexico’s home club. “We’ve had a lot of good scores come in through the whole team, we’ve had some really low (individual) scores, but just the depth and not needing to have that one person who shoots a 37 every night has helped us balance it out.”
Mosher is in the midst of his fifth varsity golf season overall and fourth as a regular member of the starting lineup.
Hansen said that he initially recruited the three-sport standout to the golf team due to his baseball exploits, and believes that his avid hockey background has been critical in strengthening his hands, which has aided him in excelling on putts and chips.
“He has great hands around the green, after bad shots he’s able to stick one close and bounce back,” Hansen said. “From 50 yards and in, he’s focused and zeroes in around the green.”
Mosher — the son of Gene and Tracy Mosher — plays club ice hockey with his Oswego-based travel team during portions of the fall and spring, and said that hockey has long been his favorite sport. He started golfing at a young age with various family members and said he took to the game and started playing regularly around the time he joined the varsity squad.
“Hockey was the first sport that I started,” Mosher said. “I started skating around three and playing when I was five, so that’s pretty much what I’ve done for my whole life. … It has helped my hands around the green a lot, and rolling my wrists over with my swings, they’re pretty similar swings between hockey and golf.”
Mosher plays defense for the Ontario Bay varsity hockey team during the winter season, which is a combined team that consists of players from Mexico, Pulaski, Sandy Creek, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, South Jefferson, and Sackets Harbor.
Mosher received honorable mention among the Section 3 Ice Hockey All-Stars last season and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player at the high school’s annual Block M awards banquet last spring.
He also plays centerfield along with catcher and third base for the Tigers varsity baseball team, and said he considered running cross country for the school like his brother, Derrick, before deciding on golf as his fall sport.
“After baseball season ends I like to get golfing because the two swings are hard to (interchange) because they’re different, so as soon as one ends, I try to get started working on the other,” Mosher said. “It used to be harder to switch back and forth but now it comes more naturally to me.”
Mosher is one of three players in Mexico’s top six that has posted at least one sub-40 score entering this week, along with senior Connor Revette and junior Lyle Trimble.
Hansen credited that trio as part of a larger group of recent graduates that has helped rebuild the program through commitment to improving their respective games, and said current players have wisely utilized resources provided by Emerald Crest owner Cory Shatrau and added instruction from the club’s PGA golf professional, Bill Lach.
The Tigers finished with seven wins last season, six the year prior, and five in 2016 to improve each season during its four-year streak of sectional-qualifying teams. Hansen said that this year’s squad established a goal of reaching 10 regular-season wins.
Mexico’s top seven has been filled out by Nate Burrows, Trevor Coe, Andre Burns and Jake Hill.
“We’ve built the program into something that is respectable, (opposing teams) can’t just come here and expect to win any more,” Hansen said. “It’s been due to great leadership and a little extra time into the program. … The older kids have really been the example of the program, being good leaders and showing up every day and working hard, doing the little things right.”