Links foster wrestling brotherhood

Olivia Hutchinson, Sports Editor

There is a common link holding together the Pitt-Johnstown wrestling team — in fact, there are three Links.

Senior captain Nathan Link said having his two brothers at UPJ makes it special.

“This is the first year, besides elementary wrestling, that Evan and I have been on the same team,” said Nathan. “I was really happy when Ryan chose UPJ and just as excited when Evan told me he wanted to come here.”

Junior Ryan Link, the middle brother, said having his brothers on the same team is an advantage on the mat.

“We have been doing this sport together for more than 15 years. We know each other’s styles very well,” said Ryan. “We are able to find positives, or weaknesses, of one another and critique them together.

“It’s like each one of us is another’s personal coaches.”

Red-shirted freshman Evan Link said there are advantages and disadvantages in attending the same school as his brothers.

“They help me pick which classes to take and help with homework, but they also know everything that I do on campus,” said Evan.

Nathan said wrestling his brothers creates a competitive edge.

“It doesn’t matter what it is, I hate to lose to my brothers,” said Nathan. “Ryan and I always pushed each other. If we’re not throwing fists, we’re highfiving, telling each other ‘good job.’ ”

Ryan said it’s all business with his brothers at practice.

“I treat Evan like he is every other freshman on the team, and I look up to Nathan as a senior captain,” said Ryan.

“It is great, though. We’ll get into scuffles while wrestling each other. Then, when we are done, it is like nothing happened.”

Evan said having two older brothers on the wrestling team helps him improve.

“When I see Ryan and Nate pushing themselves at practice, it just gives me the drive to work harder. If I can’t do something right in practice, Ryan and Nate will help me or tell me what I did wrong.”

Nathan said his younger brothers have helped his wrestling.

“There’s no doubt that wrestling with my brothers has made me the wrestler I am today.”