Athlete of the Week: Josh Linder

Josh Linder won four matches Saturday at the St. Croix Falls Wrestling Classic on his way to the tournament’s heavyweight championship.

For that, Josh Linder has been named the Union-Eagle’s athlete of the week.

Linder is now 19-5 for Princeton on the season and is ranked ninth in the state in the latest state rankings.

Josh is the son of Jim Linder, who made his own mark on the wrestling mat for the Tigers when he was back in high school. Jim was once ranked fourth in the state. Josh’s grandpa Len was a standout wrestler in the Cambridge program.

Josh started wrestling in pre-school and is proud of the fact that he won only first- and second-place honors his entire youth wrestling careers.

“I never took a third or a fourth,” Linder said.

Josh, now a senior, joined the varsity wrestling team his sophomore year. He went to the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament last year as a junior.

Josh’s goal for 2012?

“To become a better wrestler, get back to the state tournament, and finish in the top three,” he said.

Until tournament time Josh is intent on working hard in the gym so he can reach his goal.

“I’m working hard in practice, listening to the coaches and learning new moves,” he said.