Sports: Lakenheath sophomore says determination, speed aid success on the mat
RAF LAKENHEATH — Kyle Tyree hopes to one day fight terrorism as an FBI agent.
For now, he’s content to keep his combat focused on the wrestling mat.
The Lakenheath High School sophomore is one of five Lancers who competed in the European wrestling championship tournament this past weekend in Germany. Of the five, he was the only wrestler to claim his weight division (125 pounds) at the Feb. 11 United Kingdom wrestling championship tournament.
“I wasn’t expecting first place, but I thought I would do pretty good,” Tyree said a few hours before he departed for Germany last week. “It feels good to have all the hard work pay off with a strong finish.”
Tyree won one of his three matches at the Europeans.
The 15-year-old Virginia native credits his journey to a wrestling camp at Cornell University last year as the biggest factor behind his success.
“I learned a lot of technique and skills,” he said. “It’s helped me have success this season.”
He finished the regular season with an 8-1 record.
“I’m not as tall as other wrestlers, and I do not look as built as other people, but I’m quicker than most of them,” he said. “I like to start off by staying in control, and I use my speed for that, and then I’ll start to wear them down and make my move.”
Tyree is a three-sport athlete who barely missed the cutoffs for the European golf championships earlier this school year. As soon as wrestling wraps up, he will hit the pitch as a wingman for the Lakenheath High School soccer squad.
He said he is going to wait until his senior year to determine which sport he has the greatest opportunity to participate in at the next level.
“I’m probably going to apply for all of them,” he said. “Whichever gives me the best opportunity to keep playing is the one I’ll do.”
Tyree said he would like to study criminal justice in college and ultimately join the FBI.
The skills he’s honing on the wrestling mat could possibly make him a more capable federal agent.
“I don’t think people realize how conditioned you have to be for this sport and how much mental toughness it takes to compete,” he said. “I know that ability to focus, that voice that says ‘I can’t quit’ is going to help me as an adult,” he said.