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Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

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Zoey Lints

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2023
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Written by Mike MacAdam, The Daily Gazette

Zoey Lints is an astute technical wrestler who sees a series of steps ahead of a scoring shot, instead of merely reacting to the circumstances of a match.

She sees female participation in her sport gradually increasing, and one of the steps toward that end is to get young girls interested in being more than just spectators. With that in mind, the Schoharie High School graduate has complemented her success on the wrestling mats — Lints won the 138-pound weight class at the inaugural New York girls’ state championships in 2023 for the combined Duanesburg/Schoharie program — with youth coaching that focuses on getting more girls competing in wrestling.

“Usually there’s way more males than females in a room, and especially for the younger girls that may confuse them and make them feel like they don’t belong,” she said. “But if I’m there, I feel like I can help them with that.”

One thing that helps that effort is the fact that Lints’ wrestling resume commands respect.

She has been ranked as high as No. 13 in the country at 138 by USA Wrestling, and won championships on the girls’ circuit at the Niskayuna Girls Invitational and Shaker’s Queen Bison Invitational.

At the state championships in Syracuse, Lints got through the first three rounds on pins totaling just 1:25 of mat time before winning the final, 7-3.

“I’ve been trying to work to go to boys’ states, and when I found out there was an opportunity to go to girls’ states, it was so exciting,” she said.

“When I got there I felt like I had way more experience than most of the other girls, because I had been training with boys all my life.

“Before my finals match, I’m really into manifesting and thinking about what you want, so I just kept saying to myself I was going to win. I was telling everyone. Then when I got out there, I knew that I could win. Every point I scored, I held on to. Every point I gave up, I made sure I didn’t give up another point.”

Lints began wrestling when she was in second grade, following in the footsteps of two older brothers.

She first competed for the Duanesburg/Schoharie boys’ varsity as an eighth-grader and compiled a 12-5 record against boys during the 2022-23 season, with nine pins.

At the 2023 Eastern States Classic, Lints finished second to 2022 Fargo 16U bronze medalist Maddie Westerberg, ranked No. 7 in the U.S. at 144, and was the only opponent Westerberg did not pin.

“Zoey is a student-athlete who is the epitome of the phrase, ‘actions speak louder than words,’” Schoharie athletic director David Russell said. “Zoey is a dedicated athlete and dedicated team member. I recall multiple times where Zoey would be moving up or down a weight class to benefit her team and give them the best chance for success.”

As a girl competing in a male-dominated sport, Lints, who will attend Elmira College in the fall, has faced prejudice and dismissive attitudes.

She said English was her favorite class at Schoharie, and someday she’d like to write a book compiling poems expressing her various feelings. In the meantime, she tries to serve as an inspiration to young girls through her actions.

“There’s a few girls in my club that are the managers, and they’re all younger than me and they always try to hang out with me and ask me about wrestling and stuff,” Lints said. “Most of them are going to wrestle this year, and I tell them I’m going to come back and watch them.”

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