Despite finishing 12th of 13 teams at the Class 4 District 1 Tournament last weekend, the Lindbergh High School wrestling squad had one bright spot — senior James Bearden, who won the 160-pound weight class.
“We’ve had a rough year,” Lindbergh head coach Josh Hansel said. “For a lot of our kids, this was their first year on the varsity.”
Bearden (7-2), who has been out for most of the season due to an injury, won his weight class with a 5-4 decision over Trent Melton of Seckman.
“James wrestled a phenomenal tournament,” Hansel said. “He’s been hurt for most the year and was only 3-2 for the year going into districts. He had a rough Friday and a very good Saturday. I think that he’s starting to see that time is running out be-cause he looked close to unbeatable on Saturday.”
Bearden is scheduled to face James Barton (38-11) of St. Louis University today — Feb. 14 — in the first round of the Class 4 160-pound weight class of the Missouri Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Hansel hopes that Bearden’s performance at state sets a precedent for many of the team’s younger grapplers next season.
“We return only six kids to the varsity lineup next year, so we’ll be rebuilding again,” Hansel said. “We’ve got a good crop of sophomores, so the future is bright. It’s just going to take some time.”