Lindbergh High School wrestling team takes third place in Vianney Invitational

By Stephen Glover

Like pieces to a puzzle, the Lindbergh High School wrestling team is starting to come together.

In the Vianney Invitational last weekend, the Flyers placed third with 126.5 points.

The third-place finish was better than the Flyers’ pre-tournament ranking of fourth place. That said, Lindbergh head coach Tom Gose was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We were really happy with that (the third-place finish),” Gose told the Call. “Our goal was to place in the top four and we ended up being shorthanded of our two best wrestlers.”

The Flyers were without the services of Joe Catalano (125 pounds) and A.J. Peters (171 pounds) due to illness.

Lindbergh did receive some outstanding performances by seniors Kevin Duniven (140 pounds) and Daniel Virtue (145 pounds), both of whom captured first-place finishes in their respective weight classes.

Duniven, who placed sixth at the state championships last season, was a little bit rusty after not seeing action in nearly a month.

Gose and his staff expected the senior to be a little off his game, yet were quite happy with his performance.

“He hadn’t wrestled in over a month,” Gose said. “We figured that he would be a little rusty and would have a lot to overcome this weekend.”

Virtue, on the other hand, is a four-year member of the varsity squad and quickly closing in on 100 wins in his career as a Flyer.

“Dan’s been a varsity kid for us for four years now,” Gose explained. “He’s closing in on 100 wins and is one of our more recognizable faces in the state. We were really happy for him this weekend.”

Freshman Jesse Cain (103 pounds) stepped into the varsity lineup this past weekend and captured second place, which Gose was quick to point out as being a solid accomplishment.

“Any time you have a freshman come into your varsity lineup and succeed, you’re thrilled,” said Gose. “He was winning the championship match 6-0 but ended up going to overtime and lost.”

Jeff Streibig (125 pounds) also came through with a strong effort this weekend with a runners-up finish in his respective weight category. The junior dropped down to 125 pounds for the tournament after wrestling at 130 pounds for most of the season.

Just why would Streibig do such a thing? He did it to help his team out and to have the opportunity to wrestle some of the state’s best competition, according to the coach.

“He might be our most improved wrestler right now,” said Gose. “He’s not afraid to wrestle the top guys and 125 is a much tougher weight class than 130.”

Senior Frank Tichler (160 pounds) had a solid showing at the Vianney Invitational, capturing third place. Gose commented on the improvements that Tichler’s made since last season and believes the senior is headed in the right direction.

“Frank’s had a really good year,” said Gose. “His record right now is 19-7 and he’s going to have to continue to improve if he wants to get where he wants to go. He’s a really tough kid.”

The Flyers return to the mat at 6 p.m. Wednesday — after the Call went to press — as they play host to Kirkwood in a Suburban West Conference showdown.