Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com
By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
Tyler Linderbaum is a four-sport standout with a future as division I football player.
While rolling up 29 consecutive wins on the wrestling mat this winter Linderbaum has looked every bit like a veteran wrestler.
Watching Linderbaum post 17 pins on his way to an unbeaten senior season its easy to forget the third-ranked Solon heavyweight is only three years removed from a potential career in basketball.
In just his third year of wrestling Linderbaum has his eyes set on a state title, a quest that begins at the Class 2A, Sectional 3 tournament on Saturday at Noon at Solon.
“I’m still kind of new to this, it’s only my third year so I’m always learning something new and that’s good for me,” Linderbaum said. “I feel like I’m still improving each and every day.”
Linderbaum has proved to be a quick learner on the wrestling mat.
He won 31 matches in his first year of wrestling two seasons ago as a sophomore.
Last year he went 55-10 and finished fifth in his first trip to the state meet.
This season Linderbaum looks more like a wrestler than ever before.
Linderbaum is 29-0 on the season with just seven matches going to the distance.
“He’s so much more confident this year than he even was last year,” Solon coach Blake Williams said. “You can see that confidence in him and that’s been a part of his success.”
The senior season success for Linderbaum has come even as he spent a few weeks of the wrestling team as a football player.
A two-time all-state lineman and Iowa defensive line recruit, Linderbaum spent a week in January taking part in the US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
The time away from wrestling didn’t help Linderbaum from a conditioning stand point but hasn’t hurt him on the mat.
“He’s missed 12 matches because of his football commitments so he’s still trying to get into that match shape I think but he’s definitely getting better every match,” Williams said. “He’s looked better every time out.”
Linderbaum enters the postseason having pinned his last six opponents after record three consecutive falls to win his first WAMAC individual title last week.
In his first 10 matches of the season Linderbaum earned three wins over top-10 opponents.
He defeated fourth-ranked Dominick Etherington of Algona 5-2 and No. 9 Jacob Knutson of Crestwood via ultimate tiebreaker in the season-opening tournament.
Linderbaum added a 2-1 win over No. 6 Brendon Lunsford of Fairfield two weeks later.
In 11 January matches since returning from the US Army All-American Bowl Linderbaum has record nine pins and a pair of major decisions.
“I was starting to get into good shape and when I went to the football game I think I lost a little,” Linderbaum said. “I think I’m regaining that and as we get into the postseason I’ll be ready.”