There are things that are bigger than sports. The Lindenwood University wrestling team has embraced that understanding this wrestling season. In one of the best stories you have probably not heard about, the Lindenwood Lions wrestling team has a very special young man on the roster this season after signing Chris Bini on January 15th. That night the Lions rolled over Truman State 57-0 while their honorary captain looked on from the bench. Why does this matter? Chris was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma last May and has been undergoing a three-year chemotherapy regimen with his twin brother Nathan by his side. Standing by your brother is a lesson that wrestlers learn and live with and Nathan was there next to Chris on the bench cheering on the Lions that Tuesday night. Having a fighter like Chris on the roster and around the team can put things into perspective for college athletes and you can see maturity growing in head coach Jimmy Rollins athletes. They bring a 10-3 record into their Friday dual with 23rd ranked Newman University. That record includes two losses to Wheeling Jesuit that took place at the NWCA National Duals and a 20-19 loss last weekend to second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney. The Newman Jets are looking to break out of a four-match losing streak and head coach Ryan Smith wants to continue the growth of his program after crowning its first national champion in the team's history last March.
Footage of Chris Bini's signing
#23 Newman University at #6 Lindenwood University
Where: Robert F Hyland Arena, St Charles, Missouri
Newman University is in the midst of a tough stretch of dual competition that has not gone their way. Lindenwood University has shown they can compete with the top teams in the nation, including a win over then fourth-ranked Notre Dame College. Lindenwood has a tough dual schedule going forward, they only face ranked programs. Newman’s schedule does not get any softer either, their lone unranked foe is Pratt Community College. These are two teams that will enter the Super Regionals having been tested and that can only pay dividends when it matters.
These two teams both have wrestlers on the roster that have transferred from Division I programs and are having immediate impacts on the lineup. There may not be any head-to-head matches between ranked wrestlers, but there are intriguing matchups up and down the lineups. Looking at these lineups, it is easy to see them both being even better next season. We may only see one senior take the mat between the two teams which is almost unheard of in college wrestling.
If you want to learn more about Chris Bini and the incredible work Team Impact does joining college programs with children battling serious and chronic illnesses check out their website
To learn more about Chris Bini signing with the Tigers check out this story from KMOV4 here
And if you would like to help the Bini family out as they prepare for their Make A Wish trip you can visit here
As always with our Dual of the Week, we’ll break down each matchup, what each team needs to do to win, make our predictions, and have the WrestleStat take on the dual as well.
#23 Newman vs. #6 Lindenwood
125: Jake Patch (NU) vs. #3 Carlos Jacquez (LU)
133: Tyler Lawley (NU) vs. Tanner Hitchcock (LU)
141: Kevin Kissane or Baylor Smith (NU) vs. #8 Danny Swan or Tyler Wicken (LU)
149: Kameron Frame (NU) vs. #4 Gavin Londoff (LU)
157: #2 Tyler Mies (NU) vs. Nate Trepanier (LU)
165: Noah Perkis (NU) vs. #7 Kyle Jolas (LU)
174: Nate Panagakis (NU) vs. Kyle Summers or Jorge Guerrero (LU)
184: Ivan Balavage (NU) vs. #9 Colton Clingenpeel (LU)
197: Jake Stoneberger or Sage Eckman (NU) vs. Jared McKinley (LU)
Hwt: Thor Balavage (NU) vs. #12 Voss Morrow (LU)
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