Alex Lindstrom is at his best in cleats while carrying a baseball bat and glove. Mike Delich prefers donning spikes, shoulder pads and a football helmet.
The three-sport athletes are also outstanding wrestlers. They are both ranked No. 2 in their respective weight classes in Class 3A by the Guillotine.
“Wrestling is not either of their favorite sports,” Eastview coach Kurt Habeck said. “However, they both love to compete and know that wrestling has had a huge impact on them as a person and as an athlete. They have a lot of pride in their efforts and earned success.”
Lindstrom became the first wrestler in school history to become a member of the varsity as a seventh-grader. He currently competes at 170 pounds.
“It’s been a long six years,” Lindstrom said.
Besides playing baseball, Lindstrom teamed with Delich to form Eastview’s starting backfield in football.
“No sport has pushed me like wrestling,’’ he said. “I love the toughness of the grind.”
Lindstrom recently broke the school record for career wins with his 159th, an 8-1 victory over John Noll of Centennial en route to first place in the Eastview Invitational. He broke the mark of 158 set by Mitch Rechtzigal in 2012, Lindstrom’s seventh-grade season.
“It was a far-fetched goal that kept creeping up,” Lindstrom said. “Passing a big record like that is very humbling.”
Delich started wrestling sparingly as a freshman. He is nearing his 100th career victory, now competing at 195 pounds.
“My parents and older brother, Tom, are the reason why I’m a three-sport athlete,” Delich said. He also throws the shot put and discus for the track team. “They really pushed me, and I’m glad they did. It’s been a lot of fun,” he said.
Lindstrom and Delich have been together since their youth football days. Lindstrom always has served as the fullback, opening holes for Delich to run through from his halfback position.
“I never needed to score touchdowns,” Lindstrom said with a smile. “I was happy as long as I got to flatten somebody.”
Delich will be a walk-on for Minnesota. Lindstrom will play baseball at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“Even though the U made a coaching change, they still wanted me,” Delich said. “I want to play at the highest level I can.”
Delich still is unbeaten in his final season on the mat. Lindstrom has only dropped two matches.
“It’s been a good season so far,” Delich said. “I haven’t made too many mistakes and would like to keep it that way.”
Both have their sights set on a third consecutive trip to the state meet. Delich finished fourth a year ago while Lindstrom wound up fifth.
The two ran into major obstacles last season that kept them from finishing higher. Delich broke an ankle but continued to compete. Lindstrom ran into the eventual state champion in his weight class in the first round.
With Delich, Habeck recalled, “We knew it was injured but did not know he had a broken bone until a week later. Mike was able to battle through the adversity.”
Both would like nothing better than to go out as state champions. Eastview has had only one wrestler — Adam Fokken in 2001 — accomplish the feat in the history of the program.
“That would be the cherry on top of the high school sports career,” Delich said. “That would be a great way to go out.”