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Howell wrestlers win Kyle Thrasher Memorial Tournament

Francis Howell Viking wrestlers celebrate their Thrasher Memorial Tournament win.

Francis Howell Viking wrestlers celebrate their Thrasher Memorial Tournament win. [Francis Howell photo]

Winning the Kyle Thrasher Memorial Tournament at home recently was a tremendous bump to the Francis Howell Vikings’ wrestling team in preparation for post-season action.

Howell, which finished second to Timberland in the GAC Championship Tournament, made sure no visitors would leave their house with the top prize, as the Vikings beat 36 visiting clubs to claim the 20th Annual Thrasher Tournament Championship.

“It was a real nice win for us to have six or seven top guys, because the bigger the tournament, the more depth the tournament has in the number of teams and the better we can do,” Francis Howell coach Kevin Stroh said.

The title was the first in six seasons for Howell, as the Vikings won by a point over Whitfield. O’Fallon, Lafayette and defending champ Jefferson City rounded out the top five finishers of the 37-team field.

Howell was led by three champions in the tournament. Senior Tyler Kreith won at 120 pounds, senior Dylan Komperda prevailed at 182 pounds and junior Jack Flynn won the title at 195 pounds.

Flynn won his first title at the tournament while Kreith and Komperda collected their second title belts in tourney competition. Howell grappler Tyler Purler also had a strong day as he finished second at 160 pounds.

Kreith knocked off Timberland’s Cameron Spires in the 120-pound title match. Komperda, defeated Kyle Dickhaus of Eureka to win the 182 crown. Flynn came on strong late in his match to beat Chaminade’s Danny Conley for the 195-pound championship.

By far the best part of the tournament for the Vikings was being able to share the victory with assistant coach Derek Thrasher, former coach Thrasher’s son, who is on the Vikings staff.

“It’s his second year on our staff, so it was real special for him to win the tournament that was named after his dad,” Stroh said.

Other area winners in the tournament included Holt’s Carter Smith at 106 pounds. Smith won an overtime bout. Anthony Pisciotta, a two-time state medalist from Timberland claimed a title at 113 pounds.

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