WESTERN SPRINGS — Every strong high school gymnastics team has to be led by players with club experience.
Lyons Township sophomore Chris Rediehs has that experience, and, with the support of a hard-working roster, the Lions are on the cusp of qualifying for state as a team.
Rediehs has grown into the role of team leader and some of the older gymnasts with less experience have put the work in.
“I would say Chris Rediehs is our powerhouse,” said coach Kenn Su. “He’s our all-arounder. He’s the horse of the team.”
Rediehs has been hovering near 51 points on his all-around scores recently, which could place him in the top 10 at state. The Lions are also right in that top 10 range as a team, scoring in the mid 140s when fielding a full lineup. The top eight teams qualify for state.
“I think it’s one of the best seasons we’ve had since maybe 2008,” Su said. “The kids have been doing a real good job of preparing and getting competitive routines together.”
Supporting Rediehs are junior specialists Will Gallucci and Noah Mennemeier. Gallucci has emerged as a likely state qualifier on rings.
“He’s probably the most improved gymnast we have in the gym,” Su said of Gallucci. “He’s a real strong presence on rings. We expect him to get to state on rings and maybe finish in the top five or 10.”
Mennemeier missed the Lions’ last meet due to illness but has been improved this year. He qualified for state on parallel bars last year, and Su thinks he has a chance to make it on pommel horse and vault this year.
“He’s very strong on all three events,” Su said. “We expect him to be going on probably all three. He’s stepped up his game. He’s a little more focused this year.”
Xavier Barry also posted an 8.5 on pommel horse at a recent invite.
The Lions are headed for the West Suburban Silver meet Saturday at Hinsdale Central. LT will be battling Downers Grove North, which beat the Lions 145.4-142.2 in a dual on April 2. After that, the Lions will head to Downers North May 3 for a sectional.
“The last few years we haven’t been very competitive and we’re in the upper echelon right now and we’re knocking on the door,” Su said. “The kids have worked very hard in the offseason to get to the point where we’re at.”