BETHALTO - Twin brothers Caine and Caleb Tyus have enjoyed very successful wrestling careers at Civic Memorial High School, with both having very successful runs in the 2019-20 season, Caine finishing in third place at 138 pounds in the IHSA Class 2A finals, while Caleb was the runner-up at 132 pounds in helping the Eagles to a very successful season on the mat.

Recently in a ceremony at the school, the Tyus brothers both signed letters of intent to wrestle for SIU-Edwardsville, starting in the 2021-22 season, following in the footsteps of their father, Sean, who also wrestled for the Cougars from 2005 to 2007.

For their accomplishments on the mat, along with taking the next step in their wrestling careers, Caine and Caleb Tyus have both been named the Riverbender.com male Co-Athletes of the Month for December, 2020.

For both of the brothers, it was a very easy decision to sign with SIUE. They both were very familiar with the program, knew many of the wrestlers and coaches, and it was also very close to home.

"It was close to home, I've been to the campus many times, as my dad wrestled at SIUE," Caine said during a phone interview the day before the ceremony, "I was close to many of the wrestlers, so I felt it was the right place for me. I'm going to feel right at home."

Caine also considered McKendree University in Lebanon, along with other National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools (the small school version of the NCAA), and has yet to decide on a major. He'll bring many outstanding qualities to the Cougars.

"I'm a hard worker, and someone you can depend on," Caine said. "I'm a team player."

Both the Tyus brothers are from a very athletic family. Besides their dad's success at SIUE, their older sister, Kourtland, was a key player for the CM girls basketball team, and currently is playing for Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., in suburban Kansas City. Caine and Caleb constantly draw inspiration from each other, and are also very competitive as well.

"Of course, we're the same weight, so we kind of battle a lot," Caine said with a laugh. "We kind of push each other also, and that helps us a lot."

Caleb's reasons for choosing the Cougars were similar to his brother's.

"It's close to home, and I know the coaches and the program, since my dad wrestled there," Caleb said. "And it's Division-I as well."

Although the Cougars are members of the Ohio Valley Conference, they're the only school in the league that has a wrestling program, so SIUE competes in the Mid-American Conference, which has very good wrestling schools such as Rider, Old Dominion University, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Missouri. Missouri is similar to SIUE in that they're the only school in the Southeastern Conference with a wrestling program. It's a very good and competitive conference for wrestling.

"They have some pretty good teams and competitors," Caleb said.

Caleb plans on majoring in biology and medical science, with a goal of entering the medical field after graduation. He looked at other schools, mainly in Divisions I and II.

"I didn't really focus on other schools," Caleb said, "but I focused on both Division-I and Division-II, because I knew I could perform at that level."

Caleb will bring the same kind of qualities to the Cougars as his brother.

"I do what I'm told, I'm a hard worker, and I like to reach my goals," Caleb said.

Both the Tyus brothers are looking ahead to their senior season, which will now take place during the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic that's affected the entire state. They both feel that the Eagles will have an outstanding team this coming year, and are hopeful for a chance at a possible state tournament berth for both themselves and the team.

"Of course, I always want a season, so I can see how I match up with other wrestlers," Caine said, "but I hope there's a state tournament this year, to see how I do against the top wrestlers. I know we'll have some new people coming in, and as a team, we may be able to qualify as a team, and we may be able to place a lot of people at state."

"I really hope we have a season this year," Caleb said. "I think we have our best team ever at our school. I hope to qualify for state and win a championship."

Both of the Tyus brothers have the same outlook on the sport, along with similar philosophies.

"If you want the rewards, you have to work for it," Caine said. "I hope to bring a lot for the team and I hope I can help them succeed, both individually and as a team."

"I hope to do good at wrestling, qualify and place at the NCAA tournament," Caleb added, "then get my degree and start my life from there."

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating these young athletes. Riverbender.com wishes you continued success in your future!

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