Sam Thomas and Zach Humphrey delivered back-to-back Geneseo championships at the 2A Sterling Sectional on Feb. 11.

Sam Thomas and Zach Humphrey delivered back-to-back Geneseo championships at the 2A Sterling Sectional on Feb. 11.

Thomas trailed in the 285-pound championship bout before rallying for a 4-2 win by decision to capture his first sectional title.

Thomas defeated John Ridgeway from Bloomington in the title match.

Thomas’ win over the No. 2 and the No. 5 ranked wrestlers at 285 pounds in Class 2A proves he’s ready for his shot at the best.

“It shows he has the potential to beat anybody,” Geneseo coach Jon Murray said.

Humphrey proved one point was all he needed to win the 220-pound title match with a 1-0 decision.

Humphrey defeated a trio of wrestlers in the Illinois Matmen top 10 rankings on his way to the sectional title.

Humphrey opened the sectional by defeating Joey Beaudoin (No. 7 ranked) from Sycamore 2-1.

He defeated Jace Punke (No. 3 ranked) by pin to advance to the championship bout in 2:57.

Humphrey captured his second consecutive sectional title over Kaneland’s Colin Gussman (No. 4 ranked) in the championship match.

The Leafs’ duo will represent the wrestling team at the state meet which starts on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the State Farm Center in Champaign.

With both wrestlers having reached the state finals for the second consecutive season, the Maple Leafs will focus on bringing home hardware from Champaign.

“I think they have the mindset to go in and win it all,” Murray said. “They are seniors so they are going to leave it all out on the mat.”

The Maple Leafs’ Ethan Kennedy fell one win shy of state after earning a pair of wins in the 170-pound wrestle backs.

A freshman, Luke Henkhaus was eliminated just a win away from state after winning a pair of bouts by decision during wrestle backs.

Geneseo’s Logan Weber thought his role at sectionals would be a sparring partner.

However, Weber got his shot at the 160-pound sectional field after Dixon’s Clint Schielein was ruled out due to an injury.

Weber earned a win in his opening match with a pin in 4:59, and he added another win in the wrestle backs with a pin before being eliminated.

A sophomore, Geneseo’s Andrew Rizzo opened the 138-pound bracket with a win by major decision, 17-5.

Rizzo added another win by decision in the wrestle backs before being eliminated.

Geneseo’s Joe Stohl earned a win in the 195-pound championship bracket, 3-1.

Charlie Schlindwein was eliminated in a close match at 126 pounds, 9-7.