Geneseo’s Billy Blaser added another first to his resume, winning the Class 2A Rock Falls Regional, and Geneseo advanced seven others to the sectional meet.
Geneseo’s Billy Blaser added another first to his resume, winning the Class 2A Rock Falls Regional on Feb. 3.
Eight Maple Leafs’ wrestlers qualified for sectionals, but Geneseo finished runner-up (146) in the team competition behind champions LaSalle-Peru (199).
Geneseo’s Blaser survived a semifinal round test against Cody Thomas of Galesburg in the 285-pound bracket.
Blaser defeated Thomas 1-0 in the semifinal match, and won the title with a 9-0 major decision over Jamel Jackson of Richwoods.
Geneseo Coach Jon Murray stressed to his wrestlers they should be focused on just one thing.
“The biggest hurdle at any given time is your next match,” Murray said. “You get through the next match and then you turn your attention to the next one. That is it, just one match at a time.”
The Maple Leafs’ Andrew Rizzo returned from a knee injury and finished second in the 138-pound bracket.
Rizzo was defeated in the title match by Leo Mushinsky who is ranked third in the state at 138-pounds.
Geneseo’s Josh Decker fought his way through a tough 160-pound bracket to take third.
Decker won the third-place match with a 2-0 decision in overtime to earn his first sectional berth.
“His bracket was loaded,” Murray said. “I’m very proud of him for getting out of that bracket given the quality of wrestlers. He fought hard to get that overtime win for third place to squeak through regionals to get to the next level.”
The Leafs’ Heath Henderson earned his first sectional berth with a pin in 2:27 to take third place in the 170-pound bracket.
Joe Stohl earned a return ticket to sectionals with a 5-4 win by decision in the third-place match of the 220-pound bracket.
The Leafs’ Luke Henkhaus will be another Geneseo wrestler returning to sectionals after winning the 120-pound third-place match with a pin in 3:46.
A sophomore, Geneseo’s Cade Hornback earned his first sectional appearance after winning the third-place match with a pin in 3:41 at 113-pounds.
A freshman, the Leafs’ Liam Barlow earned his first sectional berth with an 11-3 win by major decision to take third place.
Geneseo’s Logan Tuggle finished fourth at 126 pounds, and Jack Morrell finished fourth at 145 pounds.
The Leafs’ Jayden Erdman finished fourth at 152 pounds, and Ethan McKelvain finished fourth at 195 pounds.
With the top three individuals advancing to sectionals in each bracket, Geneseo’s individuals will compete at the Class 3A Sycamore Sectional, on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m.