On the wrestling mats this past week, the Geneseo High School wrestling team competed in a tough Rex Whitlatch Invite over the weekend after capturing a come-from-behind win over UTHS.

On the wrestling mats this past week, the Geneseo High School wrestling team competed in a tough Rex Whitlatch Invite over the weekend after capturing a come-from-behind win over UTHS.

Geneseo at Rex Whitlatch Invite

Collin Akers and West Cathcart made championship runs in the Rex Whitlatch Invite Dec. 18 and 19 and were the only place finishers for the 15th place Leafs.

“Two champions is good, and that was great,” said head coach Jon Murray. “It is a good confidence builder and a good example for the other guys.”

Akers (160-pounds) worked his way through the bracket as he knocked off three opponents before a win in the title bout. Akers won his first match in a 7-2 decision over Chris Giatras of Lemont, followed by a 5-3 decision win over Joey Caprio of Rolling Meadows and a 3-2 decision victory against Brandon?Lopez of Carl Sandburg. In the championship match, Akers defeated Joe Strocchia of Hinsdale Central in an 8-5 decision.

“Collin gets better every day,” said Murray. “He works hard in practice and he was sore and tired today because he went to battle this weekend, but he was busting his butt at practice. That is the mentality he has and that is why he gets better.”

Cathcart (215-lbs.) made quick work of his first three opponents, pinning all three. Cathcart pinned Gabe Pishghadmian of DeKalb in round one in 2 minutes and 41 seconds, followed by pinning Trevor Lilovich of St. Charles North in 1:19 and a pin of John Broderick of Joliet Catholic in 4:58. In the championship bout, Cathcart emerged with a  5-1 decision victory over Joe Scheider of Carl Sandburg.

“He did a nice job handling the 215-lbs. guys,” said Murray. “(When he moves down to 189-lbs.) a state title is what we expect. I don’t see anyone hanging with him.”

In other action, Drew Humphrey (140-lbs.) lost both of his matches — technical fall in 4:10 to Josh Silver of New Trier and by a 7-1 decision to Alex Anaya of Downers Grove South.

Shane Bormann (145-lbs.) won his opener over DJ Terdy of Glenbard West in a 8-5 decision, but then came up short in his next two. Bormann fell to Stevie Dewitt of Sterling in a 10-1 major decision and to Matt Yan of New Trier in a 3-0 decision.

Jacob Arnold (152-lbs.) defeated his first opponent Nolan Meehan of West Aurora by technical fall in 5:24. Arnold later lost to Joey?Kielbasa of Crystal Lake Central by technical fall in 5:45 and to Tyrone Sally of Hinsdale South in a 19-8 major decision.

Jacob Janssen (171-lbs.) won his opener in a 14-1 major decision over Mike Thiede of West Chicago, but suffered losses in his next two bouts. Janssen was pinned by David Lutz of Hinsdale Central in 3:07 and later lost in a 4-2 decision to Joey Kerr of Hinsdale South.

Ben Rudy (189-lbs.) went 2-2 for the weekend with a round one win over Robert Rivera of Hinsdale South, 4-2, but lost the following match in a 6-2 decision to CJ?Heney of Joliet Catholic. Rudy bounced back to defeat Austin Beebe of West Aurora in an 8-1 decision and then lost his final match 5-2 to Steve Bus of Naperville Central.

Alex Carney (285-lbs.) had a tough tournament as he was defeated in both his matches. Carney fell in his opener 4-1 to Johnny Gustin of Naperville Central and later was pinned by Joey Brooks of Sterling in 2:25.

“(As for the rest of the team) you always want to get that experience and walk away with something positive,” said Murray. “We came home with ideas of what we need to work on and every day we will figure out how we can improve.”

Geneseo vs. UTHS

After falling behind early, the Leaf wrestlers, with help from an overtime win by Akers, prevailed in a close, 39-27 win over visiting UTHS Dec. 17 in Geneseo.

“It was guts (that won the match for Geneseo),” said Murray. “In the close matches we were able to win the close ones and Collin is another example with a win in overtime was a big swing. They all fought hard to the end and the only thing that stops them from fighting is the whistle.”

Geneseo started off the night, dropping the first two matches to UT.

Rudy (189-lbs.) was defeated in a 5-2 decision, while Cole Reiling (215-lbs.) was pinned in 3:57.
Cathcart (285-lbs.) quickly took care of business pinning his opponent in :16. The Leafs nabbed two more wins after that from Tristan?Thies (103-lbs.) and Seth Stewart (112-lbs.), who both received forfeits.

UT was able to take the next two matches as Geneseo’s Jake Miller (119-lbs.) was pinned in 2:57 and Josh Dodge (125-lbs.) was pinned in :50.

Ben Chom (130-lbs.) helped the Leafs rebound by pinning his opponent in 3:10, while Jacob Koster (135-lbs.) defeated his opponent in a 5-1 decision.

Mitch Miller (140-lbs.) came up short in his match as he fell in a 12-7 decision, while Bormann (145-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 2:37.

Arnold (152-lbs.) lost his match in a 9-5 decision, which was followed by an overtime victory by Akers (160-lbs.), 3-1. Janssen (171-lbs.) sealed the win for the Leafs with a 6-2 decision victory.

The Leafs will be back in action at 6 p.m. Jan. 7 when they travel to Sterling to face off against the Golden Warriors.

“We are going to be stepping up our conditioning and cleaning up our technique,” said Murray. “We just want to keep improving.”