Geneseo wrestlers prevail over Panthers, 45-24

Amy Carton
Josh Dodge works on pinning his Streator opponent. The Leafs dominated the Bulldogs, 66-10.

It was a good week of action for the Geneseo wrestling team as the Leafs notched four wins on the mats.

Geneseo vs. UTHS

The Leafs were on the road Jan. 10 where they defeated UTHS, 45-24.

“As a whole, we are doing great,”?said head coach Jon Murray. “They keep impressing me, and I think we are growing as a team physically, mentally and technically.”

Joey Medina (145-pounds) fell in the opening match in an 8-3 decision, but Ryan?Pitra (152-lbs.) helped the Leafs rebound as he pinned his opponent in 1 minute and 52 seconds.

Tyler Puls (160-lbs.) added another win for Geneseo with a 10-2 major decision, while Mitch Miller (170-lbs.) lost a close one in a 5-4 decision.

Bryce Zanfes (182-lbs.) earned a pin in 2:25, followed by Oliver Newton (195-lbs.) who quickly took care of his opponent with a pin in :42.

“I thought we matched up really well with UT, but we should have had a couple more wins,” said Murray. “Overall, I was very happy, since we lost to them earlier this season. It was a good confidence boost, and we showed last night how we have improved.”

Blake Rusk (220-lbs.) continued with the pins for Geneseo as he pinned his opponent in 1:08, while Cameron Panicucci (285-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 2:27.

Jacob DePauw (106-lbs.) edged his opponent by one point in a 7-6 decision, while Tristan Thies (120-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 4:53.

“Blake Rusk was 3-9 on the junior varsity team last year and now has a winning record on the varsity. His turn around is remarkable,” said Murray. “Jacob DePauw is the only guy at the 106-lb. weight class so he gets thrown into varsity as a freshman, but he is holding his own.”

Josh Dodge (126-lbs.) came up short in his match as he lost in a 5-3 decision, followed by Sean Lillis (132-lbs.) who fell in an 8-4 decision. Josiah Cropp (138-lbs.) lost by pin in his match in 3:42.

Geneseo vs. Normal/Bloom

Geneseo swept the competition over the weekend as the Leafs dominated Normal and Bloom Jan. 7 on the road.

“We did a real good job against Normal and Bloom. I was worried about such a long bus ride, but they responded well,” said Murray. “Win or lose, we always come away with stuff we need to work on.”

The Leafs defeated Normal by a score of 49-15 where the team earned 11 wins, which included five pins, one major decision and five decisions.

DePauw (106-lbs.) slid past his opponent for a 3-2 victory, while Thies (120-lbs.) snagged a 15-10 decision win.

Lillis (132-lbs.) nabbed a 5-1 victory for the Leafs, while Medina (145-lbs.) defeated his opponent in a 12-4 major decision.

Pitra (152-lbs.) escaped with a 1-0 win for Geneseo, followed by Puls (160-lbs.) with at 9-2 decision win.

Miller (170-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 3:33, while Zanfes (182-lbs.) won by pin in 2:47.

Newton (195-lbs.), Rusk (220-lbs.) and Panicucci (285-lbs.) won out the Leafs’ final three matches all by pin in :47, 3:31 and 3:41, respectively.

Dodge (126-lbs.) fell in a 7-2 decision, while Cropp (138-lbs.) was pinned in 3:09.

Against Bloom, the Leafs brought home a 48-15 victory with 10 wins.

DePauw (106-lbs.) defeated his opponent in an 8-4 decision, followed by Thies (120-lbs.) with a 4-2 decision win, and Dodge (126-lbs.) with a pin in 5:49.

Lillis (132-lbs.) won by major decision with a score of 12-1, while Cropp (138-lbs.) claimed the win in a 6-3 decision.

Pitra (152-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 5:29, while Puls (160-lbs.) won by technical fall, 19-2, and Newton (195-lbs.)  won by pin in 4:26.

Rusk (220-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 5:58, while Panicucci (285-lbs.) won by pin in 2:26.

Medina (145-lbs.) fell in a 4-2 decision, while Miller (170-lbs.) lost 7-5, and Zanfes (182-lbs.) was defeated in a 7-5 decision.

Geneseo vs. Streator

The Leafs returned from their holiday break Jan. 5 and trounced visiting Streator, 66-10 at home.

“Our guys have done a good job of sticking to the plan, and it makes the kids feel good to come out with a win like that,” said Murray. “It was a good win, but we did have some close matches.”

Panicucci (285-lbs.) started the night off right for the Leafs as he pinned his opponent in 3:46.

Thies (120-lbs.) quickly pinned his opponent in 1:00, while Dodge (126-lbs.) came up with a pin in 2:37.

Lillis (132-lbs.) escaped with a close 2-0 decision win, followed by Cropp (145-lbs.) with a 12-1 major decision win.

Pitra (152-lbs.) added a pin in 4:47, while Puls (160-lbs.) pinned his opponent in 5:29.

Miller (170-lbs.) came up with a technical fall victory in 2:52 for the match, while Rusk (220-lbs.) capped off the night with a pin in :54.

DePauw (106-lbs.) and Wil Ehret (138-lbs.) both received forfeits, while Zanfes (195-lbs.) fell in a 19-8 major decision.

The Leafs will be in action tonight and Saturday,?Jan. 13 and 14 when they host the Geneseo Invitational. Action begins 4 p.m. tonight and at 9 a.m. Jan. 14.

“I just want to see everyone give any chance they can get in the bracket,” said Murray. “I am looking for individual high points, and any win in this tournament is exciting. I want the kids to give themselves any chance to have success in this atmosphere, because it is a different type of atmosphere at this tournament.”