Geneseo wrestling on hold

by Claudia Loucks correspondent

Jon Murray is the head coach of a premiere wrestling program at Geneseo High School that is currently “on hold.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the wrestling program has been postponed until spring and Murray said, “As of now our season begins with practices on April 19 and competitions concluding on June 26. Whether or not there will be a State Tournament is yet to be determined, but I expect some sort of modified State Series similar to what the fall sports, those that had a season, were allowed to have.”

Murray said in a “normal” year, “we would have been two months in by now, with our first two tournaments behind us and our tournament (Geneseo Wrestling Invitational) coming up.”

The Geneseo team would have hosted the 45th annual Geneseo Wrestling Invite this month when about 20 teams from Illinois, Iowa and sometimes Indiana take part in the weekend tournament.

Dan Gable, known nationwide as a champion in wrestling and longtime University of Iowa wrestling coach, said of the Geneseo Invite, “Well-built reputations make a huge difference in our future. The annual Geneseo Wrestling Tournament is a great example of what is needed for future performance in the sport of wrestling.”

Murray said when allowed, the GHS wrestlers have had conditioning-only/non contact workouts, “but that has been shut down for quite awhile now. Hopefully, the IHSA will allow us to continue with that again soon.”

He said there are “several kids that are motivated enough to get workouts in on their own schedule outside of school and even participate in tournaments outside of Illinois. There needs to be a tremendous amount of self-motivation through all of this to find these opportunities to train outside of school. We are not currently allowed to do anything in person.”

“It’s a sad situation – not being able to host our annual tournament this year,” Murray said. “It will be the first time in 45 years without it. Certain situations like this will hopefully help us appreciate what we have that much more when we get it back. I know for myself, and I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire team, both wrestlers and coaches, that we can not wait to get hot, sweaty, and exhausted back in that room again followed by the taste of competition.”

Jon Murray
Geneseo's Bruce Moore takes on an opponent from East Peoria  at last year's Rochelle sectional.