Geneseo wins big in conference football opener

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
Conner Helke, #45, runs the ball in Geneseo’s win against UT.

The Geneseo High School football team scored first against United Township of East Moline in the Western Big 6 opener for both teams. The game was held Friday, Sept. 9, at Soule Bowl in East Moline and ended in a 36-13 victory for the Green Machine.

Having lost to UT in the 2021 season, Geneseo was ready to make amends and that they did by taking advantage of UT’s turnovers and mistakes.

The score was 24-6 at halftime with Geneseo’s Conner Helke scoring the first and second touchdowns. Jaden Weinzierl scored the third touchdown and the extra three points came from kicker Braden Possin, who made a 31-yard field goal to make the halftime score,

A fourth touchdown was complete when quarterback AJ Weller passed to Luke Johnsen who took the ball into the end zone. Helke ran the ball into the end zone with less two minutes remaining in the game which gave him a third touchdown in the game and took the Green Machine to their final sore of 36.

Head Coach Larry Johnsen Jr. said going into the UT game he knew Geneseo’s offense “needed to be our best defense to keep the opponent’s offense off the field.”

“We were able to capitalize on UT's turnovers and I thought our defense made some big plays and came up big when they needed to,” he added. “After losing the game to UT the way we did last year, it was important for us to finish strong. They rallied and beat us in the end last year and we couldn’t let that happen this year.”

Johnsen credited the players and coaches and said, “Players did a good job playing and the coaches did a good job coaching….I am really happy for the team. They worked hard this week and they got paid for their effort. I still think there is more in the tank for us.”


The Geneseo High School volleyball team totaled a week of wins, including reaching their goal of winning their own Geneseo Invite held Saturday in the GHS gym.

The day resulted in a 4-1 total for the team with wins over Kewanee, 25-20 and 25-14; Sherrard, 25-15 and 25-18; and Wethersfield, 25-21, 16-25 and 15-10; and a loss in the first match vs. Annawan, 21-25, and then a win in the championship match with Annawan, 25-21 and 25-18.

Geneseo’s Alysia Perez was named to the All-Tournament Team.

The eight teams in competition at the Invite were Geneseo, Sherrard JV, Annawan, Kewanee, Wethersfield, Orion, Ridgewood and Rockridge.

Coach Casey Komel said, “Winning the home tournament was the team’s goal at the start of the season. With a pretty tough early season schedule we were challenged to really find our strengths and work on our weaknesses that were being exposed. After all the heard work, it was really rewarding to see the team reach their goal. There was a lot of teamwork and effort given from all of the players no matter what role they were filling at whatever time. I’m so proud of them for their hard work and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season has in store!”

The Lady Leafs also beat Alleman High School on Sept. 9, in two sets of 25-22 and 25-20. The sophomore team also won, 25-16 and 25-21; as did the freshman, 25-14 and 25-23.

Coach Komel commented, “Alleman really brought a lot of energy tonight and at the beginning of both sets we had a hard time matching it. Thankfully, we were able to gain some momentum which then gave a little boost of confidence which brought more energy on our side of the net. It was great to get a win on our home court to start the week and we hope to carry this momentum into our first road conference game at United Township.

The Lady Leafs did carry that momentum into their road game on Sept. 8 at United Township and returned to Geneseo with a win, 18-25, 25-13 and 25-17.

Geneseo’s overall record is 8-7 and 2-1 in WB 6.

Boys Golf

The Geneseo Boys’ Golf Team won the Bettendorf Invite held at Palmer Hills in Bettendorf. There were 10 teams in competition.

Geneseo took first place with a score of 305 and had four golfers in the top 13, led by Hayden Moore’s (+1) 72.

Coach Scott Hardison commented, “This is the fourth Invite that we have competed in this year and we have won three of them and come in second in the other. The team is playing well, but there are still things we can work on. What makes me excited is the boys want to work on their games and really like being on the golf course.”

Boys Soccer

Geneseo’s Brayden Combs scored in the final minute of the Geneseo vs. United Township soccer game held in East Moline, and the win took the Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory in the WB 6 conference.

The teams were tied before Combs made the score. Bennett Kreiner scored the first goal for Geneseo.

Girls Golf

GHS seniors on the golf team were honored at the GHS Girls’ Golf triangular meet vs. Rock Island and Alleman. The Geneseo girls scored 186, Rock Island had 225, and Alleman totaled 246.

Addie Mills was the Geneseo medalist with a score of 45.

Seniors on the golf team are Megan Bowers, Lexi Manthe, Georgia McKelvain, Ava Nightingale, Rylie Preston, Hanna Stroud and Annabelle Veloz. Jon Murray is the girls’ golf coach.