Geneseo's Green Machine sinks Rock Island

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
No. 22 Caleb Craterfield finds the corner in the Geneseo vs. Rock Island game, which Geneseo won, 36-22.

The Green Machine traveled to Rock Island on Friday with one goal, to return with a win, and they accomplished their goal by outscoring the Rock Island Rocks, 36-22.

With playoff eligibility at stake, both Geneseo and Rock Island had to win to have any hopes of making this year’s playoffs.

Coach Larry Johnsen Jr. said there were “a couple of times early on where I thought the game could get out of hand, but we did a great job of taking their shots and recovered to finally get the style of game we wanted to play.”

Even though Rock Island had a 14-0 lead, that deficit did not damper Geneseo’s efforts and they answered with a touchdown by Jacob Rapps just before halftime.

In the second half, a touchdown by Jaron Neal with a two-point run put Geneseo up 15-14 Jacob Weinzierl added two touchdowns in the contest.

Quarterback AJ Weller threw for two touchdowns and rushed for over 130 yards and a score.

Coach Johnsen commented that he thought his team had a great week of preparation.

”The players were really focused and dialed in on what the objective was and that was to beat Rock Island," he said. "I thought our captains, Will Taylor, Jaden Weinzierl, Alex Pauley and Ian Leetch, did a great job of getting the players dialed in. No way would we have won that game without the work they did throughout the week to get us ready. No way!”

“Big plays are going to happen against us, simply because of the speed that the opposing teams have,” Johnsen said. “We have to regroup and do the very best we can to keep them out of the end zone.”

“I’ve said this all year,” he added. “Our offense has to be our best defense and keep the ball out of the opponents’ hands. It puts a lot of pressure on the offense, but that’s what has to be done. Time of possession and number of plays might not matter to a lot of teams, but it’s a big deal to us. It’s been like that forever at Geneseo.”

In looking ahead, Coach Johnsen said, “We have another big game against Moline this week. Even though we are eligible for the playoffs, we haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet. With a win against Moline, we could clinch. What better way to send out the seniors on Senior Night.”

Geneseo’s record is 5-3 and 4-2 in WB 6.


Geneseo High School Girls’ Volleyball Coach Casey Komel referred to the week as a “long week of competition.”

The week of three competitions did not favor the Lady Leafs as they suffered losses to Orion, 17-25 and 15-25; to Rock Island, 19-25, 25-11; and 25-27, both competitions were held in the GHS gym; and a third loss to Moline, at Moline.

Geneseo’s Audrey VanKerrebroeck returns a shot in the Geneseo vs. Rock Island contest.

Vs. Moline – 10-25 AND 24-26.

Regarding the Moline game, Coach Komel said, “The first set we were really unsure of ourselves and we made a lot of errors. But we came out in the second set and showed that we are a team that doesn’t back down and learns and grows throughout a match. We have been working hard on minimizing our errors and we did just that in the second set.”

Lizzie Rapps had three kills, four digs and two blocks; Katie VanDeWoestyne had three kills, Addison Smith had one ace and three digs; Alysia Perez had one ace, eight assists, and three digs; Delainey VanRycke had three digs; Kylie Maertens had three digs; Annie Wirth had three blocks; and Aubrey VanKerrebroeck had two blocks.

The GHS sophomores won – 25-23 and 25-19 and the freshman team lost 18-25 and 18-25.

Vs. Orion – 17-25 AND 15-25.

Comments from Coach Komel included, “We knew going into this week it was going to be tough and we had to be focused as a team to play our best volleyball. Tonight we fell short. We never got the momentum we needed to push ahead I the game and Orion did a really nice job of picking up all of our offense, whether with a block or a dig. We couldn’t get our gears turning. We know that there are ups and downs in sports and tonight was one of those games we wish we could have played better. But, luckily tomorrow we have our final home conference match to show that we won’t stay down for long.”

Aubrey VanKerrebroeck had four kills and one block; Annie Wirth had three kills and three blocks; Lizzie Rapps had two kills; Alysia Perez had seven assists, five digs and one block; Delainey VanRycke had two assists, and five digs; Kylie Maertens had five digs. Katie VanDeWoestyne and Jillian Beneke each had one block.

The GHS sophomores won 25-18 and 25-11 and the freshman team lost 9-25 and 8-25.

Vs. Rock Island – 19-25, 25-11 AND 25-27.

It was another tough loss for the team at the end of a long week of great competition, Coach Casey Komel said after the Geneseo vs. Rock Island game.

“We fell flat during the first set, but came out hot in set two and were really firing on all cylinders, focused and determined. The start of the third set was similar to set one as we got ourselves in a pretty deep home from one server but came back to push the set into extra points. It wasn’t the outcome we wanted but the game was well fought and well-played on both sides of the net.”

Lizzie Rapps had 10 kills, one ace, 11 digs and two blocks; Katie VanDeWoestyne had seven kills; Aubrey VanKerrebroeck had six kills and two blocks; Alysia Perez had four aces, 27 assists and 10 digs; Kylie Maertens had one ace; Delainey VanRycke had 16 digs; Jillian Beneke had five blocks, and Annie Wirth had three blocks.Geneseo varsity’s overall record is now 16-13 and 8-5 in Western Big 6.

The GHS sophomores won the game against Rock Island, 25-18 and 25-17, and their overall record is 16-3 and 11-3 in WB 6. The freshman team also won against Rock Island, 25-21 and 25-22, and are now at 9-10 overall and 7-6 in the WB 6.

Boys cross country

Geneseo Boys’ Cross Country Team took third place at the Conference Meet held in at Empire Park in East Moline. Coach Todd Ehlert referred to the competition as “a really fast conference meet.”

Dylan Gehl placed third and was named to the First Team All-Conference. Tyler Gehl finished 14th and Sam Mosbarger placed 15t, and both were named to Second Team All Conference.

Girls cross country

The Geneseo Girls’ Cross Country Team also finished in third plaice at the WB 6 Conference meet held in East Moline.Coach Kelley Timmerman said the team ran “in some very windy conditions.”

Geneseo took third with 81 points, only seven points from second place which was captured by Sterling. Quincy finished in first place.

Top finishers for Geneseo who also made Second Team All-Conference are Ella Toom, Elanor DeBlieck, Jeslen Rink, Joselyn Reisner and Jaide Flowers.

Girls tennis

The Sectional Tennis meet was the end of the season for the Geneseo girls’ team which placed sixth at competition

held in Geneseo. Dunlap won the competition of nine teams. In the first round of singles competition, Celina Pena lost to the No. 1 seed in singles, 6-0 and 6-0; and Geneseo’s Ella Pettit also was defeated in the first round after winning the first set.

In doubles competition, Aubrey Brumbaugh and Tessa Wilebski won with scores of 6-4 and 6-3 over a Galesburg team, then faced a No. 5 seed team and lost 6-3 and 6-0.

The duo of Tara Bomleny and Danielle Beach were No. 4 seed going into the tournament and they won their first round against a Peoria Notre Dame team, 6-2 and 6-1. In the second round of competition, they were defeated by a Dunlap team, 4-6, 6-4 and 5-7.

Coach Kevin Reed said, “It was a very back and forth match that was exciting to watch. Overall, the girls’ battled very hard at Sectional, but faced some good competition.”