Young Maple Leafs loaded with potential

Chris Steele
Neo Colter charges to the finish line during the Geneseo Invitational at Richmond Hill last season.

It's almost as if the Maple Leafs' cross country team added another coach.

Todd Ehlert has the title of coach this season after Don Fredericks retired from the post, but Fredericks will stay on as an assistant to help with the team this season.

"He's very excited about being back," Ehlert said. He just loves it, so he has a new fire. I think we have a great combination and it's going to be fun."

Ehlert has a strong knowledge of all the kids having coached many of the runners during his time as the middle school cross country and track coach.

"Together, hopefully, we can make some magic happen," Ehlert said.

In the rust buster time trial, Neo Colter led the way for the Leafs just holding off sophomore William Plumley.

Colter had the highest Geneseo finish at the Quad-City Times Bix 7 finishing the race in 183rd place in 41:58.

Plumley had a breakout year last season, he was runner-up at the Geneseo Invite in the freshmen race.

He was consistently among the Maple Leafs' top three runners by the end of the season finishing 11th at the Peoria Notre Dame Regional.

Colby Rapps earned a spot with Geneseo's top seven for championship season finishing 17th last year.

"The hard part is transitioning to that three miles," Ehlert said. "We have high hopes for him. I think he's a great kid and a great runner and Isaac Kuster is another one who is really working hard."

In the junior race at the Geneseo Invite, Andrew Rizzo paced the Leafs with a seventh-place time.

The Leafs will add newcomer Jayden Erdman, and Peter Rizzo returns to the team for his senior season.

"Andrew and (Peter) have great talent they just have to believe and keep working hard," Ehlert said. "We have a lot of leaders with Neo and William. The talent is there we just need to go prove it and run well."

Nathan Carroll will be a captain for Geneseo this season after running for the Leafs the past four years.

The Rizzos and Carroll were apart of the Geneseo Middle School team that finished fourth in state in middle school.

A sophomore, Rafe Morrison is another young runner with potential making the top seven as a freshman last year, and he earned All-State honors back in middle school.

A junior, Spencer Lindstrom is coming off a great track season running a leg of Geneseo's state-qualifying 4x800 relay team.

GHS’ next competition will be against Wethersfield at Kewanee Dunes Golf Club on Monday, Aug. 27 at 5 p.m.