Back-to-back state berths for GHS wrestling

Amy Carton
The Geneseo Wrestling Team earned its second-straight trip to the IHSA Team State Finals with a 39-24 win over Lincoln-Way West Feb. 25.

For the second-straight year, Geneseo wrestlers are headed to the IHSA Team State Finals in Bloomington.

The Leafs knocked off Lincoln-Way West at the LaSalle-Peru Team Sectional, 39-24 Feb. 25.

Geneseo made its presence known from the start with three pins in the first three bouts of the night.

Ryan Pitra (182 pounds) started things off with a pin of Jordan Quinn in 2 minutes and 57 seconds; while Brandon Mizlo (195-lbs.) pinned Ray Rodriguez in 4:39 to put Geneseo up 12-0.

Lane Akre (220-lbs.) gave the Leafs an 18-0 advantage with a pin of Dale Schmidt in 1:47.

Nick Verbeck (285-lbs.) grabbed a 6-1 decision win over Steve Lotz; while Antonio Tumbarello (106-lbs.) defeated Tom Buell in a 6-2 decision to put the Leafs up 24-0.

Charlie Schlindwein (113-lbs.) suffered the Leafs first loss on the night when he was pinned in 2:34 by Larry Cozzo for a 24-6 Geneseo lead.

Jon Warner (120-lbs.) helped the Leafs rebound when he edged out Joey Schloegel in an 8-5 decision; while Hunter Grau (126-lbs.) claimed an 8-2 decision victory over Kyle Ruettiger to extend Geneseo’s advantage to 30-6.

Clayton Kennedy (132-lbs.) fell short of a victory in his match as he was defeated in a 13-6 decision by Noah Keefee; while Cody Bormann (138-lbs.) was beat in a 5-3 decision by Anthony Bendy. Geneseo maintained its lead 30-12.

Jarred Bruce (145-lbs.) also suffered a loss on the mat as he was pinned in 2:56 by Kyle Rodriguez for a 30-18 Geneseo lead.

Josiah Cropp (152-lbs.) earned the pin of Gabe Montalvo in 3:45 to put Geneseo ahead 36-18; while Cole Hunzeker (160-lbs.) came away with a 5-3 decision win over Trevor Schmidt to seal the victory for Geneseo.

Scott Schulte (170-lbs.) forfeited the final match to Javier Montalvo for the 39-24 final.

The Leafs will take on Chicago Simeon at 11 a.m. March 1 in the state quarterfinals at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.

With a win, the Leafs will advance to the semifinals at 2 p.m. against the winner of the Oak Forest/Harvard contest.

With win in the semifinals, the Leafs will advance to the state championship match at 6 p.m., and with a loss, Geneseo will move to the third-place match at 6 p.m.