Maple Leafs top Rochelle on Senior Night

Chris Steele
Jayden Erdman, top, battles for position during Geneseo’s dual with Rochelle.

The Geneseo wrestling team defeated Rochelle on Senior Night and competed in the Rex Whitlatch Invite.

Rochelle at Geneseo

The Maple Leafs rallied for a 40-33 victory against Rochelle on Senior Night at Geneseo High School on Dec. 13.

After trailing 24-0, Geneseo battled back to tie the match at 24 all.

Luke Henkhaus won the 126-pound match 9-0 by major decision to give the Maple Leafs their first lead of the match.

“When you are able to come back from a deficit like that it’s like a weight lifted off your shoulders,” Henkhaus said. “You are able to turn things around for the team and it feels really good.”

Geneseo’s Bruce Moore finished the 132-pound match with a pin in 1:08.

A senior, Andrew Rizzo won the 145-pound match by pin in 3:10 to give Geneseo a 40-27 advantage.

“It means a lot,” Rizzo said. “It’s my last home meet. It’s really cool to get to do this for the team. It was a really great atmosphere and a really great experience.”

After Rochelle forfeited a match with Billy Blaser, Anthony Montez earned Geneseo’s first win of the dual with a pin in 1:34 at 106 pounds.

Geneseo Coach Jon Murray knew the dual would come down to just a few points, and the Maple Leafs won four of the final six contested matches.

Geneseo’s Jayden Erdman was making a come back late in his match before it was ended from an injury default.

“The more pressure the tougher they fight,” Muray said. “It’s survival, and we have to have that for success.”

Rex Whitlatch Invite

The Maple Leafs’ Billy Blaser won a pair of tiebreakers to earn the 285-pound title at the Rex Whitlatch Invite at Hinsdale Central High School on Dec. 15.

A senior, Blaser won a 5-1 victory in overtime in the semifinal round before winning a 3-2 ultimate tiebreaker against Aydin Guttridge in the title bout to take the championship.

Blaser fell against Guttridge in an ultimate tiebreaker at the Giardini Tournament on Dec. 1.

However, this time around, Blaser was able to take the tournament title with an escape.

Geneseo finished tied for 13th in the team standings with five place finishers.

Henkhaus finished fourth at 120-pounds, and Montez claimed fifth at 106 pounds.

Rizzo earned seventh with a 7-4 decision in the 138-pound finals, and Clay DeBaillie landed eighth with a win by major decision at 132 pounds.