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Chaon, Geneva wrestling create breathing room to beat Batavia

GENEVA – Geneva and Batavia traded control throughout most of Thursday’s Upstate Eight Conference River Division wrestling dual at Mack Olson Gymnasium.

Leave it to the Vikings’ big boys to get grumpy and put an end to all the jostling. Sort of.

Junior Austin Chaon’s third-period fall at 170 pounds spurred Geneva to a 13-8 run to end the dual. 

The Vikings created breathing room in their 29-24 victory thanks to decisions from Mitch Bradberry (182) and Jake Andersen (220) after Chaon.

Andersen’s 5-2 decision victory against Noah Frazier – one of six Bulldogs starters who were part of the school’s Class 6A state championship victory Saturday – clinched the win.

“It was slow throughout pretty much the entire early part of the match,” Andersen said. “Chaon definitely picked it up.”

Batavia (0-1 UEC River) saw Geneva pull away after Jake Birkhaug’s 10-1 major decision at 160 tied the dual at 16-all. 

Nick Whitman’s 8-6 overtime decision against Nate Montgomery at 195 brought the Bulldogs to within 25-19. Connor McKeehan, another football player getting acclimated to the mat room, earned a fall at 285 to provide the final margin.

“We’re rusty, too, not being on the mats. Some of these guys had one day of practice,” Batavia coach Scott Bayer said. “But credit to Geneva. They took it to us.”

Geneva (2-0 UEC River) endured a sizable scoring drought after opening the dual with an Evan Baker fall 3:16 into the 106-pound match, failing to register an offensive point in the three subsequent bouts. The Vikings’ lone score, period, in the matches from 113 to 126 came when Julian Desens escaped late in Seth Winkle’s 6-1 win at 120.

Winkle, Michael Doranski (113) and Joe Posledni (126) each controlled defensive struggles en route to decision victories that staked Batavia to a 9-6 lead.

Geneva 132-pounder Colin Parsons seized the advantage back – and shook the stagnancy – with a 15-5 major decision against Chris Jordan. Parsons earned a takedown about midway through the opening period and stayed on top.

Geneva’s annual “Pack the Mack” dual featured its share of entertainment well before the varsity dual started. 

The Vikings’ senior George Keenan, a senior who competes with cerebral palsy, rated an extended standing ovation from both sides of the crowd after scoring a 7-1 decision victory in the final JV match.

Sporting pink “Geneva Wrestling shirts,” the Geneva dance team followed with a short routine during intermission. The proceedings provided a contrast to the positional hand-fighting that would follow in the few bouts at the lower weights.

The dual initially was scheduled for tonight, but was moved ahead one day. Spotting a conflict with tonight’s Batavia-Geneva boys-girls basketball doubleheader in Batavia when he looked at schedules earlier this season, Bayer asked Geneva counterpart Tom Chernich about switching dates.

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