ST. CHARLES – The Geneva wrestling team wrapped up a second-place finish in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division Friday night with a 59-9 victory at St. Charles North.
The Vikings (20-3, 5-1 UEC River) got pins from juniors Mike Huck (145 pounds), Brock Perry (152) and Mitch Bradberry (182).
Bradberry was involved in an entertaining back-and-forth struggle early in his match with Gavin Thatcher. Bradberry jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Thatcher scored a reversal and takedown before the end of the first period to pull within 6-4.
“We both got into some weird positions,” Bradberry said. “I got reversed when I was on top. I made a mistake and he came over on top.”
In the second period, Bradberry got an early reversal which led to his pin in 2:41.
“He weighed in at 169-and-a-half today,” Geneva coach Tom Chernich said. “That’s him trying to keep his weight up. He can only wrestle 182. He’s not allowed to wrestle 170, yet he weighed in 2 1/2 pounds lighter than the weight class below. But because of the system we have, he now is punished and has to wrestle guys that are weighing probably 184.”
Chernich said Bradberry is a hard worker who lifts a lot of weights, which makes it difficult for him to keep his weight up even by eating more than three solid meals a day.
Bradberry is coping well not only with the weight issue, but also tendinitis in both shoulders and elbows.
“It hasn’t been so bad so far,” Bradberry said of his season. “I’ve had a little bit of an injury which has prevented me [from doing better], I think, but so far it’s not so bad. I got second at the Newbill [Invitational]. I’ve got conference next week and I’m looking to do the best I can.”
Scoring major decisions for the Vikings were Nick Anderson at 120 pounds and sophomore Alex Crowe at 170.
“I thought we wrestled well up and down the lineup,” Chernich said. “Our 160-pounder went up to 170. He’s a younger kid and did a nice job.”
Shawn MacDonald (113), Ryan O’Brien (126), and Colin Parsons (132) all won decisions for Geneva.
Freshman Kolbe O’Brien recorded a pin at 106 pounds for the North Stars (2-13, 1-5).
North’s only other victory of the night came from sophomore 138-pounder Jake Chantos, who tilted Jordan Soto just long enough in the third period to pick up two back points for a 4-3 victory.
“The season’s been going pretty good,” Chantos said. “This is my first year on varsity, so it’s pretty tough, but I’m getting used to it and getting better through good competition.”
North coach Ben Hummel was pleased with the effort put forth by his squad against a good Geneva team.
“The scoreboard doesn’t necessarily show it, but I felt like our kids wrestled hard,” he said. “I actually feel like a lot of the things we worked on in practice this week, they took out there on the mat tonight. They wrestled more aggressive and didn’t back down at all.”