Geick helps Stevenson to fast start at Barrington

 
By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/28/2015 7:36 PM
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After winning their first North Suburban Conference championship in school history last winter, it looks like the Stevenson wrestling team is picking up where it left off after a strong start to the season this weekend at Barrington.

Marmion was the class of the 27-team field at the 25th Moore/Prettyman Wrestling Invitational Saturday with 265.5 points while Lyons was a distant second with 211.5 points.

Hononegah edged Prospect 162 to 160.5 for third place while the Patriots battled past Wheaton North 149 to 143.5 for fifth place.

Libertyville's young squad had a solid ninth-place finish with 111.5 points followed by NSC counterparts Grant (103 points) in 12th, and Lake Zurich (77 points) in 15th. Grayslake North tied for 17th place with Plainfield Central.

Stevenson's fifth-place finish featured nine wrestlers reaching the final round with a first-place finish by junior standout Dylan Geick, who improved his perfect record to 7-0 with a convincing 10-3 decision over Hinsdale Central's Ameen Hamdan in the finals.

The unseeded Geick's road to the title also included a 9-4 decision over No. 1-seeded Fernie Silva of Hononegah in the semifinals as well as an 8-3 decision over eventual third-place finisher Mikey Callahan of Marmion in the semifinals.

"I think I had a great tournament, beating guys like Silva and Callahan is huge to let me know where I am at this point of the season," said Geick, who is a transfer student from Vernon Hills. "The team is doing really great, obviously we're coming off our first conference win last year, and we just have to stay focused because it's a long season."

Besides Geick, Stevenson got a third from junior Nikita Nepomnyashchiy at 170, a fourth from junior Michael Kordek at 182, a fifth from senior Nick Grujanac at 285, and sixths from juniors Brandon Zisman (126) and Eric Carter (132).

The Patriots also got contributions from senior Alec Nolan with a seventh at 120, freshman Matthew Zimring with an eighth at 113, and junior Robert Pavlovics with an eighth at 160.

"Overall we were very pleased because nine of our 13 guys here placed in a highly competitive tournament," said Stevenson coach Shane Cook. "What's most impressive about Dylan Geick is his incredible work ethic and how driven he is to compete at high levels."

Libertyville was led by third-place finishes from junior Alex Mitchell at 106 and freshman Michael Gunther at 120. The Wildcats also got a fifth from junior Drew Onufer at 126, a seventh from sophomore Tyler Padilla at 138, and a seventh from junior Jack Damenti at 152.

"The five guys that placed went 5-0 in the last round and those guys really shined," said Libertyville coach Dale Eggert. "It was a really beneficial tournament for us, and we'll get a lot of mileage out of this."

Grant's troops were led by senior Kobe Lear with a fourth at 152, senior Christian Kanzler with a fifth at 132, senior Cole Berg with a fifth at 145, and senior Justin Gilich with a sixth at 160.

"I don't know if we demonstrated the kind of team we think we have this weekend," said first-year Grant coach Lenny Grodoski, who replaces a very successful coach in Ryan Geist this season. "But we have a lot of things we need to work on, the margin wasn't big so hopefully we can clean up those things this week in practice."

Lake Zurich junior Billy Busse placed fifth at 195 while the Bears got a sixth from Maxx Wayne at 120, a seventh from Josh Dyer at 220, an eighth from Ben Baca at 126, and an eighth from Pete Baldaccini at 182.

"I think we did pretty well, it's a young and inexperienced team and we only have one senior (Baldaccini) in the lineup," said Lake Zurich coach Dan Strickler. "Busse is one of those hard-working kind of kids who is going to go for it all six minutes."

After reaching the Class 2A state meet as a sophomore, Grayslake North was led by junior Joe Arroyo with a second-place finish at 113.

The Knights also got a sixth from senior senior Jake Wright at 152, and a seventh from junior Alex Moran at 160.

"It's a good tournament, there's a lot of good kids, and you've got to wrestle tough if you want to get on the podium," said Arroyo. "I think I'm going to do better at state, I have to wrestle smart, take my shots, and get my conditioning better."

Grayslake North coach Collin McKillip knows the road to the state meet will be even tougher this season as the Knights jump up from Class 2A to Class 3A.

"Joe (Arroyo) did really well, the kid he lost to (Joliet West's Darvell Flagg) was a Class 3A state placewinner last year," said McKillip. "We had three kids place here this year so that is a big improvement for us. We have a lot of kids in the program, and we have more depth than we had last year."

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