GENESEO - Led by a state tournament veteran, the Geneseo Maple Leafs qualified three wrestlers for the Illinois High School Association State Wrestling meet last weekend at the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional.
Geneseo sophomore Anthony Montez (113 pounds) will make a return trip to state and will be joined by senior Luke Henkhaus (126) and junior Logan Tuggle (138). Montez and Henkhaus earned third-place finishes and Tuggle finished fourth.
"All of them had to beat good wrestlers - real good - to get through them all," said Geneseo coach Jon Murray. "They'll all have to do it again."
The state tournament will run Thursday through Saturday at the State Farm Center on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign.
Montez (32-6) will meet Anthony Streib (33-10) in a first-round match Thursday. Henkhaus (36-7) will face Jake Jozwiak of Grayslake (29-6) in his first match. Tuttle (31-10) drew AJ Heeg (31-6) of Lemont as his first-round opponent.
At sectional, Montez won a wrestleback semifinal with a 5-1 decision over Ottawa's Riley Hanson and earned his third place with a 10-2 major decision over Joliet Academy's Shay Korhorn.
Henkhaus won an 8-1 decision over Joliet Academy's Logan Kuhel-Trimmer and won third place with an 11-6 decision over Peoria Richwoods' Shawncy Toombs.
Tuggle fell in his third place match to Jack Finnegan in a major decision 14-2.
"Anthony is a hard-working kid," said Murray of his 113-pounder. "He'll be able to rely on his conditioning to finish out matches. That could be a key for him. "He's very well drilled and in good condition."
"Luke impressed me by beating some good kids in the sectional and throughout the season," added Murray. "When he's on, he can pretty much beat anybody."
"Logan is a hard-working kid who knows how to fight. When things get tough, he'll fight back.
"When he goes into a battle, he knows how to do what it takes."