Wrestling: Neuqua’s Andrew Geers wins sectional
February 9, 2013 11:04PM
Updated: February 11, 2013 7:27PM
MOLINE — Andrew Geers has finished fourth at state each of the last two wrestling seasons.
Yet, the Neuqua Valley senior was never so excited than Saturday upon finally becoming a sectional champion.
``I’ve been in the title match three years now, and every year I’ve wrestled the No. 1 or 2 kid in the state,’’ Geers said after reigning supreme at the Class 3A Moline Sectional. ``So it’s a great feeling to finally be that kid and take it to everyone else.’’
Top-ranked Geers edged Lincoln-Way East’s No. 2-rated Nicholas Allegretti, 2-0 in the final of the state’s toughest heavyweight bracket.
Five of the state’s top six-rated 285-pounders were paired against each other at Moline’s venerable Wharton Field House.
``There was nothing but great competition here, which was great, because this really got me ready for state, when everything is on the line,’’ Geers said after improving to 37-0.
``I’m looking for the title this time, and after winning here against these guys, I feel like I can accomplish that.’’
Geers was the only Neuqua Valley wrestler to qualify for next weekend’s state tournament at the University of Illinois’ Assembly Hall in Champaign.
``That’s disappointing, because I know how hard the other guys wrestled this weekend,’’ Geers said. ``I wish they could go with me. But I know they’ll be supporting me.’’
Waubonsie Valley also had a trio advance — Anthony Touchstone (third at 220) and sectional runners-up Jimmy Davis (132) and Howard Beatty (138).
``It’s going to be a new experience for me,’’ said Beatty, a first-time state qualifier as a senior. ``I’m excited to be going against the top people in the state. I’ve only gone against a few this year, and I’ve done all right, but now I’m looking forward to doing better and placing.’’
Fellow senior Touchstone is looking ahead to his first state trip, too.
``I went and watched my sophomore year, and it’s such an awesome experience,’’ Touchstone said. ``It’s so big, there’s so many fans and it’s so loud. I just wanted to make it down there to wrestle there and I did. All of my hard work paid off.’’
Three-time qualifier Geers warned the rookies not to be overwhelmed by the experience of competing in a fish bowl.
``This is the only time you see 10,000 people looking down at you for wrestling,’’ Geers said. ``It’s a great experience and I love it. Don’t feel the pressure. Enjoy it.’’