Wrestling: Neuqua’s Geers to focus on wrestling in college
BY BLAKE BAUMGARTNER For Sun-Times Media February 28, 2013 3:28PM
Neuqua Valley's Andrew Geers locks up Hinsdale Central's Brian Allen during the Class 3A 285-pound championship bout at the IHSA State wrestling tournament on Feb. 16. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 4, 2013 6:22AM
Being such a key cog in the success Neuqua Valley senior running back Joey Rhattigan enjoyed this past fall during Neuqua Valley’s 12-1 season, Andrew Geers already had a boatload of good memories stashed up.
But with the memories of his second-place finish in Class 3A’s 285-pound weight class last weekend to Hinsdale Central’s Brian Allen still fresh and now a part of the great senior year he has racked up, Geers is ready to focus on his future.
That future will reside fully on the mats.
Geers confirmed late Wednesday night that he intends on pursuing wrestling at the college level and is considering five schools — American University, Ohio University, Central Michigan and a pair of Big Ten schools in Purdue and Nebraska.
“I’m just visiting, looking at offers and trying to find the best fit,” he said.
As of now, he said Nebraska, Ohio University and American University have all offered him spots on their teams for next year.
Planning on majoring in aviation in college, Purdue or Ohio University offer the best fit academically for him, with business serving as a possible major at the other three schools he’s looking at.
Instrumental in Rhattigan rewriting much of the school record book in running for 2,226 yards and 33 touchdowns, Geers took official visits to Wisconsin, Indiana State and New Mexico State, receiving scholarship offers from both the Sycamores and Aggies.
Despite having a close relationship with the staff of former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and interacting with new Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen and the rest of his staff, a scholarship from the Badgers never came Geers’ way.
“I got really close to the last staff, with Coach Bielema and then also with their O-line coach, Coach Kelly. I mean, I just saw a great program there and the problem is $42,000 a year just wouldn’t work out,” he said. … “I talked to (Andersen). They’re a great staff. They’re gonna do very well at Wisconsin. It’s just they couldn’t do anything better than the old staff could.”
While football is the consummate team sport, the uniqueness that the individual aspect wrestling brings was a pivotal and decisive factor in Geers’ decision to forgo football and focus on honing his wares as a wrestler.
“I just see (a different challenge). Wrestling is more of a one-on-one sport, a more individualized sport than football and you can get recognized for your accomplishments in a split-second, as you can see from my second-place (finish),” he said. “I mean, going down in the finals, march and see 10,000 people look down on you. That’s still like one of the best feelings that I’ve ever had.”