GENESEO – For Sycamore junior Alex Crawford, it was a case of better safe than sorry at the Class 2A Geneseo Sectional wrestling tournament.
Crawford won bouts Friday night and Saturday morning at 106 pounds, then forfeited the final against Bloomington’s Chad Bellis. A semifinal round win against Geneseo’s Anthony Montez, 3-1 in overtime, ensured a spot at the state tournament starting Thursday.
Crawford, however, aggravated an injury to his left shoulder suffered in a dual against DeKalb a few weeks ago, and thought better of putting any more strain on it.
“I already qualified for state and didn’t want to take the chance of getting hurt,” Crawford said.
Crawford (32-5) will be joined at state by senior 120-pounder Trevor Boryla and sophomore 160-pounder Colton Berg.
Boryla (37-8) won three matches Saturday. He opened with a 14-5 major decision against Boylan’s Caleb Nadig, then grabbed a 7-1 decision against LaSalle-Peru’s Ayden Sines.
In the consolation semifinals, with a guaranteed trip to state on the line, Boryla eked out a 3-2 win against Ottawa’s Luke Fleming.
Boryla had the only takedown of the match midway through the second period to go up, 2-1, and he escaped early in the third period to take a 3-1 lead.
“It gives you a little safety net,” Boryla said of scoring the first takedown. “I was still continuously attacking, but it was nice to have that lead.”
Wrestling for third place, Boryla dropped a 5-2 decision to Joliet Catholic’s Jack Finnegan. Boryla had lost to Finnegan, 3-2, in Friday night’s quarterfinal round.
Sycamore’s third state qualifier is Berg. His day began by losing by pin in two minutes to Coal City’s Ashton Harvey in the semifinals, but soon rebounded in the consolation bracket.
In the consolation semifinals, Berg (34-12) held off Sterling’s Nick Simester, 8-5. Simester escaped early in the third period to get to within 6-5, but Berg responded with his third takedown of the match, this one with 1:25 on the clock, and he rode out the rest of the time.
“Honestly, I got pretty tired at the end,” Berg said, “but when you get away twice and take him down three times, you tend to win matches.”
Berg then earned a 4-3 win against Limestone’s Marcus Linwood for third place. Berg also had defeated Linwood, 6-4, in the quarterfinals Friday night.
Sycamore’s Zak Kozumplik went 2-1 on the day but came up one step short of state. Kozumplik beat Metamora’s Vinny Querciagrossa, 5-2, and pinned Boylan’s Nolan Scherer in 48 seconds, but in the consolation semifinals, he was pinned by Dixon’s Hunter Pate in 4:42.
Kaneland’s Noah Butzman (32-10) split two consolation bracket matches at 182 pounds. He pinned Galesburg’s Chase Motz in 28 seconds, then dropped a 5-2 decision to Dixon’s Clint Schielein.