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|Green Machine (9-0)
Rochelle Hubs (6-3)
R-Sweger 3 run (PAT Failed) (0-6)
G-Puentes 6 run (Wickwire PAT) (7-6)
G-Puentes 69 pass from Reade (Wickwire PAT) (14-6)
R-Sweger 52 run (2PT Failed) (14-12)
G-Sullivan 4 run (Wickwire PAT) (21-12)
|Regular Season Game #9 - October 20, 2000 - GHS Athletic Field
|Article From The Geneseo Republic
Leafs Snag Mythical Title With 21-12 Win
In a hushed GHS football stadium, the wind gently ruffling flags at half-mast, Rochelle Hubs football players laid
three roses at the base of the Green Machine victory bell in memory of Seth Ernst, Kris Stahl, and Chris
Albright. The three sophomores, two football players, and a soccer player, were killed in a car crash Sunday,
October 15. It was a touching, special moment from one honorable combatant to another and while beating
Rochelle 21-12 was satisfying, it was also a bit bittersweet. The Green Machine gridders wore their fellow
students' numbers on their helmets and had black wrist bands. The Maple Leafs' marching band, cheerleaders,
and Maplettes also wore black arm bands.
The victory on Friday evening, October 20 gave the Green Machine an unbeaten season, bragging rights as the
mythical overall NCIC champs and most importantly, a higher seed in the 4A playoffs. "That was a real touch of
class by Rochelle," Leaf Head Coach Denny Diericx observed. "The Players, the school, and the community had
been through a lot last week. It was a really nice gesture."
The Leafs did seem to have some of the air our of their sails in the first quarter and the Hubs notched a
mid-period TD on a three yard blast by Wes Sweger after a short drive. It was the first time all season the Leafs
trailed. Evidently they didn't like the position much because early in the second period, they mounte one of
those drives Geneseo has so brilliantly mounted for decades.
The drive chewed up 85 yards in nine plays and was trumped by Joe Puentes' six yard scoring smash. Key to the
drive was a 59 yard Reade to Puentes bomb on a wide-open pattern. "We cleared out the flat and Joe was wide
open," Coach Diericx remarked. "Kyle is very efficient throwing the ball and our receivers are very talented
catching the ball." In what was a Puentes hat truck, the senior wingback snared a 69 yard Reade rope with a
little over a minute to play in the first half and scored his second TD of the game.
Rochelle closed out the half with a furious flurry of passes, marked by an intentional grounding penalty and a
Nate Raschke bat away of a last second toss. Raschke also intercepted a Rochelle arial. Sweger, who the week
before gained over 400 yards and tallied seven TDs, broke loose around the end in the third stanza and scored
on a 52 yard gallop. Sweger did amass nearly 200 yards against the Green Machine, which ranks as one of the
best performances in the past few decades against the Leafs. But mostly when it counted, the Leaf defense
closed him down.
A key to the game was the Hubs' kicking game....or rather lack of it......and the Green Machine's stalwart
kicker Kyle Wickwire. Wickwire was three out of three in conversions and has been getting stronger and
stronger as the season progresses. The Hubs' first PAT attempt skipped underneath the bars and the second
conversion attempt, a pass went awry. The Leafs put the game on ice, using virtually the entire fourth period
(nearly nine minutes) to score on Kyle Sullivan's four yard blast. "We ate the whole thing from about the 9:25
mark and Sullivan really stepped in and did the job. Josh Rowold got us some of the tough, short yards and did
a great job on the lead blocks."
By finishing the season 9-0, the Green Machine earned the overall #5 seed in the 2000 4A Playoffs. After
victories over Urbana (45-28) and Dixon (44-30), the season unfortunatly came to an end at the hands of
Metamora 22-17 in an incredibly hard fought battle.
Three Teenagers Remembered For The Lives They Lived And Lives They Touched
by Rhonda Ludwig - Editor
Geneseo experienced a great loss on Sunday, October 15 with the death of three JD Darnall High School
students: Christopher Albright, 16, Seth Ernst, 15 and Kristoffer Stahl, 15. Although the community has spent
the past week in stock and mourning, the vast impact these three young men had on those who knew them is
extremely apparent and should be celebrated. Eash has been described as outgoing, happy, energetic and
athletic. Family members, friends and coaches took a few moments to speak with the Republic to highlight
Chris Albright remembered as a "gentle bear"
Christopher Albright's father, Jerry, was very proud of the fact Christopher was a football player on the Green
Machine's sophomore team. "He had played little league football when he was younger and came up through
the ranks and was a first string tackle on the sophomore team," Mr. Albright said. "He had been coached by
Dave Roome in youth football." When asked for his fondest memory of Christopher, Mr. Roome lowered his
head and through for a moment. When he raised his head, he smiled, "I always considered him a gentle little
bear. He was also very kind and had the support of his family." Mr. Roome continued, "His dad came to every
practice. I don't remember his dad ever missing one of Chris' practices. He would get off work then come to
watch Chris." Mr. Roome said he saw Christopher one month ago while Geneseo Youth Football players and
coaches were recognized at the halftime of the varsity football game. "I walked out on the football field and
Christopher said 'Hi' to me," Mr. Roome recalled. "I couldn't believe how he had changed physically. He had
been short and round but he really grew up!" Mr. Albright noted his son enjoyed running the Bix each year.
Chris also enjoyed fishing, music, and animals. Mr. Albright said his son not only loved sports, but also loved
being with his friends. "Christopher never really liked being alone. He loved being with people and he also loved
the outdoors," Mr. Albright concluded.
Kris Stahl noted as "junkyard dog" in football
Sandy Stahl said her son, Kristoffer, enjoyed spending time with his friends. "He had different friends for
different things," she recalled. "He had friends in Geneseo and friends in Atkinson. He always wanted to be with
his friends." Mrs. Stahl laughed when she said she considered Kris a "mamma's boy." "When he was little, he
always wanted to be with me," she explained. "When my sister would come to pick up Kris and Wes (Kris'
brother), Wes was always ready to go. Kris would be sitting in the car crying because he didn't want to leave.
He did that until he was in about the fourth grade." Wes, 12, said his favorite thing to do with his brother was
wrestle in the living room. "He usually won," Wes laughed. He said Kris was known as the "junkyard dog" on the
sophomore football team. "Kris was very tough and never game up," Mrs. Stahl noted. She said Kris enjoyed
wrestling and football. He had been in a wrestling club from a young age and also played youth football. Mrs.
Stahl noted Kris also enjoyed traveling and golfing. Sophomore football Coach Larry Johnsen noted both boys
were "good people." "This is a tribute to their families," Coach Johnsen stressed. "They're good because their
families are good." Coach Johnsen said Kris played defensive end on the team while Chris was an offensive
guard. "They both listened well and were very respectful."
Seth Ernst had "best day" fishing with his dad.
Dave Ernst had the opportunity to spend all of Saturday, October 14 with his son, Seth. "We spend all day
fishing, in Wisconsin," Mr. Ernst explained, "It was just a beautiful day. Seth didn't get a bit all day until just
before we left. He caught a fish at the very last minute." Mr. Ernst continued, "Betty was taking Seth to Chris
Albrights birthday party that night and Seth told her the fishing trip had been the best day of his life. I will
always remember that." Betty Ernst said her son was very sensitive to her. "He always knew when I needed a
hug," she explained. "One time last year, we were at a basketball tournament. During a break, Seth came over
to the sideline, gave me a hug and told me he loved me." She added with a laugh, "He was also ornery, but
tender-hearted." Mark Schwigen was Seth's junior varsity soccer coach. "Seth played as an inside mid-fielder
and as a forward," Coach Schwigen explained. He had coached Seth as a freshman player, as well. He said Seth
was always eager to get on the soccer field. "If he were sitting on the bench, he would come to me and say,
'Coach, put me in the game.' I would always respond, 'Just a minute Seth.' He would reply, 'Aw, come on,
Coach.' I can hear him saying that in my head." Coach Schwigen said this happened recently. "I told Seth, 'Just
a minute.' Then I looked at my watch and waited one minute," he explained. "Then I turned to Seth and said
'Come on. You're going in!' He jumped up and bounced out onto the field He was always so eager to play."