CLINTON — Grand View is hoping to make Hunter Genco a champion.
The Clinton wrestling senior signed with the back-to-back NAIA national champions Thursday, and Genco is expected to be placed on redshirt status next season for Grand View. But, he is excited to start making his stand right away.
“I felt like that’s where I most belonged,” Genco said. “I’m ready to show my coaches what I’m made of, and I’m ready to give my all to Grand View.”
The Vikings are coming off back-to-back national championships, and coach Nick Mitchell said Genco can bring more fire into an already blazing program.
“Part of the deal with Hunter is we loved how competitive he was,” Mitchell said. “We loved that he’s hard-nosed; he’s not going to take breaks, and we saw how much he loves the sport.”
Mitchell believes Genco will wrestle at 133 pounds, but that could change.
“We’re going to see how he fits in once we get him in, but that’s where we believe he’ll have the best success,” Mitchell added.
One of Genco’s future teammates at Grand View is Indianola’s Jon Gioffredi, who beat Genco twice at the state tournament in the Herald Wrestler of the Year’s career.
“It’ll be better off for me because I’ll be facing a lot better competition than I have been the last couple of years,” Genco said. “I think the rivalry will end because we’ll be teammates now.
“I’ll respect him and he’ll respect me,” Genco said of his new teammate. “After everything happened at the state tournament, we were still friends, and I expect that to continue.”
Genco didn’t have Grand View on his radar at first, but once the Vikings came in at the 11th hour, the Clinton senior saw how well he fit to what his new team had to offer.