Having only eight athletes in its program, the Canal Winchester High School wrestling team has struggled in duals this season.
That trend continued Jan. 30, as the Indians lost to Westerville Central 42-27 to drop to 0-6 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
"When you have to forfeit seven (of 14) weight classes, you realistically can't win dual matches, so we haven't focused on our team scores all season," coach Trent Brooks said. "Three of our seven guys are first-year wrestlers, so we just try to teach them as much as we can while our four experienced wrestlers lead the way for us.
"This was a good night for us because five of our seven kids beat Westerville Central, so we'll count that as a moral victory."
Winning matches against the Warhawks were Emanuel Barnes at 145 pounds, Nick Hammond at 160, Justin Burge at 170, Matthew Snider at 182 and Kevin Wade at heavyweight.
Trent Watkins (113) and Alex Tannehill (152) both lost against Central.
Also in the program is Tyler Anelick (heavyweight), who competes at the junior varsity level.
"We're just doing the best we can as individuals because we know we can't win as a team," Barnes said. "We're all working hard to improve and we're using these matches to get us ready for the postseason tournaments."
The Indians wrap up their regular season with a league dual Thursday, Feb. 6, at Dublin Jerome. They then will prepare for a Division I sectional tournament Feb. 15 at Watkins Memorial.
The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district Feb. 21 and 22 at Hilliard Darby.
"I'm hoping our three seniors (Barnes, Burge and Wade) and (junior) Nick Hammond all make it through to district," Brooks said. "Those four have all wrestled well in tournaments this season, so I'm confident each of them can make it if they wrestle to their potential. They just have to wrestle every match like it could be their last match, which will actually be true for the seniors if they don't place high enough."
The Indians had two district qualifiers last season in Hammond (145) and 2013 graduate Max Lacey (220).
"Everything we do right now is to get ourselves ready for sectional," Hammond said. "We just want to make sure we wrestle our best on that day. In my case, I usually do my best when I sit back and wait for my opponent to make a mistake. When there's an opening, I just need to make sure I'm ready to capitalize on it."
Struggles continue for boys basketball team
The boys basketball team lost to Gahanna 59-33 on Feb. 1, marking its fifth loss in six games.
Daltyn Colley had 10 points for the Indians, who were 7-11 overall and 2-9 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Jerome on Feb. 4.
Canal Winchester beat Darby 45-34 in a league game Jan. 29 to snap a three-game losing streak before losing to Hilliard Bradley 70-58 on Jan. 31 in a league contest and falling to Gahanna.
Colley had 17 points and Brendan Snyder scored 12 against Darby and Snyder scored 23 and Colley scored 12 against Bradley.
Girls basketball team nearing postseason
The girls basketball team will close out the regular season with OCC-Cardinal games against Westerville North on Friday, Feb. 7, and Darby on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Both are home games.
The Indians lost to North 69-38 on Jan. 15 but defeated Darby 53-37 on Dec. 17.
Canal Winchester, which was 6-13 overall and 4-7 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Jerome on Feb. 4, lost to host Bradley 51-25 in a league game Jan. 31, as Marina Rarick and Noelle Saeger each scored six.
The Indians bounced back to beat Thomas Worthington 53-50 on Feb. 1 at home, getting 16 points from Raven Hamilton and 13 from Jasmine Smith.
The Indians are seeded 37th for the Division I district tournament and have a first-round bye. They will play Feb. 19 against ninth-seeded Dublin Coffman or 41st-seeded Watkins Memorial.