Jeff Jarry of the Dublin Scioto High School wrestling team realizes what lies ahead will be the toughest tests of the season.
The senior won his second championship of the season when he finished first at 182 pounds in the Sally George Invitational on Jan. 25 at Marion Pleasant to improve to 18-6, but his opponents are about to get even stronger.
"I'm looking forward to it," Jarry said. "I know in some of these tournaments I've faced Division II and Division III opponents, but I'm feeling good going into (the Division I) sectionals (Feb. 15). I've been able to place in every tournament, which is something I didn't do last season."
Scioto scored 119 points to place seventh in the 21-team Sally George Invitational behind champion Upper Sandusky (162).
The Irish will compete in their final tournament of the regular season Saturday, Feb. 1, in the 15-team All-North Tournament at Jerome. Among the area teams expected to participate are Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard Davidson, Mount Vernon, Olentangy Orange and Upper Arlington.
"We made some progress last weekend," coach Aaron McKenzie said. "The All-North is a tournament that usually gives a good indication of how we are going to match up (in the postseason). In reality, it's like a district preview and we're going to face some good teams."
Brennen Sawicki, a junior who sat out last season, also won a title in the Sally George Invitational, finishing first at heavyweight to improve to 10-1. He recently returned after being out of the lineup because of an injury and a skin condition.
"He's a pure athlete and understands what his body can do and that's primarily due to his football ability," McKenzie said of Sawicki. "He's had no problem (adjusting after not competing last season). With a lighter weight, missing all that time might create some problems."
Among the other top performers for the Irish are Ras Lumpkins at 220 (24-6), Cameron Wallace at 160 (20-9) and Dareal Vasser at 152 (18-6).
Scioto is 1-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division heading into its home dual against Hilliard Darby on Thursday, Jan. 30. The Irish will conclude the regular season with a league dual Feb. 6 at Westerville North.
Celtics set to play host to All-North Tournament
Jerome coach Adam Huddle has made it a point to lure central Ohio's top teams to compete in the All-North Tournament, and he believes this year's lineup for the 15-team event is the strongest in the event's history.
"We've worked it to being a pretty good tournament," he said. "It's a nice way to prepare for sectionals because teams usually take off the weekend before sectionals. We really run our tournament like a sectional, with a 16-man bracket, and you work on getting yourself ready to go (in the postseason)."
Jerome finished ninth (79) in the 12-team Rieman Classic on Jan. 25 at Delaware behind champion Massillon Perry (387). Josh Transue was runner-up at 113 and improved to 31-5 and Liam Dunlea placed third at 120 and is 20-7.
The Celtics are 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal. Their final two league duals are Thursday, Jan. 30, at Westerville South and Feb. 6 at home against Canal Winchester.
Shamrocks earn win in state team tourney
Seeded fourth of eight teams in Region 6-B, Coffman earned its first win in the Division I state team tournament, beating fifth-seeded New Carlisle Tecumseh 39-33 in the first round before losing to top-seeded Marysville 50-22 in the second round.
Both matches were held Jan. 22 at Marysville.
"We got knocked out when we should've gotten knocked out," said coach Chance Van Gundy, whose team lost in the first round last year in the inaugural event. "We've been a depleted team this year with injuries and we're starting a lot of freshmen. Certain things are out of our control with sectionals right around the corner."
The Shamrocks placed second (196.5) in the eight-team Watkins Memorial Invitational on Jan. 25 behind champion Marysville (209).
Dominick Demas was the top placer for Coffman, finishing first at 138 to improve to 23-1, and Aaron Miller placed second at 195 and improved to 13-7.
Placing third were Aymen Zennouzi at 126 (8-7), Adnan Muhamad at 145 (10-4) and Ben Frye at 182 (17-6) and finishing fourth were Joey Lowers at 113 (6-10), Nate Longo at 132 (12-9), Wily Plaisir at 152 (15-9) and Juan Alverez at 170 (5-4).
The Shamrocks are 3-2 in the OCC-Central. Their final two league duals are Thursday, Jan. 30, at Olentangy Liberty and Feb. 6 at home against Davidson.