Coach Chad Davis learned a lot about wrestling and life at Grandview Heights High School, and now he wants to pass that on to his team.
After having three wrestlers a year ago, the Bobcats have nine in Davis' second season.
"We have more kids and they really have bought into what we're trying to do here," Davis said. "We teach goal-setting, which is something that I learned in school, and it's something they can use for the rest of their lives.
"We sat down and asked them what they wanted to do this season, and they wrote that down and put it in their lockers. That way, every time that they get down on themselves they can see that and remember what they are working toward."
Three wrestlers from last season return in juniors Sam Callison (182 pounds) and A.J. Pinyerd (heavyweight) and sophomore Ben Jump (138). The team also includes senior Sid Morrison (152), junior Anthony Sagsetter (160) and freshmen Benton Bair (126), Brendan Fitzgerald (120), Thomas Stanley (170) and Preston Roberson (220).
"We have had some pretty heated matches in the (practice) room," Davis said. "They have been pushing each other to get better."
Davis said the primary way the program will improve is from the lower levels. The novice program runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-8 p.m. Jan. 3 to Feb. 21 at the high school.
Last season in a Division III sectional tournament at Madison Plains, the Bobcats finished last (15) of 14 teams behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (237). Callison went 0-2 to finish 4-16, Jump went 1-3 to finish 11-22 and Pinyerd went 2-2 to finish 17-13.
In the MSL-Cardinal Division duals, Grandview lost to host West Jefferson 78-4, Liberty Union 66-6 and Licking Heights 36-12. Pinyerd won a league title.
The Bobcats opened Dec. 5 with losses to Cardington (27-20) and Centerburg (42-20). Fitzgerald, Pinyerd and Stanley all had two wins.
On Dec. 8, Grandview finished eighth (117) in the eight-team Madison Plains Invitational behind champion Westerville North (470).
Numbers grow for bowling teams
Fourth-year coach Tony Thivener has a total of 26 participants out for the boys and girls bowling teams.
The boys team has 17 competitors, including returnees Joe Nichols (senior captain), Jacob Bottorf (junior captain), Austin Lewis (junior), Jon Sterneker (junior) and Tristen Rose (sophomore).
Also expected to be in the varsity mix are senior Josef Palenius, an exchange student from Sweden, juniors Jacob David and Max Pierson and sophomores Peter King, Dominic Milano and Joseph Skeens.
"We have several guys trying for five varsity spots, but the competition is a good thing," Thivener said. "We know that if someone has a bad day or a bad week, we can sub someone in and not be losing anything."
The girls team has nine bowlers, including returnees Anna Field (senior), Molly Wenk (senior) and Hannah Jones (junior). Rounding out the roster are senior Taylor Woodhouse, juniors Hanley Baird, Sarah Kaltenecker, Katie Lewis and Josie Pommering and freshman Zoe Wenk.
"Anna Field is captain and does a good job of leading the girls along with Hannah Jones," Thivener said. "Their attitude is fantastic and they go out there and have a good time. We have some girls who are fairly solid, but we need the fourth and fifth girls to step up if we are going to be competitive."
In the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division last season, the boys team tied Columbus Academy, Hartley and Watterson for seventh (7-7) behind champion St. Charles (14-0). The girls team tied Beechcroft and Centennial for eighth (3-8) in the COHSBC-Central behind champion Ready (11-0).
In the postseason, 2012 graduate Conner Sarich was the Bobcats' first district qualifier and finished 53rd with a 520 series at HP Lanes.
In the sectional tournament at Columbus Western Bowl, Sarich was fourth with a 626 series, the second-best overall score by a bowler not on a district-qualifying team.
The boys team finished 20th (3,138) of 24 teams at sectional behind champion Jonathan Alder (4,020) as the top nine teams advanced.
In the nine-team MSL tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, Grandview finished eighth (3,165) behind champion Whitehall (4,078). Sarich was first-team all-league with a 606 series, and Rose was second-team all-league with a career-high game of 227.
The girls team finished 22nd (1,669) in a 22-team sectional at Western Bowl behind champion Briggs (3,494). In the nine-team MSL tournament, the Bobcats finished ninth (1,995) behind champion Whitehall (3,545).
The Bobcats opened Dec. 3 against Columbus Academy in a COHSBC-Central match at Western Bowl. The boys team won 1,857-1,540 and the girls lost 1,174-1,375.
On Dec. 4 at Western Bowl, the boys team beat Columbus West 1,886-1,615 but lost to Ready 1,941-1,886 in league matches.
"The boys have started strong, especially with a 1,857 against Academy, which is the highest total we have had for an opening match," Thivener said. "The boys also had a 351 for their two Baker games (against Ready and West), which is a new (program) record."
The girls team lost to Ready (1,734-1,151) and West (1,187-1,151).
Grandview faced DeSales in a COHSBC-Central match Dec. 11 at Western Bowl.