Chad Channel is used to winning.
Chad Channel is used to winning.
The senior on the Central Crossing High School wrestling team already had more than 20 wins this season, with his latest success coming last Saturday as he earned the title at 135 points at the James Horning Memorial in Mason. As a team, the Comets finished second (262) behind West Chester Lakota West (267).
Channel also knows about losing, however. After going 0-2 at the Division I state tournament as a freshman at 119, he went 1-2 at 125 a year later. But last season he didn't even make it to state.
Channel is using that stumbling block as motivation.
"Going to the state as a freshman and sophomore, it really hurt me inside not to make it," he said. "I had to pull through it. I took a month off and got my mind off wrestling a little bit. Then I went right back at it. It was going to be my senior year and I'm going to have fun, work hard and try to be No. 1."
Channel, who is being recruited by several colleges, including Ohio University and West Liberty (W.Va.), had a busy summer that included several tournaments, with some of the top ones being in Florida, Virginia and Michigan.
"I did a lot this summer trying to get back in the routine," he said. "I put the time and effort in my summer workout."
That determination hasn't gone unnoticed.
"Since (late December), Chad has wrestled well," coach Chance Van Gundy said. "He seems to be confident and heading into the right direction going into the postseason. He understands what it takes to get back to the state tournament. He's working hard and is more focused."
Individual merits are a priority for Channel, but team goals are equally important. The Comets will compete in the OCC-Central Division tournament Saturday at Westland. Others in the league are Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson, Thomas Worthington, Upper Arlington, Westland and Worthington Kilbourne.
It will be a dual tournament with two pools of four. The teams with the best records will advance to meet each other in a championship match.
"I think our team is more well-rounded this year," Channel said. "We've got a good group of guys who want to work hard and win the OCC. We know we have targets on our back and that teams want to beat us. We are going to have to have everyone on that day, mentally and physically. It's going to be a long day and it's going to be more demanding. We have to go out there and get it done."
•Grove City will compete in the OCC-Ohio tournament Saturday at Gahanna. Also in the OCC-Ohio are Gahanna, Groveport, Lancaster, Newark, Pickerington Central, Pickerington North and Reynoldsburg.
The Greyhounds finished 18th (57) in a 24-team field last Saturday in the Mary E. Kerr Memorial at Toledo Waite. Oregon Clay (205.5) was first.
Ryan Wells (160) went 3-2 and finished fifth. Others placers were Jordan Shoemaker (103, sixth), Collin Whitt (125, eighth) and Robb Werner (189, eighth).
At a glance
Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central Crossing and Grove City wrestling teams:
Jan. 11 -- Finished fifth in Division I State Duals at Wadsworth
Last Saturday -- Finished second (262) to West Chester Lakota West (267) in James Horning Memorial at Mason. Chad Channel (135) was first and Matt Perez (119), Cody Wimer (140) and Matt Schramm (heavyweight) were second.
Saturday -- At OCC-Central tournament at Westland
Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto, Groveport and New Albany
Last Friday-Saturday -- Finished 18th (57) behind champion Oregon Clay (205.5) in 24-team Mary E. Kerr Memorial Invitational at Toledo Waite.
Saturday -- At OCC-Ohio tournament atGahanna
Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Walnut Ridge