Josh Wimer is always looking for an angle, always looking for a way to win.
The 120-pound junior for the Central Crossing High School wrestling team placed third of 32 competitors in his weight class in the Medina Invitational Tournament held Dec. 28 and 29.
Wimer expects to win every tournament he enters, so he left the event disappointed. But the experience also gave him an idea of what he believes he needs to do to reach the Division I state tournament for a second consecutive season.
"I thought I did pretty well, even though I didn't do as well as I thought I should have," said Wimer, who is 11-3 overall. "I could have been more prepared (and) worked harder.
"I need work on moving more and keeping a match going instead of slowing it down. I need to work harder in practice if I want to do something big. These were the same kids (competing at Medina) that I will see at district and state."
Coach Jamie Ramirez said the experience should help Wimer continue to improve as the season progresses. Last season, Wimer went 4-2 at state and placed fifth at 106 pounds.
"Josh had some tough kids in his class and he lost (6-2) in a semifinal to Massillon Perry's David Bavery, who won the state title at 106 last year," Ramirez said. "Josh didn't wrestle his best match, but hopefully he can learn from that and get better."
Wimer wasn't the only Central Crossing wrestler to place at Medina. Freshman Jackson Lakso went 5-3 and finished fifth at 106.
"Jackson is only a freshman and he had a really good tournament," Ramirez said. "We took seven kids up there, and I was happy with the way all of them performed."
Also competing at Medina were senior Kyle Farris (145, 2-2), juniors Gavin McKenney (126, 2-2) and Hunter Taylor (152, 2-2) and freshmen Ethan Leapley (132, 0-2) and Kameron Teacher (heavyweight, 1-2).
The next two competitions for the Comets are OCC-Central Division duals. On Thursday, Jan. 10, they compete against host Olentangy Liberty and Dublin Coffman. A week later, they'll face host Hilliard Davidson and Marysville.
"I tell my kids that there are three parts to the season," Ramirez said. "You have the early tournaments that help get you in shape for the OCC duals. The second part is the OCC duals and some tournaments and then you have the postseason tournaments. The third part is the most important part, but you have to work hard to do well then."
Coach: 'Hounds built for duals
Grove City begins the 2013 portion of its schedule with home OCC-Ohio dual matches against Lancaster and Newark on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Grove City is 0-1 in the league, having lost to Pickerington North 46-18 on Dec. 20.
"We're a better dual-meet team," coach Jay DiMasso said. "We have some young guys in the lineup, but they can usually wrestle well without giving up a pin or forfeit points. If you give up a couple of forfeits that quickly puts you behind 12 points (six points per forfeit). It's important to be able to have a full lineup."
On Dec. 29, Grove City went 4-0 to win the Johnstown Duals, an event that was trimmed from 11 teams to five because of snow. The Greyhounds defeated Harvest Prep (78-6), Johnstown (62-12), New Albany (66-7) and Utica (39-25).
Senior Zane Chappelear (160) and sophomore Jake Crosby (170) both went 4-0 and junior heavyweight Chandler Evanichko was 4-0, with three forfeits. Junior Justin Belmonte was 3-1 at 220.
The Greyhounds compete Saturday, Jan. 12, in the Porter Memorial at Hilliard Bradley before returning to OCC-Ohio competition against Groveport and Reynoldsburg on Jan. 17 at Pickerington Central.
"In the OCC, not having forfeits is beneficial," DiMasso said. "Some coaches take the forfeit instead of getting a j.v. guy in there, but we want to give the kids the opportunity to gain some skills for the varsity level. It's a struggle to keep a large number of kids out for a tough sport like wrestling, but we have been able to keep a full lineup."