Cole Capehart has found a happy medium between homework and hard work in the practice room with the Grove City High School wrestling team.
The 132-pound senior carries a 3.6 GPA and is a returning Division I district qualifier for the Greyhounds.
Capehart is 12-12 overall this season after finishing fourth in the Porter Memorial on Jan. 11 at Hilliard Bradley.
"Wrestling takes a lot of time with practice or meets six days a week, and it cuts into study time," Capehart said. "I have to budget my time and make as much use of study halls so I can get everything finished."
Capehart plans to attend Ohio State and work toward becoming a physician's assistant. He said he might even tackle a postgraduate degree in a mathematics- or science-related field.
"I really like math and science," Capehart said. "In wrestling, hard work pays off, just as it does in class. You have to be really focused in both."
At Bradley, Capehart lost 12-3 in a semifinal match to Hilliard Darby's Quentin Thatcher, who finished second to Hilliard Davidson's Bobby Smith. He then lost 8-5 in the consolation final to Bradley's Will Stratton.
"Cole just goes in the (practice) room and gets it done," said coach Jay DiMasso, whose team finished sixth (114 points) of eight teams in the Porter Memorial behind champion Bradley (225). "I think he has only missed one practice in his four seasons with the program.
"As a senior, he's doing what he's supposed to do. He knows what we expect and goes out and works. He's been in the varsity lineup for three seasons and he was a district qualifier as a junior. That experience is a big help."
Last season, Capehart was 0-2 at district while competing at 120 and finished 16-23 overall.
"I want to make it back to district this year. That would be really rewarding," Capehart said. "Just knowing I made it there gives me confidence this year."
Only wrestling since eighth grade, Capehart regularly competes against athletes who have spent much of their lives on the mat. He happened upon the sport by accident.
"My brother (170-pound junior) Dustin was wrestling when he was in the seventh grade and I went to one of his practices and found out that I liked it," he said. "It's a tough sport. You're sore a lot. There's a lot of conditioning. You have to be in great shape."
The Greyhounds improved to 1-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division after splitting a pair of league duals Jan. 9. They defeated Newark 58-24 and lost to host Lancaster 51-18.
Also in the Porter Memorial, 220-pounder Chandler Evanichko was runner-up, losing to Mount Vernon's Matt Lybarger 3-2 in the championship march.
Jake Crosby was third at 170. Placing fourth were Justin Belmonte (195), Nick Headlee (138), Will Marshall (113) and Jacob Yono (145).
Grove City competes in the Mike Casey-Maumee Bay Classic on Friday, Jan. 17, and Saturday, Jan. 18, at Oregon Clay. Last season, the Greyhounds finished 17th (55.5) in the 26-team event behind the champion host team (203).
Comets drop two OCC-Central duals
Central Crossing was 1-2 in the OCC-Central before competing Thursday, Jan. 16, at Hilliard Davidson against Marysville and the host Wildcats.
On Jan. 9, the Comets lost to Dublin Coffman 40-34 and Olentangy Liberty 41-21 at Westland in a pair of league duals.
Double-winners were Robbie Fusner (195), Kameron Teacher (heavyweight), James Wimer (113-120), Josh Wimer (126-132) and J.D. Woods (113-120).
Central Crossing competes Friday, Jan. 17, and Saturday, Jan. 18, in the Maumee Bay Classic. Josh Wimer won the title at 120 last season as the Comets finished 16th (56).