Columbus Academy wrestler Dan Jones could only watch as his team competed in the MSL-Ohio Division tournament Feb. 9 at Heath.
Jones has not competed since he suffered a concussion after being head-butted twice during the Jimmy Wood Memorial on Jan. 26 at New Lexington. Jones has been able to participate in practices and coach Paul Bukky believes he will be ready for the 14-team Division III sectional tournament Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16, at Madison Plains.
"It was tough to watch," Jones said. "Obviously, you want to be able to wrestle for the MSL championship, especially since the league is getting disbanded this year and reorganized, so you want to be able to compete. I might be a little biased, but I was there and I kept thinking, 'I could beat that guy, I could beat that guy. That guy might be tough, but I think I can beat him, too.'"
Jones, a sophomore, has a 25-4 record this season at 195 pounds.
"Dan is a good one," Bukky said. "He's growing in his wrestling and he's trying to improve. He's trying to alter his style a little bit, so he can beat the good guys.
"I tell him we're wrestling to beat the best, not just to beat the average guy. Anybody can beat the average guy, but when you come against these real good guys you want to be able to knock them off."
Last season at district, Jones was 2-2 to finish 29-11. He has goals of advancing further this season.
"I think we have a lot of guys on our team who are going to be able to make some noise in the postseason," Jones said.
The Vikings finished sixth (109 points) in the league tournament behind Whitehall (396), Licking Valley (275), Granville (269), Newark Catholic (163) and Heath (135) and ahead of Lakewood (104) and Bexley (96).
It was Whitehall's first league title since 1968. Licking Valley had won the previous four.
Sam Wittman was second at 126 for Academy. Jeremy Schroeder (152) and Johnston Allinder (170) were third, Taylor Smallridge (132), Tim Leathery (138) and Cory Bartholomew (195) were fifth and Hirsh Hede (106) and Reed Clark (182) were sixth.
Other teams at sectional will be Africentric, Amanda-Clearcreek, Bloom-Carroll, East Knox, Fredericktown, Grandview, Hartley, Johnstown, Madison Plains, Mount Gilead, North Union, Ready and West Jefferson. The top four individuals in each weight class will advance to district Feb. 22 and 23 at Duncan Falls Philo.
Last season, Academy finished eighth (69) behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (237) in the Madison Plains sectional.
Swimming teams compete at sectional
Academy played host to a Division II sectional meet Feb. 9, with the boys team finishing second (149) behind champion Granville (279) as 21 teams scored and the girls team finishing second (230) behind Granville (339) as 24 teams scored.
For the girls, Anye' Kone won the 50-yard freestyle (25.38 seconds).
"It was a very good day," coach Craig Yakscoe said. "All of our boys swam extremely well and we had some real good scattered results from our girls. The girls kind of swam a little more like what I expected. The boys swam overall a little bit better than what I was thinking."
Girls basketball team to play Johnstown
The girls basketball team is seeded 18th in the Division III district tournament and will visit third-seeded Johnstown in a first-round game Saturday, Feb. 16.
The winner will play Horizon Science Academy in the second round Feb. 21.
The Vikings defeated Lakewood 37-23 on Feb. 6 to end a four-game losing streak.
Post player Zaria McBride scored 26 points.
Boys basketball team loses to Granville
The boys basketball team slipped to second place in the MSL-Ohio with a 48-43 loss at home against Granville on Feb. 9. Forward Daniel Aronowitz scored 11 points.
The Vikings are 11-2 in the league and entered the week trailing Newark Catholic, which was 11-1 before playing Bexley on Feb. 12.
Academy closes the regular season Friday, Feb. 15, at Bexley. Newark Catholic plays host to Licking Valley that night.
The second-seeded Vikings open the Division III district tournament by playing host to 22nd-seeded East Knox on Feb. 23, with the winner playing 21st-seeded Cardington on Feb. 27.