The Olentangy High School wrestling team has enjoyed quite a bit of success in recent years. It won sectional titles two of the past three seasons and earned consecutive league titles from 2006 through 2008.

The Olentangy High School wrestling team has enjoyed quite a bit of success in recent years. It won sectional titles two of the past three seasons and earned consecutive league titles from 2006 through 2008.

However, the Braves haven't won a district championship during Matt Hammons seven-year tenure as head coach.

After 10 Braves qualified for the Division II district tournament Friday and Saturday at Uhrichsville Claymont, Hammons said his team has the potential to finally add a district title to its legacy.

"Winning district has been a goal of ours since day one, and we know we have the horses to compete for it this year," Hammons said. "You have to get a lot of guys through to district and they all have to win some matches there to give you a chance, and I have confidence that each of our guys is ready to be competitive at this level based on the competition they faced throughout the regular season."

The Braves will need to beat a tough competitor in host Claymont, which finished sixth in the final Division II state poll, ahead of seventh-place Olentangy.

"Claymont's a very good team, and we're going to be wrestling in their gym, on their mats, with a lot of their fans in the stands," Hammons said.

"The only thing we can do is stay focused on each match and try to produce more district placers than they do."

The Braves scored 246 points to win the 13-team sectional last Saturday at Amanda-Clearcreek, ahead of runner-up Canal Winchester (162).

Placing first for Olentangy were Trevor Fiorucci (who went 3-0 at 103 pounds), Anthony McHugh (3-0 at 112), Al Caserta (4-0 at 125), Joe Grandominico (3-0 at 145) and Alex Stinemetz (3-0 at 189).

"A sectional title is a big deal to us because it's evidence of all the hard work we've put in," Grandominico said. "We've moved from Division I to Division II this year, but by no means is it an easier division. This is the first tournament title we've won since winning (a Division I) sectional my sophomore year, and we've been told that this is the best team we've had since the 1990s."

The Braves were inspired by senior Michael Webber, who went 2-1 to place second at 119 pounds. He missed two months of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

"Michael inspired all of his teammates with his leadership and hard work while he was injured," Hammons said. "When he returned to the lineup, it gave everyone on our team a boost."

Webber injured his knee at the Olentangy Invitational on Dec. 5, but after two months of physical therapy, he began wrestling again Feb. 11.

"I didn't think I'd make it back and be able to wrestle at the same level I was before, but I worked real hard, and qualifying for district has made it all seem worth it," Webber said. "I'm going to have surgery two weeks after the state tournament, and my next goal is to qualify for state."

Liberty scored 260 points to win the 13-team Division I sectional at Pickerington Central ahead of runner-up Mount Vernon (194).

Eleven Patriots placed in the top four at sectional to advance to the Division I district meet Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Darby.

Finishing first for Liberty were Jarrod Boone (4-0 at 125), Craig Thomas (4-0 at 140), Ethan Snyder (4-0 at 145) and Luke Fleming (4-0 at 189).

"This was the first sectional title we've ever won, both as a team and individually, and it shows that we're growing and improving into a competitive team," coach Mark Marinelli said. "What I'm most pleased with is we got 11 kids through to district, compared with only three last year."

Snyder is optimistic that several of the Patriots have the potential to place in the top four at district and qualify for the state tournament March 4-6 at Ohio State.

Liberty never has advanced a wrestler to the Division I state tournament.

"Having the No. 1 seed for district helps," Snyder said. "I think we can send two to four guys to state if we have a good day. We're just trying to stay aggressive so we can peak at the right time."

At a glance

Below are the sectional results for the Liberty, Olentangy and Orange wrestling teams:

LIBERTY

Last Saturday -- Finished first (260) in 13-team Division I sectional at Pickerington Central ahead of runner-up Mount Vernon (194). District qualifiers were John Pfleiderer (112, 2-2, fourth), Jake Ryan (119, 2-1, second), Jarrod Boone (125, 4-0, first), Anthony Michael (130, 4-1, third), Kelton Pettay (135, 3-2, fourth), Craig Thomas (140, 4-0, first), Ethan Snyder (145, 4-0, first), Nick Kaczkowski (152, 3-1, second), Koh Schooley (160, 2-1, second), Joe Archer (171, 3-1, second) and Luke Fleming (189, 4-0, first). Others competing included Josh Snider (103, 0-2), Matt Casey (215, 3-3, sixth) and Brendon Bland (heavyweight, 3-3, sixth).

Friday-Saturday -- District tournament at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each weight class advance to state on March 4-6 at Ohio State.

OLENTANGY

Last Saturday -- Finished first (246) in 13-team Division II sectional at Amanda-Clearcreek. District qualifiers were Trevor Fiorucci (103, 3-0, first), Anthony McHugh (112, 3-0, first), Michael Webber (119, 2-1, second), Al Caserta (125, 4-0, first), Anthony Fosco (130, 2-1, second), Britt Yant (140, 2-1, second), Joe Grandominico (145, 3-0, first), Caleb Hetterscheidt (152, 4-1, third), Joey Gadd (160, 3-1, third) and Alex Stinemetz (189, 3-0, first). Others competing were Eric Bridges (135, 1-2), Joe Armpriester (171, 0-2), Brandon Sheppard (215, 0-2) and Bryan Young (heavyweight, 2-2, fifth).

Friday-Saturday -- District tournament at Uhrichsville Claymont. The top four in each weight class advance to state on March 4-6 at Ohio State.

ORANGE

Last Saturday -- Finished fifth (147.5) in 13-team Division I sectional at Westland behind champion Pickerington North (224.5). District qualifiers were Jonathan Edwards (103, 3-1, third), Artem Timchenko (112, 4-0, first), Frank Hu (125, 2-2, fourth), Josh Toprani (140, 4-1, third), Dan Waldron (145, 3-2, fourth) and Josh Winn (heavyweight, 3-1, second). Others competing were J.J. Jurcisek (119, 1-2), Dan Dawson (130, 1-3, sixth), Dante Ventresca (135, 1-2), Mike Moore (152, 2-2, fifth), Jarrod Winn (160, 1-2), Jake Selbe (171, 3-2, fifth), Dakota Taylor (189, 0-2) and Yun Kang (215, 2-3, sixth).

Friday-Saturday -- District tournament at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each weight class advance to state on March 4-6 at Ohio State.