The Olentangy Liberty High School wrestling team has opted out of competing in the inaugural Division I state dual tournament this season.
"We were already locked into a pretty busy schedule, and I wanted to do what was best for my family, our team and our program," coach Mark Marinelli said. "We wrestled OCC matches on back-to-back nights last week and I didn't get to see my kids because I didn't get home until 10:30 at night. And most of our wrestlers have a lot of academic commitments, so we opted not to do it this year."
The Patriots lost to Hilliard Davidson 37-26 in a league match Jan. 9, but bounced back to beat Central Crossing (55-20) and Westland (53-14) on Jan. 10 to improve to 2-1 in the OCC-Central Division.
Going 2-0 on Jan. 10 were Andrew Eschleman (160 pounds), Jake Ryan (152), Kyle Arcaro (170), John Furnas (106), Jake Hale (182), Matt Snyder (138), Mitch Deruy (220) and Connor Thomas (113).
"I wish we had a better dual-meet record (than 6-6 overall), but our losses have been close," Marinelli said. "We didn't have four of our better kids in the Hilliard Davidson match because of academic commitments or that match could have gone the other way."
Pioneers eyeing match with Coffman
Third-seeded Orange opens the state dual tournament against sixth-seeded Dublin Coffman in Region 5-A on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at a site to be announced.
The winner faces second-seeded Delaware or seventh-seeded Westerville Central on Jan. 30. The regional semifinal also is Jan. 30.
The Pioneers lost to Delaware 32-29 and beat New Albany 52-12 on Jan. 10 to move to 1-2 in the OCC-Capital.
Going 2-0 for Orange were Mikey McQueeney (106), Artem Timchenko (126), Hayden Fath (138), Ben Heilman (170), Albert VanFossen (220) and Alec Hetz (heavyweight).
"We need to do a better job of staying in position and winning those slugfests," Orange coach Brian Nicola said. "Delaware competed with more fire and passion, and it showed. It should be an excellent dual between them and Mount Vernon for the league title. Hopefully we get another shot at them in the state dual series."
Braves set to open dual tournament
Fifth-seeded Olentangy opens the state dual tournament against fourth-seeded Ashland in the first round of Region 5-A on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Marysville.
The winner faces top-seeded Marysville or eighth-seeded Dublin Scioto on Jan. 30. The regional semifinal also is Jan. 30.
The Braves beat Franklin Heights 63-16 and lost to Watkins Memorial 38-35 to move to 2-1 in the OCC-Capital.