Xander Straughter of the Reynoldsburg High School wrestling team won his first tournament this season, then twice finished second and third.

Xander Straughter of the Reynoldsburg High School wrestling team won his first tournament this season, then twice finished second and third.

The senior rarely let himself get frustrated while building a 30-6 record, instead filing away lessons and and channeling them toward improvement.

"You know matches are usually going to be close this time of year," Straughter said. "You're going to have to know how to wrestle a full six minutes."

He only had to do that once in a Division I sectional Feb. 18 at Watkins Memorial. Straughter went 3-0 to win the 120-pound weight class and lead six Raiders wrestlers into the district tournament Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, at Hilliard Darby.

Also advancing were runners-up Will Boykin (126) and Jordan Reed (195), third-place finisher Greg Chang (113) and Lawrence Tackett (132) and Kyle Teasley (heavyweight), who both finished fourth. All are seniors.

Reynoldsburg scored 162.5 points to finish fourth behind champion Lancaster (220.5), Hilliard Bradley (216.5) and Pickerington North (182.5).

"It was the kind of day that was indicative of the whole season," Raiders coach Jared Ball said. "It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. We were right in the middle of the pack."

Straughter defeated Westerville Central's Bilal Museitif 16-1 and pinned Pickerington North's Josh Snyder in 3 minutes, 32 seconds before a 7-1 win over Andrew Lieb from Watkins Memorial in the final. Straughter is going to his third consecutive district meet. He finished fifth last season and was 0-2 as a sophomore.

"His shots were coming (Feb. 18). He is being more offensive, and he's being patient at the same time," Ball said. "Once he gets on top, he'll ride guys like a wet blanket. The biggest thing for him has been confidence. He was behind Greg (Chang) as a freshman, and as a sophomore I was unsure if he'd be on varsity. As a junior, he had to cut weight. As a senior, either he or Greg was going to have to make a drop (to 113), and Greg did. The decision was between me, Xander and his dad and I think it's worked out well."

Boykin, who went 0-2 at district last year, won his first two sectional matches but was pinned in the final in 18 seconds by Lancaster's Ben Barnhart-Sullivan.

"Things have started clicking," Boykin said. "I feel like I'm better-conditioned now, more in shape than earlier in the season. My techniques and moves and my mat speed is better."

Reed lost 2-1 to Pickerington North's Matt Kitchen.

Ball considered Tackett and Teasley's performances pleasant surprises. Teasley has seen time on both varsity and junior varsity this year, and Tackett isn't naturally a 132-pounder.

"He's wrestling up two weights from what he should," Ball said. "He lost early, but he turned it around and beat the guys he needed to."

This year's Raiders hope to start a new streak. Last year was the first time since 2002 Reynoldsburg didn't have a state qualifier.

"This whole team stepped up (at the sectional)," Boykin said. "The district meet is tough. It will be a huge challenge. We have to be hungry."