When Jordan Marrero advanced to the Division I state tournament as a senior in 2010, it marked the eighth consecutive season in which the Reynoldsburg High School wrestling team had at least one competitor reach that level.
That the Raiders came up short of having an individual at state each of the past three years provides fuel every time fifth-year coach Jared Ball looks inside the gym.
"Our ultimate goal is to get a state champion, but not getting names on the wall for having a state qualifier ultimately is a failure for me as a coach," Ball said. "We're going to set some sort of record for state alternates. ... I see no reason we can't have guys in position to be at state. We're always evaluating ourselves."
Seven seniors and several other experienced wrestlers are hungry to help the Raiders get back to state.
Seniors Nathan Smiley (126 pounds/132) and James Love (182) and sophomore Dominic Hathaway (113/120) all were fifth at sectional last year as the top four in each weight class advanced to district. Smiley went 22-18, Love was 26-6 and Hathaway finished 19-18.
Also back are seniors Raphael Turner (220/195), Justin Hamilton (heavyweight) and Andrew McBane (152) and juniors Christian Eubanks (heavyweight), Mike Harville (195/220) and Desmond Jones (132).
Others looking to contribute include seniors Jordan Thompson (170) and Trevor Keating (145), sophomores Skylar Gray (120/126) and Zach Polinsky (138) and freshman Alan Matheny (160).
At district last season, 2013 graduate Jordan Reed (195) was fifth and classmate Nick Johnston (170) went 1-2. Reed finished 36-10 and Johnston 30-10.
Reynoldsburg, which was sixth (2-5) in the OCC-Ohio Division last year behind co-champions Pickerington Central and Pickerington North (6-1), opens league action Dec. 19 at Lancaster.
"This is the first year we've had kids coming in as freshmen with experience," Ball said. "And we've got seniors who are looking to be big leaders."
Bowling teams again look to be strong
Both the boys and girls bowling teams have experienced competitors back after winning 13 and 14 matches, respectively, last season.
The top players back for the girls are juniors Emily Harrell and Michaela Johnson, who tied for 35th (458) and tied for 50th (447), respectively, in the district tournament a year ago as the Raiders placed 14th.
Also back for the girls are senior Courtney Quappe and juniors Bre Harris and Lauren Sampson.
The girls team, which went 4-0 to win the OCC-Ohio and was runner-up (11-1) in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-South Division last season, opened by beating Columbus South 1,758-1,242 on Dec. 2 at Holiday Lanes.
The boys squad returns seniors Nick Mahan and Kyree South and juniors Jacob Debrock and Chad Szczepanski. Also on the team are junior Michael Ridenour and freshman Zachery Starkey.
The boys opened by beating South 1,700-1,343.
"We're looking forward to a good year with both of these teams," coach Jean Martin said. "The girls won the OCC last year and I think the girls will do really well again. We've got some super nice boys and they'll listen and improve."
Zakery Aeling, a 2013 graduate, was 54th (505) in the boys district tournament a year ago as an individual competitor.
McCafferty to again lead swim program
Only two of the 19 competitors in the swimming and diving program are seniors, but there is a two-time state qualifier in junior Morgan McCafferty to lead a slew of youngsters.
"There are not a lot of experienced upperclassmen, so we're pretty young," said first-year coach Brian Kocher, a former Reynoldsburg Marlins youth swimming coach who took over for Stephanie Kiss in the offseason.
"They're working hard and hopefully we'll see some good results. We go from having a number of first-time swimmers to having a two-time state qualifier in Morgan McCafferty."
At the state level, McCafferty was 12th (57.7 seconds) in the 100-yard backstroke as a freshman and 10th (57.14) a year ago.
Other returnees for the girls team are senior Sara Kohs (back, freestyle), juniors Marisa Glusich (breaststroke, back) and Leah Svoboda (butterfly, free) and sophomore Acadia Gaver (distance free, breast).
Also looking to contribute are sophomores Brianna Abele (breast, free), Alexis Anderson (free) and Katie Crawford (breast, free) and freshmen Gabby Caroselli, Davionna Dawes, Reagan Duchesne, Brittney Graves and Abby Hutson-Comeaux.
"We'd love to get Morgan back to state and we would love to get one of our girls relays to state," Kocher said.
Back for the boys team are senior D.J. Jenkins (free, fly), juniors Hayden Stratman (distance) and Devin Wooddell (breast, fly) and sophomore Christian Morgan (breast).
Sophomore Christian White (free) and freshman Aaron Bryan (free) round out the roster.
On Dec. 3, the boys team lost to Lancaster 94-39 and the girls lost to Lancaster 124-72 in the season-opening meet at Family YMCA.
Neither team scored in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 7 at Ohio State.
*Dec. 2 -- Columbus South at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 6 -- Independence at Holiday Lanes
Dec. 7 -- Red & Blue Classic at HP Lanes
*Dec. 9 -- Columbus East at HP Lanes
*Dec. 12 -- Walnut Ridge at Eastland Lanes
*Dec. 13 -- Teays Valley at Holiday Lanes
Dec. 16 -- Lancaster at Tiki Lanes
*Dec. 17 -- Pickerington Central at Rule 3
*Dec. 20 -- Grandview at Holiday Lanes
Dec. 21 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
Jan. 4 -- Buckeye Classic at HP Lanes
Jan. 6 -- Thomas Worthington at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 8 -- Africentric at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Jan. 9 -- Newark at Valley Lanes
*Jan. 10 -- Columbus West at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 15 -- Groveport at Eastland Lanes
*Jan. 17 -- Marion-Franklin at Holiday Lanes
Jan. 22 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Capri Lanes
*Jan. 23 -- Eastmoor Academy at Eastland Lanes
*Jan. 24 -- Pickerington North at Holiday Lanes
Jan. 25 -- Jaguar Baker Marathon at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 29 -- Briggs at Columbus Western Bowl
*Jan. 31 -- Whitehall at Holiday Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 3 -- Lancaster at Family YMCA
Dec. 7 -- Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State
Dec. 14 -- St. Charles Catholic Showdown
Dec. 21 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Kenyon College
Dec. 28 -- Grandview Yule at the Pool at Columbus Aquatics Center
Jan. 3 -- Olentangy Liberty and Gahanna at Ohio Wesleyan
Jan. 25 -- OCC-Ohio meet at TBA
Feb. 1 -- Upper Arlington Invitational
Nov. 30 -- Mount Vernon Invitational
Dec. 13 -- At Watkins Memorial with Licking Heights and New Albany
*Dec. 19 -- at Lancaster
Dec. 21 -- Panther Invitational at Pickerington North
Dec. 27-28 -- Chagrin Falls Kenston Invitational
*Jan. 9 -- at Gahanna with Pickerington North
Jan. 10 -- Marion County Invitational at Marion County Fairgrounds
*Jan. 16 -- vs. Grove City and Pickerington Central
Jan. 18 -- Lion Duals at Gahanna
Jan. 25 -- Watkins Memorial Invitational
*Jan. 30 -- vs. Groveport
*Feb. 6 -- at Newark
Feb. 8 -- Nye Cardinal Classic at St. Charles