Josh Demas of the Westerville North High School wrestling team expects to be tested as he continues his march to a possible state title.

Josh Demas of the Westerville North High School wrestling team expects to be tested as he continues his march to a possible state title.

Demas improved to 38-1 overall by winning the Division I sectional title at 152 pounds last Saturday at Watkins Memorial. He is favored at district, which will be Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Darby, with the top four in each weight class advancing to state March 5-7 at Ohio State. Demas will open district against West's Derrick Neimeister, who is 25-8.

"I just need to keep up my pace like I usually do," Demas said. "I'm going to have to keep pushing and keep believing in myself instead of thinking about the match so much."

Demas is expecting a possible rematch with Darby's Joe Crabtree, who is 31-4, in the final. Demas pulled away to defeat Crabtree 10-5 in the sectional final.

Demas is seeking a third consecutive state berth and first state championship.

"Everybody wants to wrestle Josh," coach David Grant said. "Even if you just wrestle him close that's a victory because he's so good and everyone is talking about him. They're trying to beat him or wrestle him tough to see where they're at."

Brandon Burkett, who earned a sectional title at 135 and improved to 33-8, will join Demas at the district tournament.

Burkett, a returning state qualifier, beat Watkins Memorial's Brett Jeffries 11-3 in the final at sectional. He will open district against Groveport's Tonnoy Keopaseuth, who is 21-16.

"The district tournament is going to be really stacked," Burkett said. "If I make it to the semis I'm going all the way to the championship. I plan on placing at state."

Joe Herrera (103, 22-11), Jacob Smith (140, 21-20) and Simon Wallace (215, 27-12) are North's other district qualifiers.

Smith, who finished fourth at sectional, will open district against Worthington Kilbourne's Bryan Hoffman, who is 31-10. Wallace, who was third at sectional, will open against Mount Vernon's Dane Cullen, who is 41-6.

"Simon is really wrestling well," Grant said. "We're expecting big things out of him."

•Stephen Alger (119, 37-8) and Pat McNabb (heavyweight, 29-12) of Central qualified for the district tournament after placing at the Watkins Memorial sectional.

Alger, a returning district qualifier, was fourth at 119. He will open against Dublin Coffman's Jason Seiple, who is 38-4.

"I need to win my first match," Alger said. "It's crucial to win my first match or hopes won't be too high for me. Wrestling is wrestling. You have to keep working at it. A loss is a loss. You just have to put it behind you."

McNabb will face Beavercreek's Adam Walls, who is 35-2. McNabb was third at sectional.

"We have a couple of pretty good kids in," coach Bob Fresch said. "You wish you would have had a couple more, but there's a lot of teams out there that don't have one."

Zach Brown is a district alternate at 152 after taking fifth at sectional.

•Junior R.J. Stevenson will represent South at the district tournament.

Stevenson, who is 24-8, finished third at the Westland sectional at 119. He will open district against Teays Valley's Sean Jordan, who is 41-1.

"I always thought that R.J. would be a district qualifier," coach Jason Still said. "He has to get a good training session all week and just mentally be ready and prepared on Friday to go up against a kid who is 41-1 and try to beat somebody. You have to beat somebody to go to state."

Ryan Myers is a district alternate at 140 after placing fifth at sectional.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central, North and South wrestling teams:

CENTRAL

Last Saturday -- Finished ninth (54) in 13-team Division I sectional at Watkins Memorial behind champion Teays Valley (257.5). District qualifiers were Stephen Alger (119, 4-1, third) and Pat McNabb (heavyweight, 4-1, third). Others competing were Abraham Kemoh (103, 1-2), Aaron Reid (112, 0-2), Kyle Winston (125, 2-3, sixth), Derrick Rhodes (130, 0-2), Blake Munn (135, 0-2), Dustin Carson (140, 1-2), Ron Gast (145, 1-2), Zach Brown (152, 3-2, fifth), Drew Goosby (160, 0-2), Dustin Seibert (171, 0-2) and Zach Swick (215, 0-2).

Friday-Saturday -- At district at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each weight class will advance to state March 5-7 at Ohio State.

NORTH

Last Saturday -- Finished seventh (111) in Division I sectional at Watkins Memorial. District qualifiers were Joe Herrera (103, 2-1, second), Brandon Burkett (135, 3-0, first), Jacob Smith (140, 2-2, fourth) and Josh Demas (152, 4-0, first). Others competing were Andrew Macioce (112, 1-2), Zach Youmans (119, 0-2), Nic Nardone (125, 1-2), Trey Fisher (130, 0-2), Jon Myers (145, 1-2), David Klemp (160, 0-2), Trent Curran (171, 0-2), Greg Pilcher (189, 0-2), Mitch Cousins (heavyweight, 1-3, sixth).

Friday-Saturday -- At district

SOUTH

Last Saturday -- Finished ninth (39.5) in 13-team Division I sectional at Westland behind champion Hilliard Davidson (203.5). The only district qualifier was R.J. Stevenson (119, 3-1, third). Others competing included Trace McDonald (103, 0-2), Ryan Ouzts (112, 0-2), Logan Michel (125, 0-2), Shane Magers (130, 0-2), Seth Carte (135, 0-2), Ryan Meyers (140, 3-2, fifth), Matt Bonnes (145, 1-2), Nick Adams (152, 1-3, sixth), Yaw Boakye (189, 0-2).

Friday-Saturday -- At district