Westerville North High School senior wrestler Joe Herrera recalls the disappointment of finishing sixth at the Division I district tournament last season and failing to earn a berth for the state tournament.

Westerville North High School senior wrestler Joe Herrera recalls the disappointment of finishing sixth at the Division I district tournament last season and failing to earn a berth for the state tournament.

Herrera hopes to atone for that at the district tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at Hilliard Darby.

Herrera earned a district berth after winning the Westland sectional at 112 pounds on Feb. 19.

Herrera improved to 23-5 after pinning three opponents on his way to the title, capped by pin of Reynoldsburg's Greg Chang (1 minute, 34 seconds) in the final.

"During the early matches, I knew what was going to happen. I knew I was going to win," Herrera said. "In the finals, I had beaten Chang before during a junior varsity tournament my sophomore year, and I was pretty confident even though he took me down first."

Last season, Herrera won the Watkins Memorial sectional at 103 pounds but went 2-3 at district.

"I am very confident," Herrera said. "Hopefully this year is a lot better. Last year it crushed me a little bit because I didn't make it and I put in a lot of work. This year if you don't make it, it's over forever, so I definitely want to make it."

North finished second (145 points) in the 13-team field behind first-place Lancaster (180).

The Warriors' other district qualifiers are Ryan Ouzts at 130 (23-2) and Stephen Alger (20-8) at 135, who were second at sectional; Mitch Cousins (24-10) at heavyweight, who was third; and Trey Fisher (21-9) at 145, who was fourth.

The top four in each weight class advance to the state tournament March 3-5 at Ohio State.

"We're not happy," North coach David Grant said. "We should have done a lot better. This will give us a chance to get the guys ready for a big weekend."

Central will be represented at the district tournament by D'Ron Goosby (112), Zach Brown (160), Caleb Duffey (171) and Pat McNabb (heavyweight).

Brown (41-5) and McNabb (37-5) each finished second at the Westland sectional.

Second-seeded Brown lost to Central Crossing's top-seeded Ryan Pickett 12-5, and top-seeded McNabb was pinned by Lancaster's Kevin Miller (2:00).

Brown is looking forward to a potential rematch with Pickett at district.

"I have another week to improve on everything that I made mistakes on in that bout, and try to do my best next week and try to make it to state," Brown said. "He's very tough. I worked out with him in the offseason. He's very lengthy. He uses his height very well. He's very strong and he has very good leverage."

Goosby (16-21) and Duffy (25-15) each finished fourth.

The Warhawks finished 10th (84.5).

South's Caleb Llaneza a (135) and Logan Michel (145) finished third at the Marysville sectional to extend their seasons.

Llaneza, a freshman, improved to 20-10, Michel, a senior, moved to 35-9.

"We had two district qualifiers and both kids wrestled amazingly," said coach Tim Michel, Logan's father. "We talked all week and all day Saturday about going non-stop for six minutes and that is exactly what it took to make it to district."

Senior Ryan Meyers (32-11) finished fifth at 140, and is an alternate for district.

South finished 11th (62.5) in the 13-team field behind first-place Hilliard Davidson (239.5).

"We're absolutely happy," coach Michel said. "We always want more kids to get through sectionals and advance to districts, but this is the year over year improvement that we were looking for. The majority of our kids are young and have never been tosectionals. Having more matches andexperience can make the difference in a key match. With alittle more mat time andmatches to increase ourexperience, I see many of our kids advancing forward in the coming years."

AT A GLANCE

Below are the sectional results for the Central, North and South wrestling teams:

CENTRAL

Feb. 19 - Finished 10th (84.5) in 13-team Division I sectional at Westland behind first-place Lancaster (180). District qualifiers were Zach Brown (160, 3-1, second), Caleb Duffey (171, 3-2, fourth), D'Ron Goosby (112, 3-2, fourth) and Pat McNabb (heavyweight, 3-1, second). Others competing were Dustin Carson (152, 1-2), Jevin Clinkscales (145, 1-2), Skyler Cook (189, 0-2), Michael Hines (103, 3-2), Alex Krasovec (140, 0-2), Belal Museitif (119, 0-2), Marc Navejar (125, 0-2) and Wyatt Seibert (215, 0-2).

Feb. 25-26 - District tournament at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.

NORTH

Feb. 19 - Finished second (145) in 13-team Division I sectional at Westland. District qualifiers were Stephen Alger (135, 3-1, second), Mitch Cousins (heavyweight, 4-1, third), Trey Fisher (145, 2-2, fourth), Joe Herrera (112, 4-0, first) and Ryan Ouzts (130, 3-1, second). Others competing were Emmanuel Adu (160, 2-3), Shane Coulter (140, 2-2), Santino DiSabato (103, 0-2), Jeremiah Ferguson (152, 0-2), Malcolm Ingram (189, 1-3), Josh Kovacs (125, 0-2), Jeremy Sobiech (171, 3-2), Tyler Tavenner (215, 3-2) and Jon Youmans (119, 0-2),

Feb. 25-26 - District tournament at Darby. The top four in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.

SOUTH

Feb. 19 - Finished 11th (62.5) in 13-team Division I sectional at Marysville behind champion Hilliard Davidson (239.5). District qualifiers were Caleb Llaneza (135, 4-1, third) and Logan Michel (145, 4-1, third). Others competing were Evan Ciraky (112, 0-2), Nick Flood (189, 0-2), Kevin Lam (119, 1-2), Trace McDonald (125, 2-2), Ryan Meyers (140, 3-2), Matt Townsley (171, 0-2), Evan Trainer (152, 0-2) and Gabe Wittmann (215, 1-2).

Feb. 25-26 - District tournament at Darby. The top four in each weight class advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.