Canal Winchester High School wrestling coach Harrison Rosch always wants his wrestlers to think they have a chance to win until a match is over, regardless of the situation.
Perhaps with no Indian is that truer than with sophomore Chance Brown.
Brown, who is 23-12 on the season, not only has won 18 matches by pin, but he had been trailing until the very end in at least five of those victories.
"He has a lot of confidence no matter what the score is. He's always in the match because of his confidence and his ability to pin," Rosch said. "He doesn't feel like he's out of a match no matter what the score is. He'll hit a few moves and completely change a match. His ability to hit big moves and get points is the reason he is having so much success."
Brown, who went 39-11 as a freshman and advanced to the Division I district tournament, credited his pins to an aggressiveness he said he did not possess until several years into his wrestling career. He took up the sport in elementary school and has reached 60 career wins and almost 50 career pins, according to Rosch, despite not wrestling year-round.
"Even when you're down, you can't give up," Brown said. "There have been a couple matches where I've been down and just fought every period and came back with a pin. I've been wrestling a long time. You don't start out being good. You have to work for it and you learn some painful lessons along the way.
"I've been wrestling for maybe 10 years or so, and I don't think I was really good until middle school. I just started wrestling aggressively. I had more of a will to win, not wanting to lose."
According to Rosch, Brown is on pace to threaten the school's career record for pins of 113, held by 2011 graduate Brady Hutchins. Entering the season, that figure put Hutchins in a three-way tie for 34th all-time in state history, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Hutchins, who was a three-time state qualifier, set the Indians' single-season record for pins as a senior with 41. That ties him with eight other wrestlers for 21st all-time in the state.
Ohio's all-time leader in career pins is North Baltimore's Dalton Ishmael, who recorded 154 from 2009-13.
"To get 100 wins is impressive, but 100 pins, I mean that's very impressive. You don't see that very much," Rosch said, adding that Brown's best moves are cradles and a half Nelson and that he has been solid on top this season.
"He has the confidence to try a big move and hit it," Rosch said. "When you do that, you have the mindset that as long as there is time on the board, (you are) in a match. We always preach wrestling aggressive and going for the pin, and when you see one of your better kids having success that way, the younger kids on the team understand that pays off."
Canal Winchester, which finished fifth (105 points) in its 20-team invitational Feb. 3 behind champion Dresden Tri-Valley (150.5), is 1-2 in the OCC-Capital Division entering a Thursday, Feb. 8, match at Newark.
Brown, who finished second in the Indians' invitational, would like to join the U.S. Marine Corps after high school, and sees some parallels between wrestling and the military.
"Wrestling pushes you to your limits. I feel like that's what the military will do," Brown said. "There is that connection. Everybody has each other's back in here, and that's how it is in the military. I like that (wrestling) is one on one and there's no one else to blame. It's just you. If you lose, it's on you. If you win, you get all the glory."
Swimmers prepare for sectional meet
Coming off 13 top-three finishes in the OCC-Capital meet Jan. 27 at New Albany, the boys and girls swimming teams shifted their focus to a Division I sectional meet Saturday, Feb. 10, at Upper Arlington.
"No one was tapered yet for anything. That started (last) week," coach Julie Pastor said. "They'll be getting faster gradually. Some of them who might not be moving on (from sectional to district) will peak this weekend. Some other kids will go a little faster this week, then a little faster for district and hopefully even faster for state.
"We're on the right track with a lot of our individuals and relays. We're right where we want to be for this time of year. Our boys 400(-yard) free relay, I look for them to do really well at sectional, along with a lot of our other top-tier swimmers. They're all on track."
Canal Winchester had last weekend off. The Indians' swimmers do not practice together because of their club status, and as a result Pastor does not know exactly how much progress her swimmers have made until she sees them at meets.
Most swimmers belong to various clubs and practice with those teams.
Blake Fry of the boys team won individual league titles in the 100 breaststroke and 500 freestyle. Hannah Olger won the girls 100 free championship, placed second in the 50 free and helped the 200 free and 400 free relays to second-place finishes.
Olger, a Youngstown State University commit, is on both relays with Leah Bates, Kassidy Pastor and Hannah Olger. The 200 free relay is seeking its third state appearance in four years.
"(The relays' second-place finishes) weren't pretty, but they still got the job done," coach Pastor said. "They were all tired, but they're on schedule. We still have pretty high expectations."
There will be 14 boys teams and 16 girls teams competing at the UA sectional.
The winner of each sectional event automatically qualifies for the district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio University. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each swimming event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.
Girls basketball team continues to win
The girls basketball team clinched its second consecutive winning season Jan. 30 with a 68-58 victory over Hilliard Darby, and then set its sights on its highest win total in more than a decade.
Canal Winchester was 14-5 overall before playing Pickerington North on Feb. 6 and is 5-4 in the OCC-Capital entering its league finale Friday, Feb. 9, at home against New Albany. The Indians went 12-11 last year, their most wins since going 14-8 in the 2005-06 season, which culminated with a Division II district semifinal appearance.
Markyia McCormick had 20 points and Amanda Rarick scored 10 against Darby. Braelyn Buchler and Shalea Byrd each added eight points.
McCormick outscored Franklin Heights by herself in a 75-17 league win Feb. 2. Natalie Rarick added 16 points and Amanda Rarick 11.
The Indians also defeated Bexley 56-41 on Feb. 3 behind 19 points from Amanda Rarick, 13 from both McCormick and Natalie Rarick and 11 from Byrd.
Canal Winchester plays host to Watterson in its regular-season finale Wednesday, Feb. 14. That game was postponed Jan. 16 because of bad weather.
The Indians were voted the 17th seed in the 50-team Division I district tournament and will play host to 30th-seeded Marysville in the first round Feb. 17.
Below are the coming schedules for the Canal Winchester boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 9 -- At New Albany. The Indians lost to the Eagles 61-50 on Jan. 5.
Feb. 10 -- Home vs. Teays Valley
*Feb. 9 -- Home vs. New Albany. The Indians lost to the Eagles 55-47 on Jan. 5.
Feb. 14 -- Home vs. Watterson in makeup from Jan. 16
*Feb. 8 -- At Newark
Feb. 10 -- Dick Hoover Duals at Holland Springfield