After reaching a milestone during the Canal Winchester Invitational on Feb. 3, Westerville Central High School senior wrestler Cody Mayes quickly set his sights on another goal.
Mayes is hoping to compete in his first Division I state tournament March 8-10 at Ohio State.
He earned his 100th career win in the tournament at Canal Winchester, pinning Northridge's Kobey Nichols in 1 minute, 10 seconds in the first round at 152 pounds. Mayes went on to capture the title, winning all three matches by pin to improve to 27-4 on the season and 102-45 for his career.
"I hope to get more wins. I'm looking at 115 (career wins) if I win the rest of the matches I can win," Mayes sad. "It's crazy to think that I'm one of a few people that were able to do that. It makes me feel that I'm pretty good and all my hard work and determination in the sport paid off. It's an enlightening moment for me."
Also at Canal Winchester, Ian Manahan won the title at 195, Nick DeRose was third at 220 and Zeke Healy was fourth at 160 as the Warhawks finished eighth (97 points) of 20 teams behind champion Dresden Tri-Valley (150.5).
Last season, Mayes was 2-2 at district at 145 to finish the season 32-11. He said the confidence he built last winter helped him prepare for this year.
"I'm doing pretty much how I expected to do," he said. "My hope is to improve as much possible and possibly go to state."
DeRose also has shown steady improvement after going 2-2 at district last season at 220 to finish 25-27. He was 3-1 at Canal Winchester to improve to 23-4 on the season.
"Twenty wins is pretty good, but you can always do better," DeRose said. "Even the matches I win, I feel like I can do better, and especially in the four losses I thought I could have done better. There's always room to improve. Even in your best matches, you can still improve."
Coach Josh Schmitz said Tate Sterling (145) and Logan Moore (170) also have improved and could make a run in the postseason, which begins Feb. 24 at the sectional level.
"We've made a lot of progress since the beginning of the year," Schmitz said. "A lot of freshmen have been able to get a lot of good mat time and we've seen a lot of growth throughout the year."
Central faces Olentangy Liberty in an OCC-Buckeye Division match Thursday, Feb. 8, and competes in the All-North Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Dublin Jerome. It then closes league action Feb. 15 against Westerville South.
"I'm looking forward to (the Liberty match)," DeRose said. "It's always fun to wrestle inside the OCC. There's always a little bit of extra competition with the OCC, trying to improve your record as much as you can."
Boys basketball team rebounds from losses
The boys basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating Olentangy 79-75 in double overtime Feb. 2.
Thomas Hickman scored 30 points and forced overtime with a buzzer-beating shot. Chaz Dixon had 16 points and Josh McDaniel added 13.
Hickman scored 10 points in a 59-44 loss at Upper Arlington on Jan. 30.
The Warhawks were 12-6 overall before playing Gahanna on Feb. 6 and are 4-4 in the OCC-Buckeye.
Girls basketball team seeded 11th in district
The girls basketball team is seeded 11th of 50 teams for the Division I district tournament and will play host to Liberty on Feb. 20 in a first-round game.
The Warhawks defeated the Patriots 55-45 on Jan. 5 and visit Liberty on Friday, Feb. 9.
Central was 14-4 overall before playing Gahanna on Feb. 6 and is 6-2 in the OCC-Buckeye.
The Warhawks defeated Olentangy 52-39 on Feb. 2 as Najayah Shepherd scored 11 points and Michayla Brenning added 10.
Sam Wyatt scored 16 points in a 57-48 loss to UA on Jan. 30.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 9 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty. The Warhawks defeated the Patriots 66-53 on Jan. 5.
*Feb. 9 -- At Liberty. The Warhawks defeated the Patriots 55-45 on Jan. 5.
Feb. 13 -- Home vs. Licking Heights
Feb. 10 -- COHSBC tournament at Game of Western Columbus
Feb. 8 -- At Dresden Tri-Valley
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Hilliard Davidson
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 10 -- Division I sectional swimming meet at Thomas Worthington. Winner of each event along with 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
Feb. 12-13 -- Division I district diving meet at Dublin Recreation Center. The top five boys and top four girls advance to state Feb. 22 (girls) and Feb. 24 (boys) at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
*Feb. 8 -- Home vs. Liberty
Feb. 10 -- All-North Tournament at Dublin Jerome