Kellan Grainger and Adam McCardle are always on the move.
During the winter months, the seniors compete for the Hilliard Bradley High School wrestling team, but that's only the beginning. Last fall, they both played for the two-time OCC-Cardinal Division champion football team, and they both compete in a spring sport to keep them running year-round.
"It keeps me busy and out of trouble," said McCardle, who is competing at 182 pounds for the wrestling team, played linebacker in football and competes in the discus and shot put for the track and field program in the spring. "Football is my passion, with wrestling and track both being good changeups. It helps keep me stay active and the cross-training makes me better in all sports."
Grainger, who wrestles at 160, was a long-snapper for the football team and plays lacrosse in the spring.
"It always gives you a chance to be working for something," Grainger said of playing three sports. "I don't want to drop off. I always want to be working for something."
Grainger has a 20-12 record on the season and calls wresting his favorite sport. He said his performance on the mat comes down to preparation.
"The work you put in is what you get out in return," he said. "That makes losing harder, but it also makes winning better.
"I'm definitely a win-in-the-last-few-seconds, come-from-behind, 'Rocky'-style wrestler. Usually, I get a lot of pins in the third (period). (My opponent) is usually worn out and coach (John) Riggs never lets anyone outwork us. While (our opponents) are dying in the third, we're gassed up and ready to go."
McCardle, who is 21-9 on the season, said his football skills carry over to the mat.
"I've only been wrestling since eighth grade, so I try to use what I learned in football," he said. "I go straight double(-leg takedown) and try to pin you as fast as I can. That's how I roll. The double-leg is my favorite (takedown). It's just a simple football tackle."
Riggs said the culture at Bradley works to cultivate multi-sport athletes such as Grainger and McCardle. Also on the wrestling team are a pair of seniors who are two-sport athletes in J.T. Lemmermen (152) and Kade Wareham (145). Both played football.
"I think kids learn to compete by competing," Riggs said. "It's another way of learning what it takes to compete at the varsity level. There also are great crossover skills, especially from football. Anyone who plays the box in football knows how to hand fight (and knows) explosion, strength and balance. I'm a strong believer in that."
Grainger and McCardle also are standouts off the field of play and claim their busy schedules help their performance in the classroom.
"I feel like if I'm pushing in a sport, I'm doing better in school," said Grainger, who has a 4.2 GPA and plans to study engineering but has not made a college choice. "That drive just carries over into the classroom and helps with my academics."
McCardle has a 3.6 GPA and plans to play football at Urbana University and earn a degree in special education.
"I get up, go to school, go to practice, do my homework and go to bed," he said. "I pretty much do that every day. If I didn't play a sport, I would have so much free time that I wouldn't know what to do with it. Sports has structure and helps so much with time management. You get home at 6 or 7 (p.m.) and you have homework. You have to get it done then."
McCardle placed third and Grainger was fourth in the 27-team Panther Classic on Feb. 3 at Rayland Buckeye Local. The Jaguars scored 110 points to tie Vincent Warren for fifth behind champion Imperial (Pennsylvania) West Allegheny (168.5).
Lemmermen was runner-up and Deacon Sawchuk (106) placed third, while Zander Ellison (138) and Issa Khalil (195) both finished fifth.
Boys basketball team nearing another title
The boys basketball team entered its contest at Dublin Jerome on Feb. 6 with an opportunity to clinch at least a share of its second consecutive league title.
The Jaguars were 14-1 overall and 8-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing the Celtics. They entered the week with a two-and-a-half-game lead over second-place Darby (6-3) in the league standings.
Bradley had won 25 consecutive league games entering play Feb. 6, and it has won 20 games in a row at home. The Jaguars' last league loss was a 64-45 decision to Westerville South on Jan. 22, 2016, and its last home loss came against Olentangy on Feb. 26, 2016, 64-48 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
Isaiah Speelman had 15 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead the Jaguars in a 55-45 league win over Delaware on Feb. 2. Matt Allocco added 11 points and Jack Pugh scored 10.
Speelman had 17 points and Pugh scored 16 in a 57-35 win over Dayton Ponitz on Feb. 3. The Jaguars led only 35-30 with 1 minute, 30 seconds left in the third quarter, but outscored Ponitz 22-7 the rest of the way.
"We were getting back and taking their transition game away," coach Brett Norris said. "They average 73 per game and then I think they got actually deliberate. When you consistently guard, it can have a cumulative effect. A five-point lead becomes seven and then nine."
Braden Norris, a senior point guard, has been out of the lineup with a broken right foot suffered Dec. 6 in a 66-47 win over Teays Valley. Coach Norris said his son could return to action as early as Friday, Feb. 9, against Dublin Scioto.
"If not (this) week, then (next) week," coach Norris said. "He keeps progressing and has been looking better and better, especially in the last week."
Girls team seeded 24th in district
The girls basketball team is seeded 24th of 50 teams in the Division I district tournament, behind top-seeded Newark.
The Jaguars open the postseason Feb. 17 with a first-round game at 22nd-seeded Pickerington North.
Bradley was 9-11 overall and 6-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Jerome on Feb. 6.
Teneea Heston led the Jaguars with 16 points in a 57-36 league win over Delaware on Feb. 2. Carly Callahan had 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and Abbey White added 12 points.
Kamerin Hillis made three 3-pointers and finished with 14 points and White added 11 points in a 44-38 loss to DeSales on Feb. 3.
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 9 -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto. The Jaguars defeated the Irish 58-37 on Jan. 9.
Feb. 10 -- Home vs. Cleveland Benedictine
*Feb. 13 -- At Darby
*Feb. 9 -- At Scioto. The Jaguars defeated the Irish 49-46 on Jan. 9.
Feb. 10 -- COHSBC Roll-Off at Game of Western Columbus
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Davidson
Feb. 13 -- At Davidson with Big Walnut, Darby, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy Orange
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 10 -- Division I sectional at Kenyon College. Winner of each event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
*Feb. 8 -- At Delaware