Hudson Jump is returning to the Division III state wrestling tournament with a different mindset.
The Grandview Heights High School junior will make his third trip to state Thursday, March 8, through Saturday, March 10, at Ohio State, with the 195-pounder again hoping to earn all-state honors.
However, this time he's entering the final event of the season as a district champion, confident and ready to rumble.
"Mentally I have never been more excited to wrestle," said Jump, who is 37-1 this season. "I'm just very excited. It's a whole different atmosphere from last year when I lost in the district final. Now I just want to get out there and compete."
Last season in the district final at 195, Jump lost 9-5 to Ottawa-Glandorf junior Daniel Beemer, who would go on to finish fourth at state. Beemer also will compete at state this year, but at 182.
That district loss carried over to state as Jump lost to Smithville's John Kelby 4-2 in the opening round. He later would defeat Kelby 3-1 in the fifth-place match.
This season, Jump left no doubt by winning a district title March 3 at Heath with a 20-5 technical fall over Stewart Federal Hocking's Colten Roark. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state.
"The big thing is staying composed," said Jump, who placed seventh at state at 182 as a freshman. "You have to stay calm and composed, and keep wrestling your match."
The toughest bout at district came in a semifinal against Martins Ferry senior Dalton Hoover, who beat Jump 4-3 in a consolation semifinal at state last year and would finish third. This time, Jump won 6-5.
"I was a little nervous (before the semifinal), but I feel I'm performing at my best and I'm looking forward to (state)," he said. "I felt like the (district) semifinal was really the final but still tried to stay mentally focused (in the championship match)."
Jump and Hoover are in opposite portions of the state brackets, meaning a rematch would not happen until the final.
"(Hoover) is projected to be the state champion and Hudson was able to beat him," coach Sam Mehling said. "(Hoover) was a really great opponent and they are pretty evenly matched. I would not at all be surprised to see them facing off in the state final."
The Bobcats finished 19th (41.5 points) at district behind champion Nelsonville-York (175) as 48 teams scored.
Also competing were seniors Kyler Baker (1-2, 145) and Bryce Stanley (2-2, 152) and junior Derek Tullis (2-2, 120).
"It was my second time being (at district), and I thought I had a decent draw and could make it to state," Stanley said. "(Newark Catholic's Billy Luft) won district, and I wrestled him at sectional (at Madison Plains) and had him on his back. He pinned me (in 1 minute, 35 seconds), but I know I was so close against a lot of these guys. Everyone is so close at this level, and I realize I was just a tiny bit away from making it (to state)."
Boys basketball team ousted by Johnstown
The boys basketball team lost to ninth-seeded Johnstown 46-37 on March 3 in the second round of the Division III district tournament at home.
Brian Collier and Luke Lachey both had 11 points to lead the seventh-seeded Bobcats, who finished 19-5.
"Early on we had chances, but we just didn't execute the way we needed to execute," coach Ray Corbett said. "Bottom line against a team like this, we have to execute and we didn't."
The Bobcats opened the postseason with a 49-36 win over 17th-seeded Fairbanks on Feb. 26 at home.
Collier scored 14 points, Lachey had 11 and Justin Johannessen added 10.
Teams to return wealth of bowling talent
The boys and girls bowling teams combined for three competitors in the Division II district tournament Feb. 22 at HP Lanes, and two are eligible to return next season.
For the girls, sophomore Emily Bullock had a 416 three-game series to finish 43rd of 77 bowlers, and sophomore Leila Meyer tied for 52nd (385).
In the boys tournament, senior Brad Jagers finished 55th (397) of 79 bowlers.
"Brad had been sick all week and didn't bowl as well as he would have liked," second-year coach Jason Hanely said. "The girls bowled well, but they missed having their teammates and their support."
Jagers advanced by rolling a 479 to take the 12th and final district-qualifying spot among 185 participants in the sectional Feb. 16 at HP Lanes.
The boys finished 17th (3,001) of 30 teams behind champion Jonathan Alder (3,643). Sophomores Luke Berlin (458) and Aidan Young (409) also rolled three games.
The next day, Meyer (525) was fifth of 157 bowlers and Bullock (420) tied for 37th to take the 12th and final district-qualifying spot.
Juniors Shea McHugh (384) and Emmy Davis (303) also competed.
The boys finished 8-5 overall and tied Teays Valley for fourth (7-3) in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-C Division behind champion Northland (10-0). The girls were 8-5 overall and tied Teays Valley for fifth (5-4) in the league behind champion Whetstone (9-0).
In the MSL-Ohio tournament Feb. 3 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, Young finished second (644) of 39 bowlers to earn first-team all-league honors and sophomore Spencer Browning (568, sixth) also was on the first team as Grandview was second (3,799) behind Whitehall (4,117). Jagers and junior Noah Gangloff were second-team all-league.
McHugh placed eighth (411) of 35 bowlers and was second-team all-league as the girls were third (2,427) behind Whitehall (3,786) and Worthington Christian (2,911). Bullock, Meyer and Davis were honorable mention all-league.
"We have a lot of talent coming back, especially on the girls team," Hanely said. "Everyone kept improving as the year went along, and we hope they show continued improvement next season."
@ThisWeekHennenAt a glance
*Record: Boys -- 8-5 overall, 7-3 (tied for fourth) in COHSBC-C; Girls -- 8-5 overall, 5-4 (tied for fifth) in COHSBC-C
*Seniors lost: Boys -- Brad Jagers and Sam Mikanik; Girls -- None
*Key returnees: Boys -- Luke Berlin, Spencer Browning, Noah Gangloff and Aidan Young; Girls -- Emily Bullock, Emmy Davis, Shea McHugh and Leila Meyer