After losing four district qualifiers to graduation, the Delaware Hayes High School wrestling team returned just one district qualifier and has just two seniors on the roster.

After losing four district qualifiers to graduation, the Delaware Hayes High School wrestling team returned just one district qualifier and has just two seniors on the roster.

Still, the Pacers have had many fine performances this season.

Seven wrestlers have winning records already. Senior Joe Sumner and sophomore Seth McCurdy lead the way and are the lone returnees who posted winning records last season.

McCurdy went 25-22 last season at 103 pounds and has started 12-1. Sumner went 28-18 a year ago at 160 and is 14-1 at 171.

"I think both of those guys had strong seasons last year, but were overshadowed by the seniors we had," assistant coach Kevin Rieman said. "Sumner has really stepped up as a leader and a competitor. He is a completely different wrestler this year. He worked hard at perfecting techniques and his confidence is much higher."

Sumner and McCurdy finished first in the New Albany Eagle Invitational on Dec. 19. Both went 5-0 in the event and have recorded seven pins overall. Sumner has 15 takedowns and McCurdy has 13 takedowns.

"It's a pretty big deal to start this well in my senior year," said Sumner, whose team will compete Monday and Tuesday in the Marion Harding Invitational. "I worked hard with my technique on my feet. I went to summer camps and faced high-level competitors and I learned a lot last season working with seniors like Mark Rieman, who was my drill partner, and Christion Brooks."
McCurdy's record includes a 5-0 mark in the Big Walnut Duals on Dec. 12 when he wrestled up at 112.

"You can really tell how much work Seth put in during the offseason," Kevin Rieman said. "You see how dedicated he is on a daily basis as well. He stays for extra work after practice and he'd be in the weight room every day if we let him."

Also competing well are senior Mike Kalista, juniors Ben Williams and Tyler Daugherty, sophomores Colton Christner and Joe Calfe and freshman Wyatt Davis.

Competing in Pool B at New Albany, Kalista (145) and Williams (189) both finished second, with Daugherty (215) and Davis (112) both finishing fifth. Christner (heavyweight) was runner-up in Pool C.

Davis is 7-2 overall, followed by Daugherty (9-6, six pins), Davis (7-2), Kalista (7-6) and Williams (7-7). Calfe, who did not compete at New Albany after suffering a concussion at Big Walnut, is 5-0 with four pins.

"Ben Williams is improving every day," Kevin Rieman said. "That's what we want to see. We know with our numbers and our youth, we won't score well in big tournaments this year. The key is to see improvement and that will prepare us for the postseason. Wrestling is an individual sport and we're getting some young guys some experience. But really, it's all about individual improvement this year."

•The boys basketball team won its third consecutive game last Tuesday, beating Big Walnut 74-51 to improve to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Capital Division.

Matt Bingaya had 21 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals. Nick Potter had 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals and Nick Caudill scored 15 points, all on 3-pointers.

But the difference was the defensive play of Potter and Jacob Bosiokovic.

"Big Walnut starts three guards, but we stayed with our lineup and had Nick Potter play defense on the perimeter for the first time," coach Jordan Blackburn said. "He guarded Tyler Beam, their best shooter. We had Bosiokovic guard Johnny Cannell, who was averaging close to 20 points per game and had 27 in their last game against Hilliard Bradley."

Cannell had seven points on 1-for-6 shooting. Beam scored six points.

"Both of them did a great job," Blackburn said. "Bosiokovic has really good footwork and bothers players with his length and arm span when they do catch the ball. Plus, he doesn't foul much."

Bosiokovic also grabbed seven rebounds and Braxton Coleman had eight.

Delaware plays Olentangy Liberty at 8 p.m. Monday as the last of four games in the home Delaware County Eberst Classic. There will be a special tribute to the family of former coach Larry Eberst between the third and fourth games.

The event begins with Buckeye Valley playing Hamilton Township at 2 p.m., followed by Olentangy Orange against Coshocton at 4 p.m. and Olentangy against Big Walnut at 6 p.m.

•The boys and girls swimming and diving teams will play host to the 39th-annual Delaware County Classic at noon Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan's Pfieffer Natatorium.

The field includes Colonel Crawford, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson, Watterson, Westerville South and a few individuals from Buckeye Valley.

The Pacers, who will compete Monday in the Watterson Relays, hope to be healthy after suffering through illnesses the past two weeks.
Still, both the boys and girls teams finished third in the Delaware County Classic on Dec. 19 at Ohio Wesleyan.

The boys scored 254 points to finish third, behind champion Olentangy Liberty (379) and Westerville Central (290). The girls (175) also finished third behind champion Liberty (428.5) and Central (349.5).

For the boys, Zach Shoemaker won in diving (228.40 points) and Jordan Nicol was runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly (1 minute, 2.55 seconds) and third in the 500 freestyle (5:42.52). Also finishing third were Will Wright in the 100 backstroke (1:06.30) and Nate Planisek in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.29).

"Nicol was one of the ones who was sick for a while, but he's starting to come around," coach Bill Rietz said.

"I'm really happy with his fly time and his 200 and 500 free times are also excellent. He's a captain and he's working hard and showing leadership, plus he's motivating the kids.

"David Ayscue and Cameron Hackett are also doing well and performing ahead of where we expected right now."

The 200 free relay of Maxx Motter, Planisek, Rodolfo Moreira and Joel Simpson won in 1:40.50. The 400 free relay was third (3:54.81), as was the 200 medley relay (1:53.86).

For the girls, Jessica Ward won the 100 fly (1:03.15) and was second in the 100 back (1:04.65). Abby Kremer was third in the 500 free (5:51.18), the 200 medley relay was third (2:04.93), as was the 400 free relay (4:04.23).

Rietz noted that freshman Lindsey Norris is stepping up and really doing well in both the 100 fly and 100 back.