Big Walnut High School wrestling coach Luke Moore sees a lot of potential in his team this season.

Big Walnut High School wrestling coach Luke Moore sees a lot of potential in his team this season.

The Golden Eagles, who open in the Cambridge Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 3, return 10 letterwinners in seniors Aaron Gase (145 or 152 pounds), Jason Griffith (heavyweight), Gene Hogg (220) and Tyler Schenz (145 or 152), juniors Chad Harness (145, 152 or 160) and Anthony Roberto (138) and sophomores Austin Carr (145), Logan Crum (132), Alec Eisnnicher (160) and Jordan Lang (160).

Also on the team are juniors Corbin Ball (145), Jevin Carter (145 or 152), Nicholas Masters (182) and Joey McDonnell (195 or 220), sophomore Logan Lucas (138) and freshmen Donny Gidion (106), Tyler Martin (160), Michael Nash (145) and Tyler Satterfield (126).

Crum, Eisnnicher, Gase and Schenz qualified for the Division II district tournament last season at Columbus East along with 2011 graduate Braden Hale.

Schenz went 4-2 at 145 and placed fifth, finishing 33-12. Gase went 1-2 at 140 to finish 32-16 and Eissnicher went 1-2 at 130 to finish 24-19. Crum (112) and Hale (152) both went 0-2, finishing 21-17 and 25-16, respectively.

The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to the state tournament at Ohio State.
Griffith was a district qualifier in 2010, going 1-2 at heavyweight. He finished 35-7 last season.

"We return nine sectional placers or district qualifiers," said Moore, who is in his fifth season leading the program. "The individual success we had at the end of last season has got them excited about this season.

"All those guys have some pretty high goals. They all want to get to the state meet, and they've all taken big steps to get there. They're stronger or they've improved their technique or their conditioning. Whether they get to state all depends on (how challenging their district) weight class (is), the draw they get (at district) and how they wrestle that day."

Big Walnut scored 21 points at district to finish 23rd behind champion Olentangy (158.5) as 42 teams scored. In the 13-team sectional tournament at Licking Heights, the Eagles scored 129 points to finish sixth, behind champion Licking Valley (222.5).
Schenz went 4-0 at sectional to win his weight class. Eisnnicher went 2-1 and placed second, and Crum, Gase and Hale all went 3-1 and placed third.
Big Walnut went 2-5 in OCC-Capital Division duals last season to finish sixth, behind Mount Vernon (7-0), Hilliard Bradley (6-1), New Albany (5-2), Olentangy Orange (4-3) and Watkins Memorial (3-4) and ahead of Delaware Hayes (1-6) and Franklin Heights (0-7).

The Eagles last won a league title in 2007-08.

"First and foremost, our goal is to win the OCC title," Moore said. "It's always on our mind. It's been a few years since we've done that.

"We're also hosting a sectional this year and we're hoping to have a good performance there and get as many guys through to district as possible."

The National Federation of State High School Associations approved guideline changes to weight classes during its meeting last April in Indianapolis, creating 10 new weight classes this season.

The lowest weight class, 103, was increased to 106. The other weight classes are 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285 (heavyweight). Only four weight classes - 145, 152, 160 and 285 - remain unchanged.

"For us, I think we're OK with the weight changes," Moore said. "I think it will work out pretty well for us."

•The number of participants in the swimming program continues to rise.

Big Walnut enters this season with 31 swimmers, topping its previous high of 22 from last season. The Eagles had 14 swimmers during the 2009-10 season after having nine in 2008-09, which was Andy Chatterton's first season as coach.

Before that, Big Walnut had no more than two athletes competing in swimming or diving in a season. The Eagles' last diver was Scott Rossi in the 2004-05 season.

"(Having more participants) really helps," Chatterton said. "This year we can have three relays for the boys. Last year, we barely could have one relay and the year before that, we couldn't have any."

The boys team had six members in 2009-10 and eight last season. This season, it is comprised of 13, including five returning letterwinners in juniors Carson Chatterton, Sean Conley and Matt Heiden and sophomores Carter Marsch and Joel Windle.

Also on the team are seniors Kameron Montgomery and Connor Moran, juniors Parker Marsch, Ben Stefaniak and Brant Weiss, sophomore Tyler Sholl and freshmen Caleb MacDonald and Jens Paglialunga.

Last season, Carson Chatterton, Carter Marsch and Windle advanced to the Division II district meet at Ohio State. Chatterton finished 29th in the 100-yard butterfly (1 minute, 3.27 seconds) and teamed with Marsch, Windle and 2011 graduate Kevin Meyer to finish 21st in the 400 relay (3:58.36) and 25th in the 200 free relay (1:42.77).

The girls team has 18 members this season after having 14 last season, eight in 2009-10 and six in 2008-09.

Big Walnut returns eight letterwinners in senior Emily Petty, juniors Natalie Chatterton and Aria Dockham and sophomores Haley Lescinsky, Jessica Osburn, Madison Scanlan, Michelle Stefaniak and Katie von Hollen.

Also on the team are juniors Ali Malik and Keeley Watkins, sophomores Emily Malik and Autumn Watkins and freshmen Claire Chatterton, Kalli Forman, Jennifer Hupp, Meghan Maynard, Bethany Rannebarger and Sophia Villavicencio.

Last season, Natalie Chatterton, Osburn and Stefaniak qualified for the Division I district meet at Ohio State. The trio teamed with 2011 graduate Kelsey Peterson to finish 16th in the 200 free relay (1:49.41), 18th in the 400 free relay (4:03.54) and 20th in the 200 medley relay (2:04.85), and Peterson finished 25th in the 200 free (2:07.38).

The top three finishers in each event in the boys and girls district meets advanced to the state meet at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 11 at-large state berths for each swimming event were awarded based on times statewide.
The girls team scored two points at district to finish 23rd, behind champion Upper Arlington (505) with 23 teams scoring. The boys team did not score, as Granville finished first (256) and 34 teams scored.

In the OCC-Capital meet last season, both teams finished sixth. The boys team scored 60 points to finish behind New Albany (432), Delaware (285), Mount Vernon (166), Orange (119) and Watkins Memorial (74) and ahead of Bradley (42). The girls team scored 112 points to finish behind New Albany (343), Delaware (268), Orange (174), Mount Vernon (155) and Bradley (114) and ahead of Watkins Memorial (98).

The Eagles did not have any top-three finishers.

"We're lucky," said coach Chatterton, whose teams open in the Northridge Splash Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 3, at New Albany. "We have a lot of people back and they're swimming better than ever ... and we have lots of freshmen.

"I want to try to do more in the OCC this year. We've got serious competition, but with our numbers, I'm thinking we might be competitive in certain (events). Our goal is to achieve better results.

"I'd also like to see us get our relays and three or four individuals to district. If we do that, it would be a perfect year."