It wasn't a first-place finish, but for a Dublin Jerome High School wrestling team that entered the season with a youthful lineup, last Saturday's performance at the Worthington Kilbourne tournament brings something to build on.

It wasn't a first-place finish, but for a Dublin Jerome High School wrestling team that entered the season with a youthful lineup, last Saturday's performance at the Worthington Kilbourne tournament brings something to build on.

The Celtics took second (187 points), their best finish under coach Adam Huddle at any tournament, behind champion Kilbourne (288) and ahead of Westland (177), Olentangy (173.5), Thomas Worthington (158), West (124.5), Brookhaven (113), Westerville South (107), Pickerington Central (26) and Worthington Christian (8).

The effort produced one champion and two wrestlers who took second.

"We needed it," Huddle said. "We showed up with a goal in mind and wrestled very well, and we won a lot of close matches. We had four guys take third, and we only had 10 wrestling so who knows what we would've done with a full lineup."

Freshman Benett Comfort (112 pounds) defeated Kilbourne's Zach Badowi 5-1 to take first place.

Sophomore Jack Austin (145) and junior Brad Myers (135) took second.

The strong finish comes as the Jerome prepares for the Marion Harding Invitational on Tuesday and Wednesday, an event that features 30 teams from across the state.

Competition will be even stronger for Dublin Coffman in the Medina Invitational tournament which always features the top talent in the state.

"It's one of the top 10 national tournaments," coach Bob Stoll said. "We want to see where our top guys are and see if they're in the ballgame when it comes to states. If you place in this thing, you're the real deal and you're going to get the recognition."

The Shamrocks are coming off a 2-1 finish at the Fairmont Kettering duals last Saturday where they took second.

Coffman also won its fourth consecutive Dublin City Championships on Dec. 17 with victories over Jerome (63-11) and Dublin Scioto (46-17).

Stoll is hoping to find out just how deep his lineup can be for the postseason.

Senior Scott Freitag (152, 8-0) has been out with a concussion and senior Jason Seiple remains injured.

Coffman has been scoring with a balanced mix of sophomores and upper classmen.

"We're kind of banged up right now," Stoll said. "But hopefully we can get healed up before the start of OCC duals the first of the year. We're getting some guys back from football and that's certainly going to help out."

The City Championships marked the return of Scioto senior Alex Gordon (152), who'd been out with an ACL injury he suffered during football season.

The state qualifier as a sophomore is 7-0 following victories at last Saturday's Pickerington North duals where his team went 3-2 and finished ninth in the 12-team field. Two-time state placer Randy Languis (140) remained unbeaten at 17-0.

"Alex wrestled all five matches last Saturday and looked phenomenal," coach Scott King said. "I think his closest match might've been a major decision. As a team, we finished the day strong with some wins. Right now, I think we're starting to see some things click with our younger guys."