Steven Neeley was just happy to be wrestling, let alone winning a Division I sectional title.

Steven Neeley was just happy to be wrestling, let alone winning a Division I sectional title.

The senior, who competes at 182 pounds, was one of five members of the Grove City High School wrestling team to advance to district from the sectional Feb. 18 at Central Crossing.

Last year, Neeley was in the hospital instead of competing in the postseason.

"I had MRSA (a skin infection), so this is a lot better," said Neeley, who pinned Upper Arlington's Jared Drake in 4 minutes, 42 seconds in a sectional final. "I had a cut on my forehead that kept getting worse. I wrestled well (at sectional) and hope that continues."

The Greyhounds finished sixth (127 points) in the 10-team sectional behind champion Dublin Coffman (196.5). The tournament was moved from Westland because of odors that forced the building to be temporarily closed.

Sophomore heavyweight Chandler Evanichko also won a title.

Evanichko won his title by default over Westland's Dorrian Newton. He led 8-6 with less than 30 seconds remaining in the match when Newton sustained a leg injury.

"You have to have heart to win and you have to keep pushing," said Evanichko, who did not compete last season as a freshman. "You have to work like a dog to be the best."

Other Grove City district qualifiers were senior Jordan Shoemaker (120, second) and senior Caleb Dick (195, second) - both were district qualifiers last season - as well as junior Zane Chappelear (152, third).

The top four in each weight class at district Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, at Hilliard Darby will advance to the state tournament March 1-3 at Ohio State.

Neeley (34-8) opens at district against senior Tyler Barlow (14-12) of Olentangy. Evanichko (20-17) faces junior Brooks Gilmore (17-14) of Thomas Worthington.

"(At district) I need to wrestle smart and stay calm," Neeley said. "And I can't give up any stupid points. That definitely will be a key for me."

Shoemaker (33-7) opens against Teays Valley sophomore Austin King (22-9), and Chappelear (32-6) faces Marysville senior Tyler Miller (33-10). Dick (30-6) opens against Delaware sophomore Shawn Johnson (21-18).

Shoemaker wrestled at 112 and Dick at 189 last season when the Greyhounds finished 23rd (25.5) at district behind champion Olentangy Liberty (128.5) and neither advanced to state.

•Central Crossing had three district qualifiers in the home sectional, with all winning their weight classes.

Senior Dez Hauber (145), senior Vince Pickett (170) and sophomore Josh Wimer (106) finished first as the Comets placed seventh (109).

All three competed at district last year as Central Crossing placed 10th (56.5). Pickett advanced to state, where he was fourth at 160 after going 4-2.

"I have to come out really aggressive (at district)," said Pickett, who has verbally committed to wrestle at Edinboro (Pa.) University. "I can't hold anything back if I'm to get back to state."

In sectional finals, Pickett pinned Darby's Tyler Bowens in 3:29, Wimer pinned Thomas Cooper of Upper Arlington in 1:23 and Hauber won a 14-5 major decision over Dan Dawson of Olentangy Orange.

"Being a sectional champion is great because I'll meet up with a fourth-place wrestler (at district)," Hauber said. "(This weekend), I have to keep my offense going and continue to attack."

Senior Joe Householder (120) and sophomore Gavin McKenney (113) were fifth at sectional and are alternates for district.

Hauber (28-8) will meet Watkins Memorial senior Stephen Robb (19-17) in the first round at district, with Pickett (33-1) facing Westerville Central senior Caleb Duffey (32-11). Wimer (33-7) opens against Whetstone junior Anthony Lehnen (31-6).

"I was underweight when I wrestled (at 103) at district last year, so it should be better in that respect," Wimer said. "Last year was just a warm-up for this year."