When Spencer Delande finally made his return to the lineup on Jan. 14 in a dual with Dublin Coffman, his main focus was getting into shape.

When Spencer Delande finally made his return to the lineup on Jan. 14 in a dual with Dublin Coffman, his main focus was getting into shape.

After the Wildcats lost to Coffman 36-30, which was their first loss to Coffman since the 2000-01 season, another issue developed.

The defending Division I district champions were starting to look like just another team. The feeling in the wrestling room the next day was that the league title was already out of reach, but there still was time left for the Wildcats to regain their championship form.

"It was hard," said, Delande, a state qualifier at 189 pounds last year. "We needed to show more heart. There's a lot of new people on our team. They have to step up and I know they can step up."

The Wildcats returned three state qualifiers in Delande, Angelo DiSabato and Chase Delande. Alex Mickley was a district qualifier in his first season. The rest of the team entered the season largely inexperienced.

The Wildcats have finished ninth or better in the district tournament for the past six years, sending 27 wrestlers to the Division I state tournament. With all of those past accolades, winning may seem automatic.

The fact that winning is not automatic was the message that coach Dominic DiSabato wanted his wrestlers to understand following the Coffman match.

"I think sometimes with our guys, when you have a good program like we have, some of the role players kind of look at (the big-point scorers) and expect (winning) to just happen," coach DiSabato said. "You can expect the same guys to win every time, but everybody has got to do their part. There are 14 weight classes."

Since then, Davidson has done well to rebound from that loss. The Wildcats beat Westland 63-12 on Jan. 21.

Last Saturday, they finished second in the Gahanna Duals with 73 points. Teays Valley won with 77. Canal Winchester, Davidson and Teays Valley all ended up with 3-1 records in the dual meet and the tiebreaker was total points scored.

Davidson was the only team to beat Canal Winchester (39-38). The Wildcats lost to Teays Valley 43-34 and Canal Winchester beat Teays Valley 34-32.

Today, the Wildcats take on a Central Crossing team that barely resembles the one that won the OCC-Central Division title last year. The Comets returned one wrestler from last year's team in heavyweight Isaac Redfern.

•Bradley wrestler Andrew Higgins, who was at Central Crossing last year, was second in the 135-pound class last Saturday in the Mary E. Kerr Memorial Tournament at Toledo Waite.

Bradley was 16th with 62 points. Oregon Clay won with 251 points.

Higgins was 3-1, including an 18-4 win over Bowling Green's Nick Miller in a semifinal. He lost to Medina Highland's Dan Mirman 6-3 in the championship. Jacob Markusic was fifth at 145 pounds.

•Cameron Longwell of Darby finished second at 112 pounds last Saturday in the James Horning Memorial Invitational at Mason.

Darby finished 10th with 102.5 points. Mason, ranked fifth in the Division I state poll, won with 248 points.

In the championship match, Longwell, who went 3-1, was pinned by Greenville's Jon Edwards in 4 minutes, 13 seconds.

Tyler Bowens was runner-up at 160 pounds. Bowens was 3-1 after losing to West Chester Lakota West's Devin Purkiser 5-0 in the championship match. Placing fifth were Devon Booth at 103 and Sufyan El-Geroushi at 215.

The Panthers compete at Dublin Coffman today against a team that is 3-0 in OCC-Central play.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Bradley, Darby and Davidson wrestling teams:


*Jan. 14 -- Defeated New Albany 44-24; lost to Orange 38-30

*Jan. 21 -- Lost to Big Walnut 37-36

Last Friday-Saturday -- Finished 16th (62) to Oregon Clay (251) at Mary E. Kerr Invitational at Toledo Waite.

*Today -- Home vs. Franklin Heights

*Feb. 4 -- At Delaware

Of note: The Jaguars are 1-2 in the OCC-Capital.

*OCC-Capital dual


*Jan. 14 -- Def. Worthington Kilbourne 33-30; lost to Thomas Worthington 45-30

*Jan. 21 -- Def. Central Crossing 62-18

Last Saturday -- Finished 10th (102.5) behind Mason (248) in James Horning Memorial Tournament at Mason

*Today -- At Dublin Coffman

*Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Davidson

Of note: The Panthers are 2-1 in the OCC-Central.


*Jan. 14 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 36-30; def. Upper Arlington 65-6

Jan. 16 -- Finished fourth (3-2) to Mason at West Chester Lakota West Duals (5-0)

*Jan. 21 -- Def. Westland 63-12

Last Saturday -- Finished second (73) to Teays Valley (77) at Gahanna Duals.

*Today -- Home vs. Central Crossing

*Feb. 4 -- At Hilliard Darby

Of note: The Wildcats are 2-1 in the OCC-Central.

*OCC-Central dual