With nine returning district qualifiers, including a state competitor, the goals haven't changed for the Marysville High School wrestling team.

With nine returning district qualifiers, including a state competitor, the goals haven't changed for the Marysville High School wrestling team.

The Monarchs again are looking to contend for OCC-Central Division and Division I district titles, and then qualify several wrestlers for the state tournament.

The Monarchs, who opened their season by playing host to the Marysville Invitational on Dec. 5, begin league action Jan. 7 at home against Thomas Worthington and Upper Arlington.

"We have nine guys with district-tournament experience and we have 11 seniors," ninth-year coach Shawn Andrews said. "We have a lot of guys who have been around the program for a while and it's just a matter of seeing who has gotten better over time."

Back to lead the way is sophomore Jake Marsh, who went 1-2 at 126 pounds at state last season to finish 30-12 overall. He is expected to compete at 138 this season.

The other returning district qualifiers are senior Troy Messer (22-18 last season) at 145, senior Dan O'Neil (19-18) at heavyweight, senior Sedric Pittroff (16-15) at 152/160, senior Ben Roshon (15-17) at 220, senior Noah Satterfield (24-11) at 195, senior Logan Weirick (30-16) at 182, junior Derek Sharp (27-10) at 120/126 and sophomore Garrett Hosterman (23-19) at 120.

Another key returnee is junior Regi Reed at 113.

Last season, the Monarchs saw their three-year reign as OCC champions end, as they finished third (5-2) in the OCC-Central behind Olentangy Liberty (7-0) and Dublin Coffman (6-1). Marysville won the OCC-Cardinal title in 2011-12 and the previous two OCC-Central championships, finishing 7-0 each year.

Andrews said Liberty and Coffman again will be the Monarchs' main challengers, with Central Crossing also expected to be in the mix. The Comets won the program's first district title last season.

"We're worried about our guys," Andrews said. "Obviously, we're in a competitive conference. Liberty was good last year. I don't think they graduated much. Coffman didn't graduate anybody and we split with them in dual meets. Central Crossing won the district last year and they only lost one or two guys. I don't worry about one team. We're focused on what we can do with our own guys."

Marysville also is hoping to again reach the state team tournament quarterfinals. The Monarchs have advanced to that round for three consecutive seasons.

They've set a challenging schedule that includes the Kilted Klassic on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Sparta Highland, the Southwestern Wrestling Coaches Association Tournament on Dec. 19 and 20 at Harrison, the Brecksville Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights and the Top Gun Invitational on Jan. 15 and 16 at Alliance.

"We intentionally schedule to wrestle all around the state to get the best competition possible, so as central Ohio gets better and we get that competition here, we're excited for it," Andrews said.

Marysville lost two key wrestlers to graduation in state-qualifiers Taleb Rahmani and Alex Sepeda.

Rahmani became the Monarchs' seventh state champion when he defeated St. Charles' Tim Rooney 3-1 in the 152 final last year. He now is wrestling at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sepeda reached the state final at 160 before being pinned by Perrysburg's Dan Waltermeyer in 5 minutes, 20 seconds. Sepeda is wrestling at Ohio State.

Swimming coach likes what he sees

Third-year swimming and diving coach Craig Faircloth said he has been pleased with his team's dedication and work ethic.

The Monarchs open Tuesday, Dec. 8, by facing Worthington Kilbourne at Thomas Worthington.

"About 95 percent of the kids just swim seasonal, meaning high school or summer league, but they're hard workers and they're coachable, so things are going well," Faircloth said.

The boys team returns several key swimmers, including three members of the program-record-holding 200-yard medley (1:44.38) and 400 freestyle (3:21.05) relays in seniors Ryan Groehl and Micah Haynes and junior Connor Hall. The fourth member of those relays, Gavin Mickelson, now is swimming at Wright State.

Faircloth expects junior Simon Buchheit to take Mickelson's spot on the relays.

Groehl also holds program records in the 100 butterfly (55.82) and 100 free (49.71).

Other returnees are seniors Joey Dougherty (free), Alex Harris (breaststroke, free), Dane Marlatt (fly, free, individual medley) and Brady VanDyke (backstroke, free) and sophomores Zach Altman (free) and Hunter Lowe (free, breast).

Groehl and Marlatt are captains.

Last season in the OCC-Central meet, Marysville tied Thomas for fifth (134) behind champion UA (361.5).

At state, Mickelson finished 14th in the 500 free (4:40.37).

"We have some swimmers that need to fill in those gaps, but those are big shoes to fill," Faircloth said. "It's going to be difficult to have somebody swim in (Mickelson's) place, but everybody can swim faster and if they swim faster they ultimately might end up as good or potentially better."

Expected to lead the girls team are three returnees in senior Cassidy Nichol (free), junior Alexis Moore (free) and sophomore Devin Gilbert (back, free).

Other key returnees are junior Ashley Segner and sophomore Kaleigh Dougherty.

Faircloth also expects freshmen Cori Lee (free, back, breast) and Rachel Poling (breast, free) to contribute.

Nichol and senior Nikita Sathiaprakash are captains.

"Our girls team is pretty raw," Faircloth said. "There's a lot of potential to improve, as they have in my tenure here the last two years. They have made significant impact and improvements, but we lost a lot of quality swimmers over the past two years. It's a rebuilding year."

Last season in the league, Marysville was sixth (58) behind champion UA (469).

Gymnastics team boasts deeper roster

The gymnastics team begins its third season with additional depth, as there are 14 athletes on the roster.

Marysville finished last season with six gymnasts, but only four were available because of injuries.

The Monarchs open at home Wednesday, Dec. 9, against Olentangy Orange and Kilbourne.

Marysville has just one senior in Molly Tuchfarber. She was the team's top performer at district last season, placing 85th in the all-around (26.25) as the Monarchs finished 22nd (100.175) behind champion Coffman (141.6).

Also at district, junior Macy Earnest was 87th (25.975) in the all-around and sophomore Leah Bressler was 92nd (24.6).

Also back are juniors Madaline Grimm and Mikayla Seiter.

Third-year coach Amber Calvert expects freshman Makayla Tocci to be a solid contributor.

Other gymnasts are sophomore Rachel Sievers and freshmen Lauren Deere, Megan Erickson, Madelyn Gaertner, Lindsey Itnyre, Melissa Jones, Olivia Virts and Aspen Widmer.

Calvert said junior Carley LaDu, who missed most of last season with an ankle injury, still is recovering and should miss most of this year. She will serve as a team manager.

"We have some really motivated freshmen and they have changed the dynamic of the team," Calvert said. "We were real small last year, so it's nice to have 14 girls on the team this year."

Last season in the OCC-Capital, the Monarchs went 1-6 and finished with eight points, placing seventh behind champion Hilliard Bradley (32, 7-0).