Going on the road and beating Olentangy Liberty 41-16 on Dec. 18 was important to the Olentangy High School wrestling team for two reasons.

Going on the road and beating Olentangy Liberty 41-16 on Dec. 18 was important to the Olentangy High School wrestling team for two reasons.

First, the Braves have bragging rights in the community.

"It's always a big rivalry when we compete against Liberty in anything, and we wanted to show them that we own this district," junior Joe Grandominico said. "We have five freshmen starters, so this was a big win for us and good experience for our freshmen. This shows that even though we're young, we still have some power and a lot of potential."

More importantly, at least to coach Matt Hammons, the win gave his team some momentum heading into the Medina Invitational on Monday and Tuesday.

Hammons was most impressed with Patrick Dillon's 9-2 victory over Nick Kaczkowski at 135 pounds and Caleb Hetterscheidt's 10-7 win over Ethan Snyder at 152.

Olentangy won eight other matches. Trevor Fiorucci (103) pinned John Pfleiderer in 4 minutes, 57 seconds, Ryan Lucas (112) pinned Andrew Snyder in 0:41, Michael Webber (119) beat Dalton Vass 4-1, Grandominico (145) beat Craig Thomas 20-4, Dylan Prantl (160) beat Kenneth Hamre 3-2, Ryan DiSabato (171) beat Joe Archer 12-6, Mark Sabo (189) pinned A.J. Dobson in 3:51 and Preston Oglesbee (heavyweight) beat Luis German 3-0.

"This was a nice win because Liberty is a much-improved team," said Hammons, whose team was fifth in the first area coaches poll. "Patrick had the win of the night beating a district qualifier. He made a few mistakes to fall out of our lineup at one point, but he got a nice win to prove he belongs here. Caleb won what was the premier match of the night against one of their better kids, too.

"We have a young team, but I like where we're at right now. I didn't see us being ranked in the top 10 in our district this early, but the kids are wrestling well. Hopefully, we can keep getting better and wrestle well at Medina."

Olentangy finished 15th (81) of the 39 scoring teams at the Medina Invitational a year ago behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (255.5). Grandominico was third at 135 and graduate Kyle Weaver was fourth at 130.

"This is one of the toughest tournaments in the state, but we're going there to compete," Hammons said. "This is an early indicator for the state tournament and it's a good wakeup call. It shows you what you need to do between the 30th of December and the end of February to get prepared for state."

•Four Liberty wrestlers won against Olentangy. Jarrod Boone (125) beat Anthony Fosco 11-7, Anthony Michael (130) beat Ryan Brady 13-5, Kyle Pettay (140) beat Joey Gadd 8-3 and Matt Casey (215) pinned Alex Steinmetz in 5:07.

"We didn't wrestle well against Olentangy or it could have been closer," coach Mark Marinelli said. "Casey did have a nice come-from-behind win from down eight points to get a pin. We've never wrestled Olentangy in a dual before, but we're making the commitment to schedule tougher duals this year because it only makes us better. Our dual record may not be as good as we'd like it to be, but we're going to be much more prepared for the sectional and district tournaments because of competition like this."

Liberty will compete in the Brecksville Invitational on Monday and Tuesday at Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

"This is the toughest tournament in Ohio," Marinelli said. "We're going there to get more experience against a higher level of competition. Our team is going to keep getting better, and this will help us get better faster."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Liberty, Olentangy and Orange wrestling teams:


Dec. 9 -- Defeated Upper Arlington 37-21

Dec. 13 -- Finished third (263) in eight-team Olentangy Liberty Classic behind Bensenville (Ill.) Fenton (308) and Lancaster (297). Anthony Michael (125) and Ethan Snyder (152) were first.

Dec. 18 -- Lost to Olentangy 41-16

Monday-Tuesday -- At Brecksville Invitational at Brecksville-Broadview Heights


Dec. 6 -- Finished third (155.5) in 10-team Olentangy Invitational behind Centerville (164.5) and Dublin Scioto (160.5). Trevor Fiorucci (103) and Ryan DiSabato (160) were first, Joe Grandominico (140) and Caleb Hetterscheidt (145) were second and Mark Sabo (171) was third.

Dec. 13 -- Finished 3-2 in Central Ohio Duals at Marysville Olentangy beat Scioto 46-31, New Albany 54-22 and Watkins Memorial 61-18 and lost to Central Crossing 37-28 and Hilliard Davidson 42-26. Grandominico (140), Sabo (171) and Preston Oglesbee (heavyweight) went 5-0.

Dec. 18 -- Def. Liberty 41-16

Monday-Tuesday -- At Medina Invitational


Dec. 6 -- Competed in Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational at Upper Arlington. No team scores were kept. Jon Edwards (103) was first and Daniel Waldron (140) and Josh Winn (heavyweight) were second.

Dec. 11 -- Def. Franklin Heights 60-19; lost to New Albany 39-28

Last Wednesday -- Competed against Whetstone

Friday-Saturday -- At North Canton Hoover Holiday Invitational