Grant Robinson wanted to take in the moment instead of commenting on the Bexley High School wrestling team ending a 19-year league championship drought.
The junior won the 220-pound weight class in the MSL-Ohio Division tournament Feb. 4 at London, and the Lions earned the program's first league title since winning the Buckeye Athletic Conference in 1998.
"That about sums it up," Robinson said as he watched teammates pose for photos with the championship trophy.Video •The Bexley wrestling team reacts to winning the MSL-Ohio title Feb. 4 at London. It was the program's first league title since 1998.
The Lions scored 196 points to finish ahead of West Jefferson (191.5), two-time defending champion Whitehall (138.5), London (116.5), Grandview (79.5) and Columbus Academy (39.5).
Robinson was one of four champions for Bexley along with Eliot Clark (182), Jon Clark (152) and Perrin Ruff (145).
"We knew coming in (to the league tournament) that we had the team to do it," Ruff said. "We knew this was the chance to do it after being so close before."
Last season, the Lions were third (218.5) behind Whitehall (271) and West Jefferson (239). They were fourth (147.5) behind champion Whitehall (195.5) two years ago.
"We knew this would be tough with West Jefferson, London and Whitehall here, but we came in and wrestled our butts off," coach Chris Bragg said. "These are tough kids."
Carter Brenner (106), Eric Crane (160), Hunter Hilgeman (138) and Reece Wilson (170) all were runners-up. Ethan Gammage (heavyweight) and Jalen Hatton (195) both placed third, and Jake Brigdon (113) was fourth.
"It was an all-around effort," Eliot Clark said. "Everyone played their part in winning the title. It was big to get this first one."
It was the third tournament title in as many weeks for the Lions. They won the eight-team Ron Thomas Sr. Invitational on Jan. 21 at Jonathan Alder, scoring 286.5 points to finish ahead of runner-up West Jefferson (237.5).
The Lions then went 4-0 to win the Mount Gilead Duals on Jan. 28.
"This is our third (tournament) win in a row," Ruff said. "We want to keep it going."
The Lions compete in a Division II sectional tournament Feb. 25 at Whitehall. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 3 and 4 at Heath. From there, the top four in each weight class advance to state March 9-11 at Ohio State.
"When I came here seven years ago (as an assistant), we finished the season with six kids. Now we have 23 and win the league," Bragg said. "We won the league, and the next thing is getting someone to state. We haven't done that since 2007."
Jake Weisman finished eighth at 112 in the Division II state tournament in 2007.
Jon Clark said this is only the beginning for the program.
"This shows where the program is going," he said. "We have great kids in the middle school and youth programs. They are going to be 1,000 times better than we are when they get up here (to high school)."
Girls basketball team
picks up big victory
The girls basketball team made quite a turnaround in its second meeting with Grandview in MSL-Ohio play.
After losing to Grandview 29-13 on Jan. 3 at home, the Lions defeated the host Bobcats 44-35 on Feb. 4. Emma Dressel led with 13 points, followed by Maddy Vincent with 11 and Amanda Frey with nine.
"At different points in the game, we had different girls stepping up for us," said coach Joshua Price, whose team was 9-10 overall and 4-6 in the MSL-Ohio before playing West Jefferson on Feb. 8. "We had balanced scoring and played great defensively, especially (senior guard) Lauren Woodford. It really was a team victory all the way through."
The Lions are seeded 15th for the Division II district tournament and open Feb. 20 with a first-round game at 12th-seeded Linden-McKinley.
"You always want to be playing your best basketball at end of the season," Price said. "Hopefully this continues going into the tournament."
Boys basketball team
snaps 2-game MSL skid
The boys basketball team had lost two consecutive MSL-Ohio games before defeating West Jefferson 48-36 on Feb. 3.
The Lions were 7-10 overall and 4-4 in the league before playing Worthington Christian on Feb. 7. They had lost to Grandview 52-28 on Jan. 14 and Whitehall 60-54 on Jan. 28.
Simon Kroos scored 14 points to lead the way against the Roughriders, and Ryan Callahan added nine.
On Jan. 30, Kroos scored 16 points in a 54-31 loss to Hartley.
Six Bexley athletes
make college choices
Six Bexley student-athletes announced their college decisions Feb. 1.
Emily Cammeyer will play field hockey at Ohio Wesleyan, Caroline Elliott will play women's soccer at Ohio Wesleyan, Parker Getz will play football at Dayton, Simon Kroos will play football at Dayton, Renata Russo will play softball at Baldwin Wallace and Caroline Watson will play women's soccer at Hiram.