After just missing a Division I district tournament berth last season, Westerville Central High School wrestler James Schneider appears to be on a mission.
Schneider, a senior, is seeking a district berth and more as his prep career winds down. His ultimate goal is to qualify for state March 9-11 at Ohio State.Video •Watch an interview with Westerville Central wrestler James Schneider.
Last season, he finished 36-16 at 160 pounds, but missed qualifying for district after going 3-2 in the Upper Arlington sectional and placing fifth. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced.
"I was pretty disappointed and that made me want to get (to state) even more," Schneider said. "I have to do what I do. I have to take my shots. I have to keep good positioning, just wrestle my style."
Coach Phil Carney said Schneider has improved and has a chance to reach his goal.
"He wrestled last year and sometimes you have things that are unfortunate and don't work out," Carney said. "He's definitely better this year than he was last year, so you just have to keep doing the right stuff and hope everything works out."
Schneider moved to 30-11 after finishing second at 160 in the Canal Winchester Invitational on Feb. 4.
He reached a milestone earlier this season when he earned his 100th career win during the Gold Medal Duals on Jan. 13 and 14 at Napoleon.
"I knew I was getting close. I was at 99," Schneider said. "I was really pumped."
Central will compete in a 12-team sectional Feb. 25 at Newark, and the top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 3 and 4 at Hilliard Darby.
Schneider qualified for district as a sophomore, going 0-2 at 145 to finish 34-17.
He began this season at 195 because of maintaining weight during football season, but has since dropped to 160.
"He's wrestled a long time and he's been consistent the last three years," Carney said. "He's a good athlete. He and Tre' (Bogetich) are the two that have worked the hardest at it, so it would make sense that they would have the most success."
Schneider said he began wrestling around 4 years old with the DeSales Little Stallions before joining the Westerville United Wrestling Club in sixth grade.
He also excelled in football at Central, earning first-team all-OCC-Buckeye Division and special mention all-district at linebacker as a senior. As a junior, he was first-team all-OCC-Cardinal and honorable mention all-district.
Schneider's twin, Kevin, was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district this past season in football. He played defensive back and wide receiver.
James Schneider said he saw limited time in football as a member of the freshman team, but used determination to emerge as a key player in his final two seasons for coach John Magistro.
"Pound for pound, he has to go down as one of the toughest kids I've ever coached," Magistro said. "We have some undersized guys that are on the football field. In wrestling, you get to go against somebody your size. I watched that kid attack people for three years no matter how big they were. He's a smart kid ... and the kind of kid you want on your team."
He plans on playing football in college and is considering Denison and Marietta.
"It's been a goal for me to compete and I never want to stop competing," Schneider said.
Also at Canal Winchester, Bogetich (138) and Cody Mayes (145) finished first and Adam Snively (120) and Devin Stevko (182) placed fourth.
Bogetich became the program's all-time leader in wins with 168, surpassing 2012 graduate Zach Brown, who finished with 166.
Boys bowling team
wins league titles
The boys bowling team has clinched at least a share of the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North title, finishing 14-1 overall and in the league.
Westerville South was 13-1 in the league before facing Olentangy on Feb. 8.
The Warhawks defeated Worthington Kilbourne 2,504-2,168 on Jan. 30 as Wesley Minke had a 447 two-game series, followed by Ryan O'Connor (416), Cameron Gonce (413) and Zachary Gonzalez (406).
Central also won the OCC-Buckeye title at 7-0.
The girls team finished 8-6 overall and in the COHSBC-North.
The Warhawks defeated Kilbourne 1,785-1,523 as Reace Gonzalez had a 332 series.
Central went 5-2 in the OCC-Buckeye and trailed South and Olentangy, both of which were 5-1 before their match Feb. 8.
Boys basketball team
The boys basketball team was 4-14 overall and 3-4 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy on Feb. 7.
The Warhawks defeated visiting Olentangy Orange 56-47 on Feb. 3 as Terrance Lang scored 19 points and Gage Minney and Josh McDaniel each had 12.
The school held a college commitment ceremony Feb. 1.
Colin Robertson will play football at Findlay, Lexi Todd will play women's basketball at Lake Erie and Michael Wiggs will play football at Central State.