After sitting out last season to concentrate on football, Dublin Scioto High School senior Brian Zimmerman returned to the wrestling team this season with one major goal in mind.
Zimmerman achieved that goal by qualifying for the Division I state tournament, which runs Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 11, at Ohio State. He enters state after winning the 220-pound title in the district tournament held March 3 and 4 at Hilliard Darby.Video •Watch an interview with Dublin Scioto wrestler Brian Zimmerman.
Zimmerman went 4-0 at district, defeating Olentangy Liberty's Mike Ezenekwe 6-2 in the final to improve to 28-4 on the season.
"That was one of my goals. That is why I came out for wrestling," Zimmerman said of reaching state. "My coaches told me all year that I could be the No. 1 guy in the district, and I just took that and I believed in it and I ran with it and I did the best I could."
Zimmerman began the season at heavyweight but moved to 220 prior to the postseason in anticipation of having a better chance to reach state.
He will be joined at state by freshman Daniel Segura, who finished second at district at 132, losing to Dresden Tri-Valley's Luke Hernandez 16-7 in the final.
"Both kids wrestled their butts off," coach Adam Huddle said. "To have a kid who is a freshman be in the district final and another kid that didn't even wrestle last year and come back this year and be a leader and win the district title is a special day for Scioto."
Segura, who went 3-1 at district and is 38-10 on the season, is the program's first freshman to qualify for state.
"I've been there to watch, but never there to wrestle, so it's going to be an experience and something to take from it," Segura said.
Also competing at district were juniors Eugene Choi (145) and Jack Rubenkoenig (160) and freshman Chris Schaefer (106). All three went 0-2, as the top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state.
Scioto finished 14th (47 points) at district behind champion Liberty (236.5) as 42 teams scored.
"The most important thing (about state) is we have to focus on us," Huddle said. "It doesn't matter about the draw. Let's focus on getting better. Let's make sure that we get a good couple days of practice because it's a short week."
Season ends for
boys basketball team
Boys basketball coach Mike Moler was quick to point out the positives following his team's 71-68 overtime loss to 19th-seeded Mifflin in the second round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 28.
The positives include finishing with a winning record (15-9 overall) and posting the first district tournament win in four seasons under Moler. The 16th-seeded Irish defeated 20th-seeded Delaware 57-49 in the first round Feb. 25.
Moler said another season highlight was a 71-69 overtime win over Jerome on Feb. 17.
Against Mifflin, Scioto led 17-9 after one quarter and led by seven points in the fourth quarter before the Punchers rallied, forcing overtime on Jeremiah Jackson's putback at the buzzer.
Senior guard Brandon Vertolli led the Irish with 22 points and senior guard Jackie Winchester added 17.
Vertolli averaged a team-high 15.8 points and was named first-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division, while Winchester averaged 12.0 points and made second-team all-league. Junior guard Jacob Jones averaged 7.7 points and was honorable mention all-league.
Senior guard Dimetri Brandon averaged 7.0 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds.
Scioto, which is losing four seniors, went 7-5 in the OCC-Cardinal to place third, behind Hilliard Bradley (12-0) and Jerome (9-3) and ahead of Thomas Worthington (5-7), Delaware and Worthington Kilbourne (both 4-8) and Darby (1-11).
Others eligible to return are juniors Noah Brechbuhler (guard), Max Mitchell (forward), Armani Nanthavong (guard), Judd Wandabwa (forward) and Ryan Wolters (guard), sophomore Victor Mwamba (guard) and freshman Benjamin Lombardo (guard).
Playing a predominantly junior varsity schedule, the hockey team finished 19-12-3 overall and 15-3-1 in the CHC j.v. division.
According to coach Morgan Langworthy, the Irish went 4-9-3 against varsity opponents.
Scioto played in the consolation bracket of the varsity-division Blue Jackets Cup, defeating Thomas 4-3 on Feb. 10 before losing to Coffman 6-0 on Feb. 11.
Seeded 21st, the Irish lost to 18th-seeded Troy 5-2 in the first round of the district tournament Feb. 17.
"I'm happy with the way the season turned out," Langworthy said. "We ended maybe the playoffs a little sooner than we were capable of, but I'm very pleased with the how the team progressed through the season."
Scioto is losing eight seniors, including forwards Michael Gast (21 goals, 21 assists), Alex Kovac (24 goals, 9 assists) and Matt Ward (18 goals, 13 assists) and defenseman Jacob LeRoy (15 goals, 8 assists).
Junior goaltender Zack Beatty was 12-11-2.