When Danny Edgington competed in the Division II state meet at Branin Natatorium in Canton, the Centennial High School senior diver planned to keep his head about him, as well as his hair.
"I actually thought I was going to have to shave my head because I made a bet with (junior swimmer) Shawn Jacobsen and the guys on the (relays)," Edgington said. "If they qualified for state, I had to shave my head."
That didn't happen, although the boys team finished well in the district meet that concluded Feb. 16 at Ohio University.
For the second season in a row, Edgington was the Stars' lone state qualifier.
He competed at state Feb. 21. Swimming preliminaries are Thursday, Feb. 22, with the finals the following day.
"As a senior, I'm just going to go have fun and enjoy the competition," said Edgington, who finished 24th (109.25 points) last season. "I want to keep my head on and focus on doing my best and be happy with that.
"I'm a lot better this year because I understand the fundamentals a lot better. I have to credit Wellington coaches for that because they've helped me so much this year. This is a great way to finish my senior year."
Edgington advanced by placing third (370.6) in the district meet Feb. 13 at Dublin Community Recreation Center. He earned the final state berth as Wellington's Eric Jacques (386.4) and Taso Callanan (371.1) took the top two spots.
In the swimming portion, Jacobsen placed fifth in the 50-yard freestyle (personal-best 22.59 seconds) and sixth in the 100 free (school-record 49.98), as the top two finishers in each event automatically qualified for state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each event based on district times statewide.
The final at-large berth in the 50 free was 22.4, and the last in the 100 free was 48.82.
"I'm really happy with my times. I wanted to re-establish my school record in the 100 (free) and just missed the school record (of 22.52) in the 50 (free)," Jacobsen said. "It would (have been) really cool to qualify to state and go with Danny, but I get one more shot at this next year."
Also at district, Edgington and Jacobsen joined Nathan Massey and Kyle Juracich to place sixth in the 200 free relay (1:34.47) and 10th in the 200 medley relay (1:50.26).
The Stars totaled 84 points to place 11th behind champion Columbus Academy (324) as 31 teams scored. The top 16 finishers in each swimming event scored.
Edgington also was 17th in the 50 free (24.48). In the 200 individual medley, Juracich was 16th (2:22.68) and Massey was 24th (2:26.73).
Juracich was 18th in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.21), and Massey was 25th in the 100 backstroke (1:08.19).
The girls team competed in two events in the Division I district meet. Kaylee Beyer placed 27th in diving (129.45) on Feb. 12 at Dublin Community Recreation Center and joined Audrey Haring, Cada Dixon and Yana Napier on the 200 free relay that was disqualified Feb. 17 at Ohio University.
Wrestlers preparing for sectional tourney
The wrestling team is battling some minor injuries, but coach Brian Knisley thinks his athletes will be ready for a Division II sectional Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, at Licking Valley.
The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the district tournament March 2 and 3 at Uhrichsville Claymont.
"We had two guys unable to finish (in the City League tournament Feb. 17 at Mifflin)," Knisley said. "But both should be back for the sectional. We thought since we're only going to take our top four or five guys to sectional, why take the risk of letting them continue (in the City tournament)."
Kyle Hicks (145 pounds) was pinned by eventual champion Mountaga Sy of Mifflin in his first match and then was injured in his second match and defaulted the rest of the tournament.
Lamont Rankin (220) had back spasms in the middle of his first-round match and allowed a pin before shutting it down for the day.
The Stars, who were led by Flaviano DiPaolo's third-place finish at 138, totaled 25 points to place 10th behind Mifflin (186.5), East (174), West (162), Whetstone (141.5), Walnut Ridge (136), South (98), Linden-McKinley (76), Marion-Franklin (60) and Northland (31) and ahead of Beechcroft (24) and Independence (6).
"Overall, I thought we wrestled pretty well," Knisley said. "We took five guys and four placed. I thought our heavyweight, Oscar Espino, did very well. He had a tough draw. He was going well against a kid he lost to in the Golden Grappler (Whetstone's Daniel Kasprovic), but tripped and fell and (Kasprovic) covered him for a pin."
Espino finished fifth, and Hicks and Rankin both placed sixth.
Boys basketball team to open postseason
Seniors Gary Elder, Nigel Harris and Sean Tyson will play their final home game for the boys basketball team Monday, Feb. 26, when the 12th-seeded Stars face 16th-seeded Licking Valley in the first round of the Division II district tournament.
The winner plays at fourth-seeded Hartley in the second round March 3.
Centennial did not play Licking Valley in the regular season and is 11-10.
The Panthers were 10-11 before closing the regular season Feb. 20 against Coshocton.
Tyson (13.4 points) and Elder (13.0) lead the Stars in scoring, followed by Jaylen Gilbert (10.7) and Myles Martinez (10.5). Gilbert (7.0), Martinez (5.0) and Elder (4.7) lead in rebounding, and Tyson leads in assists (6.1) and steals (2.3).
Girls basketball team prepares for 'Rocks
The girls basketball team plays at second-seeded Dublin Coffman in the second round of the Division I district tournament Friday, Feb. 23.
The 47th-seeded Stars, who are 4-17 and had a first-round bye, did not play Coffman in the regular season. The Shamrocks defeated 46th-seeded Groveport 90-11 in the first round Feb. 17 to move to 22-1.
The winner plays 20th-seeded Lancaster or 32nd-seeded Licking Heights in a district semifinal Wednesday, Feb. 28, at a site to be determined. The district final is March 3 at Ohio Dominican.
Bowlers getting ready for sectional
The bowling teams begin the Division I postseason this week in sectionals at HP Lanes.
The boys compete Friday, Feb. 23, and the girls compete Saturday, Feb. 24. The top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on a qualifying team at each sectional advance to the district tournament March 3 at HP Lanes.