Sports are meant to be fun and Marco Giambrone is squeezing every bit of pleasure from his time with the St. Charles Preparatory School hockey team.

The Bexley resident decided to forgo AAA club hockey before his freshman year to play with the Cardinals and has not regretted the decision.

Through 23 games this season, the junior forward led the Cardinals with 44 points with team highs in both goals (22) and assists (22). He also had a team-best 83.0 face-off percentage.

"I wanted to have a lot of my weekends back and take a break from a lot of the traveling," Giambrone said of leaving AAA. "It's nice to relax and have fun. Obviously, it's great having the whole school aspect and playing with your classmates. There's nothing better than playing with your buddies."

Giambrone has started since his freshman season. He said the transition to prep hockey wasn't bad except for one major hurdle: being 14 and playing against 18-year-olds.

"I was ready for the speed of the game but not necessarily the size," he said. "I went from playing against 14- or 15-year-olds to playing against guys with beards.

"Everyone was so welcoming. That's the good thing about St. Charles. It doesn't matter if you are a senior or a freshman. The varsity takes you in as their own."

Coach Rob Sangster said Giambrone has continued to grow both mentally and physically with the Cardinals, who are 14-6-3-1 overall.

"Marco was one of our strongest players last year and he probably is one of our most improved," Sangster said. "From being a freshman to being a junior, he has had more improvement in those two years than any player that I have had here.

"He also has been a good example in that he's put a lot in to get better. He has spent a lot of time in the weight room and hit the weights hard and that shows other guys what can happen by working hard and working to get better. As far as what he means to our team, he's extremely valuable."

His value to the Cardinals was shown in their last two Capital Hockey Conference contests. Giambrone contracted a stomach bug and was at an emergency-care facility when the team lost to Upper Arlington 10-1 on Jan. 11.

Two days later, the Cardinals trailed Cincinnati Moeller 3-0 entering the third period when they rallied to tie the game with 1 minute remaining in regulation. Nick Demers then scored in overtime for a 4-3 win. Diego Pitones scored twice and Giambrone had three assists.

St. Charles is 6-4-1-1 (14 points) in the CHC-Red Division, behind Olentangy Liberty (20, 10-2) and Dublin Jerome (16, 8-1).

"I think the season is going great," Sangster said. "We're exceeding our expectations and we have a lot of young players.

"The win over Moeller was one of the biggest wins we have ever had. It was huge in the standpoint of the standings."

Giambrone began skating as a 2-year-old and started working with a stick and puck at 5.

"Hockey helps to get my mind off things," he said. "It's a nice escape from school and everything I have to worry about. Plus, it's fun to see my teammates and everybody.

"As for school, I definitely like the social aspect. It's fun going there with all the guys because you don't have to worry about impressing anybody. You can kind of just joke around and everyone is there to help you. It's a great environment."

Moore leads wrestlers at Catholic Invitational

Marvin Moore finished fifth at 220 pounds to lead the wrestling team in the Catholic Invitational Tournament on Jan. 19 and 20 at Toledo St. John's.

Moore went 3-2, defeating Dayton Chaminade Julienne's Marquel Henry by pin in 3:00 in the fifth-place match. The Cardinals finished 17th (40) behind champion Cincinnati Elder (271.5) as 25 teams scored.

Caleb Kish (160) was 3-2, and Sean Grim (170), Steve Metzger (152), Ayden Snyder (132) and Brady Westin (113) all were 1-2.

Bowling team wins 10 matches in a row

The bowling team had won 10 consecutive matches and was 10-1 overall, 9-1 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-D Division and 4-1 in the CCL before facing Watterson on Jan. 23.

Grant Flory led the Cardinals in average at 195.9, followed by Dominick Koeth (176.4), Jack Anderson (160.4), Teague O'Brien (157.2) and Dino Colasurd (150.5).

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the basketball, bowling, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BASKETBALL

Jan. 25 -- Home vs. Logan

BOWLING

*Jan. 24 -- Eastmoor Academy at Eastland Lanes

*Jan. 30 -- Ready at Game of Western Columbus

HOCKEY

*Jan. 27 -- Springboro at Chiller Springfield

SWIMMING & DIVING

Jan. 25 -- Home vs. Big Walnut, DeSales, Madison Christian and Village Academy

Jan. 26 -- CCL meet at Columbus School for Girls

WRESTLING

Jan. 26 -- New Albany Duals

*League contest