Among the descriptions Dylan Kankiewicz lists on his Twitter page is the phrase "Future Educator" followed by a male teacher emoji.

The Gahanna Lincoln High School senior is considering studying education at Bowling Green and someday in the classroom could use his experience with the wrestling team this season as an example of how to take advantage of a final opportunity.

During his sophomore season with the Lions, Kankiewicz went 12-10 but didn't win a match at 126 pounds in a Division I sectional tournament.

After not competing in last year's postseason, he has developed into one of the Lions' top wrestlers this winter.

"Dylan's a senior who has been wrestling really tough," coach Mike Flusche said. "Dylan is one of my favorite kids, a fantastic hard worker, and good things are going to happen at the end of the year for him."

Kankiewicz, who also contributed at linebacker and punter the last two seasons for the football team, showed that this season might be different when he opened by winning the championship at 152 in the Bad Apple Brawl on Dec. 1 at Mount Vernon.

He went 2-2 and didn't place at 152 in the Liberty Classic on Dec. 15 at Olentangy Liberty but earned a runner-up finish at 145 in the Porter Memorial on Jan. 12 at Hilliard Bradley.

Kankiewicz improved to 20-9 in Gahanna's 54-29 win over Reynoldsburg on Jan. 24. The Lions are 1-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division.

"It's been going really well," Kankiewicz said. "I can definitely say I've made strides in improving this year compared to last year, so I'm pretty proud of where I am right now."

Kankiewicz is part of a small group of experienced seniors, along with brothers Luke Garbark (170) and Nate Garbark (182), who have been longtime friends and helped encourage him to try the sport.

Before Jan. 24, senior Cristian Salazar (113) was 20-1, senior Juan Porras (126) was 18-9 and Luke Garbark was 23-6 to also lead the Lions.

Gahanna will compete in the Division I, Region 5 team dual tournament Saturday, Feb. 2, at Marysville before the individual postseason begins Feb. 23.

Kankiewicz is hoping to have an extended postseason for the first time.

"I'd say my goal this year that would be a reachable goal for me is qualifying for district," Kankiewicz said. "My aggressiveness has improved, and I think that has to do with coach Flusche. He makes sure I'm always on the attack and that's translated into my matches.

"I feel like we're a pretty young team, but a lot of our younger underclassmen are making good strides, so it's been good. We're a lot more conditioned this year and (Flusche) makes sure we're always fast-paced in the room so that we can give 100 percent on the mat."

Swim teams sweep league titles

The boys and girls swimming and diving teams both captured OCC-Ohio championships in the meet held Jan. 25 and 26 at Upper Arlington.

The girls scored 349 points to edge runner-up Pickerington North (339) and the boys scored 328 points to finish well ahead of runner-up North (226). It was the second consecutive league title for the boys squad.

The girls team's 200-yard medley relay of Eloise Fisher, Lydia Gilger, Kendall Hitler and Sami Kiss started the meet with a title, winning in 1 minute, 52.36 seconds. Also winning for the girls were Reagan Reetz in the 200 freestyle (1:58.92) and 500 free (5:17.92), Hitler in the 50 free (25.43) and 100 backstroke (1:00.17), Gilger in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.1), the 200 free relay of Fisher, Kiss, Gilger and Reetz (1:43.36) and Maycey Vieta in diving (448.8).

Winning for the boys team were the 200 free relay of Logan Marks, McCord Riegler, Jacob Sherman and Nathan Vogelgesang (1:32.61) and the 400 free relay of Johnny Belli, Marks, Sherman and Austin Wharton (3:24.61).

The Lions now are preparing to compete in a Division I sectional Feb. 9 at Thomas Worthington.

Boys team struggling in 'crunch time'

The boys basketball team likely is out of the OCC-Ohio title race after losing consecutive league games to Pickerington Central (63-54 on Jan. 11), Reynoldsburg (52-51 on Jan. 18) and Pickerington North (70-53 on Jan. 25).

There still is plenty of evidence to coach Tony Staib, though, that the Lions can be a dangerous opponent when the postseason arrives.

Gahanna led Reynoldsburg during the closing minute before giving up a game-winning 3-pointer with 23.2 seconds left. The Lions responded to the loss by blowing out New Albany 66-40 on Jan. 22 as they built a 20-4 first-quarter lead.

Gahanna then lost to North to fall to 10-6 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Ohio.

The Division I district tournament drawing is Feb. 10 and the postseason begins Feb. 23.

"We can put together a solid end to the season and I think we can be a very tough out in the tournament," Staib said. "We can do some damage in the tournament and that's what we're playing for now, to get as many wins as we can and get as high of a seed as we can. For a number of years, we were a top-three seed. This year, we'll still have a decent seed and be able to choose where we go."

Junior forward Jaiden Davis had a season-high 17 points and junior guard Travis Whittaker scored nine on three 3-pointers against New Albany. Against North, senior guard Elijah Thomas had 16 points and freshman guard Sean Jones scored 13.

Through 15 games, Thomas was averaging 16.5 points and Jones was averaging 13.5.

According to Staib, junior guard Phillip Pontious, sophomore forward Jarius Jones and freshman forward Josh Whitehouse have seen their contributions grow over the course of the season.

"We felt like (the Reynoldsburg) game was one we should have won, and I think our youth showed at the end of the game," Staib said. "We've got to do a better job of handling crunch time a little better. It's a great game for our young team to have to go through and it'll help us down the road in handling the end of games.

"Our coaching staff is very proud of this group. You take a look at our losses, and all of them have been close."



Below are the coming schedules for the Gahanna Lincoln boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, hockey and wrestling teams:


*Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Grove City. The Lions beat the Greyhounds 68-63 on Dec. 21.

Feb. 2 -- At Chillicothe Zane Trace

Feb. 5 -- At Westerville Central


*Feb. 1 -- At Grove City. The Lions beat the Greyhounds 70-30 on Dec. 21.

Feb. 2 -- At Hartley

Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Westerville Central


*Feb. 4 -- Whitehall at Holiday Lanes

*Feb. 6 -- Lancaster at Gahanna Lanes


*Feb. 1 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller North

*Feb. 2 -- Dublin Scioto at Chiller Easton. The Lions beat the Irish 3-1 on Nov. 24 and 5-3 on Dec. 8.

*Feb. 3 -- Thomas Worthington at Chiller North. The Lions lost to the Cardinals 9-2 on Jan. 5.


Feb. 2 -- Division I, Region 5 dual tournament at Marysville. The quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds will be held, with the regional champion advancing to the state team tournament Feb. 10 at Ohio State's St. John Arena.

*League contest