Hilliard Davidson High School senior wrestler Luke DeWeese recalls watching former teammates Gio DiSabato and Micah Dusseau compete in the Division I state tournament a season ago from the stands at Ohio State's Schottenstein Center.
DeWeese hopes to earn a spot on the floor at state when he competes in the district tournament Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at Darby. The top four finishers in each weight class qualify for state March 7-9.
"It would be awesome to get there," DeWeese said. "I remember Gio and Micah from last year and I'm following in their footsteps. I want to be a part of that legacy."
DeWeese qualified for district by winning the 152-pound title in a 10-team sectional Feb. 23 at Upper Arlington. Also placing in the top four to advance to district were junior Teraun Dunseth, who placed third at 113, and senior Zak Hughey and freshman Dez Gartrell, who finished fourth at 195 and 145, respectively.
Last season, DeWeese finished sixth at district at 152, having to forfeit his final match because of a quadricep injury to his left leg, while DiSabato went on to place sixth at state at 126 and Dusseau finished eighth at 120.
DeWeese has battled adversity again this season, as he missed the early part of the schedule with eligibility issues and recently has been dealing with a left knee injury. He said his knee is at about 70 percent entering district.
"It was cool to see Gio and Micah wrestle last year and Gio power through it," DeWeese said. "If Gio can do it with a collarbone injury, I'm pretty sure I can do with a little banged up knee."
Competing with a knee brace, DeWeese went 3-0 at sectional, pinning UA's Miles Pearson in 4 minutes, 20 seconds in a semifinal and defeating Franklin Heights' Dane Fenice 15-7 in the final to improve to 15-3.
"Luke is an awesome kid. He really puts in his time," coach Chris Kline said. "He had a hard beginning to the season and then we found the right weight class for him. Things are starting to click at the right time for him. ... Looking at the (district) brackets, I definitely think if he wrestles the way he knows how, like he did (last) weekend, I don't see an issue with him making it out."
Dunseth and Hughey also competed at district last season.
"We're definitely excited to get some guys out and just keep wrestling another week," Kline said. "Our main focus now is it's the postseason and the season restarts and everyone is 0-0. We went out and wrestled our very best."
Davidson finished seventh (89) at sectional behind champion UA (237).
Boys basketball team wins district opener
The boys basketball team opened the Division I district tournament with a 46-38 home win over 34th-seeded New Albany on Feb. 23.
Gage Keys had 10 points to lead sixth-seeded Davidson, which improved to 18-5.
The Wildcats play host to 29th-seeded Teays Valley in the second round Friday, March 1, with the winner facing 16th-seeded Olentangy or 19th-seeded Northland in a district semifinal Wednesday, March 6, at a site to be announced. The district final is March 9 at Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Davidson lost to Olentangy 61-54 on Feb. 5.
Girls basketball team reaches district semi
The girls basketball team advanced to a Division I district semifinal with a 59-52 home win over 21st-seeded New Albany on Feb. 22.
Jadah Dixon led ninth-seeded Davidson with 16 points, followed by Emily Simon with 13 and Sydney Petersen with 12.
"It was a great way to finish on our home court," coach Joy Taylor said. "New Albany has a lot of young talent and is well-coached. I thought our players did a great job of executing the game plan, defending and playing together like they've done all season."
The Wildcats were 19-5 before playing 10th-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a semifinal Feb. 27. The winner plays top-seeded Pickerington Central or 17th-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district final Saturday, March 2, at Ohio Dominican.
The district champion faces Dublin Coffman, Gahanna, Dresden Tri-Valley or Westerville South in a regional semifinal Tuesday, March 5, at Otterbein. The regional final is March 8 at Otterbein.
Davidson defeated Scioto 54-33 on Dec. 1 but lost to Coffman 73-26 on Dec. 10 and 61-43 on Jan. 17.
Three bowlers advance to district
Seniors Grayson Holloway and Chase Miles of the boys bowling team and junior Laurel King of the girls team advanced to the Division I district tournament Saturday, March 2, at HP Lanes.
Holloway finished 15th (627 three-game series) and Miles was 20th (616) of 242 bowlers at the sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes, where the top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
Davidson finished 23rd (3,429) of 42 teams, behind champion Marion Harding (4,336).
Dominic Williams (508), Nate Shugart (283, two games), Brady Ingland (146, one game) and David Hudkins (108, one game) also competed.
King earned a district berth by finishing 55th (458) of 222 bowlers in the sectional Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
The Wildcats finished 21st (2,786) of 37 teams, behind champion Westerville Central (3,777).
Reilly Wolfinger (417), Hannah Mathews (414), Molly Cottrill (366) and Lauren Domer (353) also competed.
At district, the top three individuals not on one of the three qualifying teams advance to the state tournament March 8 (girls) and March 9 (boys) at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Swimmers cap season at state
Four boys swimmers concluded the season Feb. 22 in the Division I state meet at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Senior Dalton Brown finished 22nd in the 100-yard freestyle (47.99) and 24th in the 50 free (22.05) and joined senior C.W. Hess and sophomores Sergio Suarez and Gregory McGuire on the 20th-place 200 free relay (1:27.8).
Brown said he battled the flu during the week leading up to state.
"My doctor put me on medicine and said to try my best," Brown said. "There was no way I was going to miss the state meet. ... I'm not the happiest with how I swam, but I couldn't help it since I was sick. I could have gone a lot faster, but I was tired and didn't have much energy from the flu. I knew there wasn't much I could do about it."
Davidson did not score at state.
"I was amazed, there's so many people in there," said Brown, who competed in his first state meet. "The sound was incredible. Everyone was yelling."
Gymnasts close season at district
The gymnastics team capped its season by finishing 10th (130.15) in the 24-team district meet Feb. 23 at Worthington Kilbourne behind champion Thornville Sheridan (145.205).
The top three teams advanced to the state team meet Friday, March 1, at Bradley, while the top eight individuals in each event and the all-around advanced to the state individual meet Saturday, March 2, at Bradley.
Junior Nikia Scurlock, who had competed at state the past two seasons as an individual, tied for 16th in the all-around (34.0) to lead the Wildcats. She was 10th on floor exercise (9.0).
Also competing at district in the all-around were sophomores Emma Conrad (32.6, tied for 31st), Hope Tageson (31.75, 41st), Megan McCabe (31.375, 45th) and Anna Chowayou (31.05, 52nd) and junior Dani Mason (29.175, tied for 74th).
"Davidson was strong on vault and (balance) beam and hit most of their connections on (uneven) bars, so they had a good day," coach Carol Eskay said. "I think Nikia was strong on floor and just missed advancing to state. She also did well on beam (8.65)."
Juniors Jessica Cramer and Chelsie Hartman also are eligible to return for the Wildcats, who won the OCC-Central Division meet Feb. 9 at Thomas Worthington by scoring 129.8 to edge runner-up UA (129.1).
Davidson, however, finished second in the overall league standings with 28 points and a 5-2 dual record, behind the Golden Bears (30, 7-0).