A week after Canal Winchester wrestler Jared Mattox finished a Division I sectional tournament with his 100th career victory, his high school career ended on a tougher note.
The senior went 1-2 at 160 pounds in the district tournament held March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby, concluding his prep career by losing to Lancaster's Tyler Weilbacher via pin in 59 seconds in a second-round consolation match. Mattox finished the season at 34-15 and was 101-58 in his career.
"I was pretty excited about that (100 wins)," Mattox said. "I'm happy with my career, but I should have won my last match. I got stuck with a second to go (in the first period)."
Mattox opened district with an 8-5 win over Walnut Ridge's Sihlas Padmore but was pinned by Delaware's Emmett Cain in 3:15 in the second round.
"We were in control of the match (against Weilbacher). It was going our way and it just kind of got into a little bit of a scramble and he got in a bad position. Things like that happen. It was a tough loss," coach Harrison Rosch said. "Obviously, it stings right now, but you have to look back. He had a really good year. He got his 100th win (in the third-place match at sectional) and he was a two-time district qualifier. Overall, it was a really good career for him.
"He's a really good leader. He had a big impact on our program. He has a lot to be proud about. He shouldn't be disappointed in himself."
Also competing at district was the Indians' other senior, Patrick Zamble, who went 0-2 at 182 and finished 23-14.
Zamble lost to Whetstone's Sallah Abdourahman 5-4 in the first round and Marys-ville's Ben Bickerstaff 7-4 in a first-round consolation match.
The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state, which runs Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, at Ohio State.
Canal Winchester finished 39th (2 points) at district behind champion Dublin Coffman (174.5) as 40 teams scored.
Several wrestlers are eligible to return, including juniors Trent Morningstar (160) and Cian Rose (145), sophomores Ethan McGlone (138), Donavan Nelson (126), Gabe Sanfillipo (120) and Connor Well (220) and freshmen Chase Bowman (132), Bobby Davies (106), Mason Fry (heavyweight), Dylan Lowe (195) and Jack Sprague (113).
Davies finished 25-17 and Well and Fry went 23-20 and 23-21, respectively.
Rose (4-10) and Sanfillipo (11-6) missed most of the season because of injuries.
Even with their youth, the Indians went 3-2 in the OCC-Capital Division to finish third behind champion Big Walnut (5-0).
"Ten of our 14 starters were freshmen and sophomores, so we're expecting big things the next couple of years," Rosch said. "Our two seniors did a good job laying the foundation. We'll be back next year stronger and better than we were this year."
Boys basketball team reflects on season
Although his team's season came to an abrupt end, boys basketball coach Lyndell Snyder reflected positively on the Indians' 16-8 overall record and a year in which the program added another 1,000-point scorer.
Senior forward Bilal Sow averaged 19.0 points and 7.5 rebounds to lead Canal Winchester, which was seeded 14th in the 49-team Division I district tournament and lost to 22nd-seeded Whitehall 65-51 in a second-round home game Feb. 28.
Sow finished with 1,032 career points, 455 of which came this season, to share OCC-Capital Division Player of the Year honors with Newark's Bobby Crenshaw and earn second-team all-district. Sow became the Indians' 16th 1,000-point scorer during a 108-63 win over Zanesville on Feb. 18.
"Anytime you can have twice as many wins as losses, I think you can consider that a successful season," Snyder said. "The team chemistry was unbelievable, and I'm not just saying that. Beyond the record, this was a super group of guys and a great group to coach. They worked together extremely well. You don't win 16 games without that kind of chemistry."
Senior forward Cole Metzler averaged 11.2 points and 9.0 rebounds and was named second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, senior guard Tre'Von Robinson averaged 7.4 points and was special mention all-league and senior guard Avery Musick was honorable mention all-league.
Canal Winchester went 5-5 in the OCC-Capital to tie Big Walnut for third place behind champion Newark (9-1).
As part of OCC realignment next season, the Indians will remain in the OCC-Capital and will be joined by Big Walnut, Delaware, Dublin Scioto, Franklin Heights, Westerville North and Westerville South.
Four players are eligible to return in juniors Andre' Heglar (forward/guard), Anthony Milner (guard) and Graham Snider (guard) and sophomore Stephan Byrd (forward). Byrd also is a standout running back for the football team who has amassed 2,757 yards and 33 touchdowns in two seasons and has 11 scholarship offers, including one from Michigan last week.