Ryan Mitchell believes the Grove City wrestling team made strides in his first season as coach, but there's room for improvement.

The Greyhounds qualified seven wrestlers for the Division I district tournament March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby, but did not advance anyone to state.

"I'm pleased with the progress we made, (but) I'm certainly not satisfied," Mitchell said. "I've never coached a high school team before where we didn't have at least three kids go to state, so I'm disappointed with how it ended. I thought we had some kids who had opportunities. We had some injuries."

Mitchell, who was the coach at Jackson Middle School the previous two seasons, also has served as an assistant coach at Division III Elmore Woodmore, which is his alma mater, and Division II Hunting Valley University School.

"Since my junior year (in high school), I've never been a part of a high school team (from which) fewer than three kids went to state," Mitchell said. "Those are Division III and Division II schools, and this is Division I. It's a different animal, but the expectations are still the same."

After not finishing his junior season with the team, Joey Woolard returned and led the Greyhounds in wins, going 36-9 at heavyweight. He went 2-2 at district and was first-team all-OCC-Ohio Division.

"I wish I could have made state, but I achieved my expectations for myself this season, especially (after) not finishing the year last season," Woolard said. "I can't really be too disappointed."

Junior Brayden Benson went 2-2 at 195 at district to finish 30-13. He also was first-team all-league.

Senior Sean Burns, a first-year wrestler, finished sixth at district at 120 to close the season 23-12. He was second-team all-league.

Despite missing six weeks with a hand injury, freshman Braxton Sheets was a district qualifier at 113 and finished 19-9.

Freshman Slade Walter (113) was 18-16 and first-team all-league, and freshman Drew Palmer (106) was 16-14 and second-team all-league.

Other district qualifiers were juniors Carson Dunagan (182) and Carlin Hamilton (170, 19-21) and freshman Regan Mitchell (106).

Sophomore David Jordan (132) missed part of the season with an injury and finished 11-7 after being a district qualifier last year.

The Greyhounds went 3-2 in the OCC-Ohio to finish third behind champion Lancaster (5-0).

"We had a big jump from last year," said Woolard, who will play football at Ohio University. "More kids were into practice and into the program, and we had more kids going to district. It was a big improvement."

Grove City will compete in a realigned OCC-Ohio next season with Gahanna, New Albany, Pickerington North, Westerville Central and Westland.

The Greyhounds had two girls on the team, with both competing in the first Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association state tournament Feb. 22 and 23 at Hilliard Davidson. Sophomore Francesca Lanese won the state title at 160 and junior Faith Gay was 0-2 at 235.

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