Whetstone Roundup: Braves wrestling team captures City League championship

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Aidan Wilichowski finished second at 138 pounds in the City League tournament as Whetstone captured the team championship. The Braves compete in a Division I sectional Feb. 27 at Upper Arlington.

Despite participating in only a few matches this season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Whetstone wrestling team finished on top in the City League tournament held Feb. 12 at Marion-Franklin and Feb. 13 at South. 

Whetstone finished with 170 points, ahead of Northland (156), Mifflin (128), Marion-Franklin (117), Briggs (115), South (72), East (55), Linden-McKinley (42), Centennial (40) and West (30). 

“I thought we wrestled very well, especially considering we started on the 15th of January,” coach Tom Jones said. “I was really pleased with the fight. Every competition there’s been improvement, and that’s all you can really ask for.” 

Four Braves captured league titles, including Antonio Morris (126 pounds), who was 7-3 before a tri-match against East and Grandview on Feb. 17. Also winning were Darric McClinton (145, 12-0), Paul Buterbaugh (152, 10-3) and Abdourahman Sallah (182, 16-0). 

Jones said McClinton has big expectations for the next few weeks after winning his fourth league title. 

“He’s hungrier now for states than he was before,” Jones said.

The Braves will compete in a Division I sectional Feb. 27 at Upper Arlington. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby. At district, the top four at each weight qualify for state March 13 and 14 at Darby.

Jones said Sallah is even better than he was last season when he went 35-9 and qualified for the district tournament, where he went 1-2. Fourteen of his 16 wins this season were pins. 

“He’s maybe even ahead (of where he was last year),” Jones said. “He’s pinning people quicker.” 

Jones said Buterbaugh is the first Buterbaugh brother to win a City title, and he did it as a sophomore. His older brothers Ford and Preston graduated last year, and his brothers Kalman and Brent also went through the program. 

“He’s going to earn bragging rights,” Jones said. “I think he’s probably going to be the toughest one of them all so far.” 

Jones said Morris has consistently improved over the last two seasons. 

“He put in the work (in the City tournament),” Jones said.

Also for the Braves in the City tournament, finishing second were Damarion McClinton (120), Jake Winters (132) and Aidan Wilichowski (138). 

Javier Cruz-Ginez helped the Whetstone boys team's 400-yard freestyle relay finish third in a Division I sectional.

Swimming teams

wrap up season

The boys and girls swimming teams concluded their season in Division I sectionals Feb. 12 and 13 at Upper Arlington. 

Top performers on the boys team included the 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle relays. The 200 medley relay of Max Johnson, Nick Timmons, Isaac Schaefer and Aaron Schaefer finished second (1 minute, 37.24 seconds) and the 400 free relay of Isaac Schaefer, Aaron Schaefer, Matthew Conroy and Javier Cruz-Ginez finished third (3:12.02). 

The girls’ top performers included the 200 free and 400 free relays. The 200 free relay of Quinn McGonigle, Emma Schaefer, Cristin Flanagan and Grace Oswalt finished fourth (1:42.56) and the 400 free relay of McGonigle, Flanagan, Emma Schaefer and Lydia Schaefer also placed fourth (4:46.08). 

In the City meet Feb. 6 at Columbus Aquatics Center, the boys placed first (120) ahead of Centennial (95) and Beechcroft (12), while the girls finished second (97) behind Centennial (101) and ahead of Beechcroft (30). 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve