Grandview Heights Roundup: Bobcats wrestlers competing with eye toward next season

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Owen Billeter and his teammates in the Grandview Heights wrestling program have focused on making improvements this season. The Bobcats are scheduled for a Division III sectional Feb. 26 and 27 at Madison Plains, but only Tazio Pintor will compete.

Mike Dodge has had his hands full lately.

Not only is he the coach of the Grandview Heights wrestling team, but he is also the proud father of twins.

On Feb. 11, Dodge and his wife, Angela, the daughter of longtime area football coach and Grandview assistant Mike Lanza, welcomed Lucia and Salvatore.

Dodge and assistant coach John Provenzano have been watching as a young group of Bobcats wrestlers shows continued improvement with an eye toward next season.

“I’ve been very pleased with what the kids have done,” Dodge said. “They really believe this is a team. From day one, I wanted to make wrestling a team sport and not an individual sport.

“We have team guys like Owen Billiter (170 pounds) who has been a part of the program since seventh grade and is a program guy who gets it. He always puts the team first. Guys like that are great to have around.”

Many of the Bobcats have made great strides throughout the season.

“Kellen Dowdy (170/182) is probably one of the most improved kids on the team,” Dodge said. “He really has had great dedication and I’m excited to see how that can translate to football this fall. The same with Maddox Baker (152/160) and Logan Baker (152/160). They’ve improved so much. Kellen Dowdy has been beating guys with experience, but he has great natural instinct.”

Provenzano has been holding down the fort when Dodge is away with his twins.

“John has done a great job,” Dodge said. “When I was called away before a quad at Fairbanks (on Feb. 10), he stepped in and did a great job. Bringing him on staff has helped so much with his knowledge on wrestling and the way he works with the kids.”

The Bobcats compete in a Division III sectional Feb. 26 and 27 at Madison Plains, but Dodge said only 132-pounder Tazio Pintor will suit up for the postseason.

“It’s just Tazio going,” Dodge said. “I want my guys to go in there (at sectional) knowing that they can compete against those guys. That’s not the case, but next year will be a different story.”

Provenzano said Pintor was one of the more experienced wrestlers for the Bobcats and that he and his teammates have shown continued improvement.

“Tazio has been impressive the whole time,” Provenzano said. “I’m glad he’s getting more confidence and that should help next year.

“We’ve had a lot of little improvements by the other kids and they’re taking more chances on the mat. Matches are lasting longer and the kids are getting some wins. You see them picking up concepts that are key to wrestling.”

Lucia Mastroianni and her Grandview swimming teammates competed in the Division II district meet Feb. 18 at Bowling Green.

Swimmers qualify

for district meet

Phoebe Ferguson was the top seed in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 11.81 seconds) for the girls swimming and diving team in the Division II district meet Feb. 18 at Bowling Green.

Ferguson also was the third seed in the 100 butterfly (1:00.02) and was on two district-qualifying relays. She joined Jada Heren, Lucia Mastroianni and Sam Schaefer on the third-seeded 200 freestyle relay (1:45.34) and the fourth-seeded 400 free relay (3:51.94).

Heren was seeded ninth in the 200 free (2:05.79) and 12th in the 100 free (57.68), and Schaefer was the ninth seed in the 50 free (26.23) and the 13th seed in the 100 free (57.72).

Mastroianni was the 22nd seed in the 100 fly (1:10.32) and the 23rd seed in the 50 free (27.47). Vivian Chute was seeded 16th in the 100 breaststroke (1:18.07) and Greta Tew was the 23rd seed in the 100 backstroke (1:09.68).

For the boys team, Marco Brunette was seeded third in the 500 free (5:10.72) and fourth in the 200 free (1:51.95). Blake Yates was seeded eighth in the 100 fly (57.58) and 12th in the 200 free (1:54.75), and Adam Ellis was the 23rd seed in the 100 back (1:03.86) and the 24th seed in the 200 free (2:03.64).

Brunette, Ellis and Yates joined Will Halberg on the seventh-seeded 400 free relay (3:36.99) and Ethan Deis on the eighth-seeded 200 free relay (1:38.64).

From district, the top two finishers in each event advanced to state Feb. 24 and 25 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. The remaining state qualifiers were determined based on times from all district meets statewide. 

Bowlers compete

at district tourney

The girls bowling team competed in the Division II district tournament Feb. 15 at HP Lanes but did not qualify for state, and junior Luke Clark-Moody participated in the boys district but did not advance.

The girls finished 12th (2,663) of 12 teams behind champion Galion Northmor (3,515).

Junior Kyrsten Willimott rolled a 431 to finish 36th of 74 bowlers. Also competing in three games for the Bobcats were sophomores Mackenzie Starner (383, tied for 54th) and Vivian Duckworth (341, 61st) and junior Maddie Hollar (327, 62nd).

Duckworth (409, 46th of 131), Willimott (391, 54th) and sophomore Tully Downer (361, 69th) all rolled three games at sectional Feb. 12 at HP Lanes as the Bobcats earned the 12th and final team qualifying spot to district as Worthington Christian (3,410) won.

Clark-Moody had a 438 to tie for 49th of 74 bowlers in the boys district tournament. 

The boys team did not have enough competitors for a team score at sectional Feb. 13 at HP Lanes. Clark-Moody (559, tied for 10th of 152) was one of 12 individuals to advance to district. 

Juniors Jack Greer (493, tied for 43rd) and Dominic Moretti (425, tied for 78th) and sophomore Griffin Rosinski (365, tied for 99th) also participated.

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BOWLING

Record: Boys — 2-10 overall; Girls — 2-10 overall

League finishes: Boys — 11th (2-9) in COHSBC-A behind champion Olentangy Orange (11-1); Girls — 10th (2-9) in COHSBC-A behind champion Olentangy (10-1)

Seniors lost: Boys — Noah Dimmick and Paul Hatem; Girls — Maggie Lobley

Key returnees: Boys — Luke Clark-Moody, Jack Greer, Dominic Moretti and Griffin Rosinski; Girls — Tully Downer, Vivian Duckworth, Maddie Hollar, Mackenzie Starner and Kyrsten Willimott

Postseason: Boys — Did not score at sectional; Girls — 12th (2,650) at sectional behind champion Worthington Christian (3,410), 12th (2,663) at district behind champion Galion Northmor (3,515)