Ready Roundup: Wrestlers hope to bring football success to mat

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group

The Ready wrestling team hopes the success the football program enjoyed this fall — going 6-3 and making it to the second round of the Division V, Region 19 playoffs — continues into this winter.

The Silver Knights expect to fill nearly all of the 14 weight classes, and most of the competitors also played football.

Ready has been practicing regularly and is set to open Jan. 6 at St. Charles, with its matches after that consisting of duals, tri-meets and quads.

“I coach (Ready football coach Joel) Cutler’s twin boys (at the youth level) twice a week, so he and I have gotten pretty close,” coach Anthony Aiello said. “Without him, I wouldn’t have much of a wrestling team. My daughter is in fifth grade so I was going to push for more girls at Ready this year and then (the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic) hit and I wasn’t able to get into the hallways. Next year we’re hoping to have a few girls on the team because girls wrestling has really exploded.

“We had four big (matches) scheduled (for December), so obviously we had to opt out of those, but we’re still working on the schedule for January and February. I should fill 11 out of the 14 weight classes.”

Aiello’s son, senior Aiden Aiello, is a two-time state qualifier who is expected to compete at 145 pounds and enters the season with a 90-31 record.

After going 0-2 at state as a sophomore, Aiden Aiello defaulted his final match at the Division III district tournament last season because of an injury but placed fourth at 132 to qualify for state, which eventually was canceled because of the pandemic. 

Also returning is junior Paul Martello, who made first-team all-CCL at 145 and should be at 152 or 160. He finished fifth at district and went 37-11 last winter.

Junior Evan O’Connell (145) also has returned. He was a district qualifier as a freshman and won a regular-season tournament early last season but could not compete in the postseason because of an injury.

Sophomores Brian Fitzsimmons (182) and Jerad Koboi (195) won 12 and 14 matches, respectively, last season. Koboi was third-team all-league.

Juniors Zac McAndrew (160) and Dylan Melrose (220) also were in last year’s postseason lineup.

Junior Ricky Schnarr (138) and freshman Ryan Schnarr (126) are newcomers who should contribute.

Juniors Noah Foughty (132) and Devin Malone (heavyweight) and sophomores Lee Tracy Jr. (170) and Aidan Montgomery (220) also are looking to fill spots in the lineup.

Cameron Jones (126, 19-15) and Jacob Robinson (195, 29-18) were lost to graduation.

Ready went 0-4 in league duals last season. The CCL again will use a dual format to determine its champion.

Junior Zach Jahn is one of the top returnees for the Ready bowling program, which is scheduled to open its season Jan. 4 against Mifflin.

Bowlers adjusting to

season’s late start

After the CCL decided to have its winter sports programs delay the beginning of the season until at least Dec. 18, the boys and girls bowling teams have been practicing once per week at RollHouse Entertainment Columbus.

The Knights open Jan. 4 against Mifflin at their home alley.

“It’s been a challenge with the current conditions to have all students present at practices since we’re on a blended schedule,” coach Russ Rehner said. “We’re only practicing once a week for distancing.”

Ready will feature a group of experienced bowlers once it gets started.

After going 13-7 overall last winter and finishing third in the CCL at 4-4, behind DeSales (7-1) and St. Charles (6-2), the boys team returns two of its top competitors in senior Luke Jahn and his junior brother, Zach Jahn.

In last year’s Division II sectional, Ready finished 11th (3,104) to advance to the 12-team district tournament, where it was 11th (2,940) with Luke Jahn placing 28th (492) and Zach Jahn tying for 49th (421) to lead the way.

Senior Wesley Hendricks, junior Brady Hicks and sophomores Luis Roque, Philip Ryan and Adam Schwab also have returned.

Rounding out the boys roster are freshmen Liam Armstrong and Ben Turek.

The biggest loss from last season was 2020 graduate Finn Hardenbergh, who finished 52nd (418) at district.

For the girls team, senior Emma Pond and sophomores Cece Muraco and Jennifer Pond were key contributors last season when Ready went 15-3 overall, shared the CCL title with Watterson at 4-2 and then was 12th (2,636) at sectional to earn the final district-qualifying berth.

At district, Ready placed 12th (2,601). Mary Zerrien, who finished seventh (519), and Maryann Rucker were lost to graduation.

The others on the team are junior Maddie Brewster and sophomore Nevaeh Forby.

“With the loss of Mary Zerrien and Maryann Rucker to graduation, our girls team is rebuilding,” Rehner said. “The boys team will be competitive with seven of the nine bowlers returning from last year. Our strength will come from Luke and Zach Jahn, Philip Ryan and Wesley Hendricks.”

Senior Elaine Smith is one of three girls swimming for Ready. Last season in the Division II district meet, she was 12th in the 500-yard freestyle and 17th in the 200 free.

Swimming program

features three girls

Three girls are swimming for Ready, including senior and two-time district qualifier Elaine Smith.

Last season in the Division II district meet, Smith finished 12th in the 500-yard freestyle (5 minutes, 39.19 seconds) and 17th in the 200 free (2:05.32).

Senior Michelle Vanegas also is back after competing in the 50 free and 100 free at sectional.

The other competitor is freshman Layne McChesney.

The Knights’ other swimmer last season was Katie Smith, who is Elaine Smith’s sister and finished 28th in the 200 individual medley (2:38.07) at district.

According to coach Ann Smith, Elaine Smith has been receiving interest from Division III college programs.

“Elaine will either do the 200 and 500 free or the 200 IM and the 500 free,” coach Smith said. “She kept away from the 200 IM because Katie swam it and she didn’t want to swim against her sister. She wants to break two minutes (in the 200 free) and wants to go 5:25 in the 500 free.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

BOWLING

Coach: Russ Rehner, 19th season

Top athletes: Boys — Wesley Hendricks, Brady Hicks, Luke Jahn, Zach Jahn and Philip Ryan; Girls — Maddie Brewster, Nevaeh Forby, Cece Muraco, Jennifer Pond and Emma Pond

Key losses: Boys — Finn Hardenbergh and Wesley Hendricks; Girls — Maryann Rucker and Mary Zerrien

Last season: Boys — 13-7 overall; Girls — 15-3 overall

2020 finishes: Boys — Tied for second in COHSBC-D, third in CCL, 11th at sectional, 11th at district; Girls — Tied for second in COHSBC-D, tied for first in CCL, 12th at sectional, 12th at district

GIRLS SWIMMING

Coach: Ann Smith, fifth season

Top athletes: Layne McChesney, Elaine Smith and Michelle Vanegas

Key loss: Katie Smith

2019-20 CCL standings: Watterson (414), Hartley (362), DeSales (202), Ready (33)

2020 postseason: 11th at sectional, 24th at district

WRESTLING

Coach: Anthony Aiello, fifth season

Top athletes: Aiden Aiello, Brian Fitzsimmons, Jerad Koboi, Paul Martello, Zac McAndrew, Dylan Melrose, Evan O’Connell, Ricky Schnarr and Ryan Schnarr

Key losses: Cameron Jones and Jacob Robinson

2019-20 CCL standings: Hartley (4-0), St. Charles (3-1), Watterson (2-2), DeSales (1-3), Ready (0-4)

2020 postseason: Eighth at sectional, tied for 18th at district