On July 31st through August 4th, 5 Darby Wrestlers competed in the AAU Junior Olympics in Novi, Michigan. Team Ohio was represented with 4 individual teams to compete in a dual format tournament.
Leading the way was two-time State Placer, Jared Ball. Jared went a perfect 14-0 at 195lbs. to win a Junior Olympic Gold Medal. All of Jared's matches ended in pin or technical fall. Jared also won a Bronze medal in the 2015 Junior Olympics.
Other competitors included 2017 graduate Austin Rayburn (Copper Medal at 152lbs.), incoming Sophomore Caiden Rayburn (Copper Medal at 152lbs.), incoming Junior Ben Brown (126lbs.), and incoming Junior Rodney Beneker (195lbs).
Darby incoming Senior, Jared Ball, has broken through the national rankings, and is now ranked #6 in the country at 182lbs. Jared is also ranked as the #61 Senior recruit in the Nation. Both publications are make available at Flowrestling.org.
Jared's first 3 years in High School have seen remarkable milestones, including three Porter Memorial titles, three AAU Eastern Grand National titles, two G.I.T. titles, two Sectional titles, two OCC titles, a Southeastern Invitational title, an All-North title, a Brooke, WV title, a District title, two Medina placements (3rd, 3rd), and Ironman placement (3rd), and two State placements (3rd, 3rd). Yet, Jared's stock skyrocketed when he took 4th place at FloNationals, last April.
Since last season Jared has been in contact with Central Michigan University, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Ohio State University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Campbell University, Ashland University, and Clarion University. Beginning in the Fall, Jared will take a few official visits and make a decision where he would like to pursue a degree and continue to wrestle. We will look forward to reporting Jared's decision.
Future Darby Wrestler, Connor Havill, was victorious in this year's OAC Grade School State Tournament. Connor won the tournament in the 110lb. weight class. Connor is currently a 6th grader and will be a 7th grader at Heritage Middle School in the Fall.
Connor, who trains at Palmer Trained Wrestling Club, as well as the Ohio Capitals Wrestling Club, is now a four-time OAC State Placer, taking 5th twice and 4th once. Connor also took 4th at Dixie Nationals this season.
Connor also plays football for the Big Cat All-Star Team, runs track, and plays baseball. Most importantly, Connor received all A's, excluding one B, in the classroom. Panther Nation is extremely proud of Connor and we look forward to his steady improvement.
2013 Darby Wrestling Alumni, Matthew Walker, completed his college wrestling career with another All-American finish. in 2015, Matt took 3rd at 174lbs. in the NJCAA Nationals for Iowa Western. From there he transferred to Lindsey Wilson College, an NAIA school in Kentucky. In 2016, Matt took 3rd in the NAIA National Tournament at 174lbs. to be a two-time Collegiate All-American.
This year Matt went up to 184lbs. and finished 5th in the country in the NAIA tournament after defeated the #1 ranked wrestler in the country in the Eastern Regional.
Matt will take one more year to finish his degree, and will be a Student Assistant Coach at Lindsey Wilson College.
Also, Darby Alumni, Sammy Valenti finished his career at Mount Union University with a degree. Sammy has been a member of the Mount Union Wrestling Team for 4 years, including being a member of an OAC Championship team. Sammy has already moved back to Columbus and is working for AEP Ohio.
Junior, Jared Ball becomes only the 3rd Two-Time State Placer in program history by taking 3rd place in the State at 182lbs. Jared took 3rd place in the State last season at 160lbs..
Jared defeated Alex Jones, of Wadsworth, in the quarterfinals before losing a heartbreaker in the semifinals. Jared came back from defeated in the only way that he knows how... with focus and determination. In the wrestle-backs, Jared defeated Blake Wilson of Lasalle via tech fall and defeated Returning State Champion, Kaden Russell of St. Ignatius by a score of 12-3 to finish 3rd.
The remainder of the Panther came up slightly short of placing, but made outstanding post-season runs. Darby finished in 17th place out of 169 Division 1 schools.
Hilliard Darby makes the big board at the State Tournament after day #1! 5 out of the 6 State qualifiers have won a match, and Jared Ball and Mo Debyan are in the State Quarterfinals. Darby is tied for 9th place in the State after day one.
In the opening round, Mo Debyan was able to upend Brunswick's Jon Saville in overtime, while Jared Ball defeated Findlay's Zach Bryant via pin in 24 seconds.
The remainder of the Darby Panthers wrestled in the consi-round where Tai Bloch defeated Justin Taylor of Oak Hills, Austin Rayburn defeated Jordan Hardrick of Huber Heights Wayne, and Quentin Thatcher defeated Michael Ferree of Austintown Fitch. Junior, Jacob Cover ended his season with a hard fought loss to Bubba Arslanian of Aurora.
Each Panther needs to secure one more win to reach the State Podium!
For the first time in Darby history, the wrestling Panthers take home team hardware from the Central District Tournament. Darby took 2nd place in the field of 44 teams to be named the Central District Runner-Up. The Panthers did so by having 6 placers, 6 State Qualifiers, and 9 wrestlers that won at least one match.
Darby scored 124.5 points to outlast Marysville (121), Dublin Coffman (118.5), and Westerville North (89.5). Olentangy Liberty won the District Title.
Darby was lead by returning State Placer, Jared Ball. Jared won the District Title at 182lbs., making him the 3rd Panther is school history to win a District Title (Pat Boyd, 2003) (Matt Walker, 2013).
Seniors, Tai Bloch, Quentin Thatcher, and Mo Debyan all finished in 2nd place in their respective weight classes. Senior, Austin Rayburn, and Junior, Jacob Cover, finished in 4th place to seal their fate as State Qualifiers. Darby's six state qualifiers is a program record.
Now onto the State Tournament!
The Darby Wrestling Team is sending a program record, 11 wrestlers to the District Tournament. 6 of those wrestlers will be entering the District as a Sectional Champion.
The District Tournament will take place at Hilliard Darby High School on Friday and Saturday, March 3rd and 4th. Come out and support your Panthers as they attempt to qualify for the State Tournament.
On Feb. 25th, 2017 the Hilliard Darby Wrestling Team came away with a historic Sectional Championship. The 2016-2017 team managed to have the most District Qualifiers in program history, the most Sectional Champions in program history, and captured the 4th Team Title in program history.
Darby was able to upend the host, Watkins Memorial by 19.5 points to be crowned the Sectional Champion. Qualifiers included Evan Grose (4th), Ben Brown (4th), Ryan Blackerby (3rd), Cesar Chamorro (4th), Tai Bloch (1st), Caiden Rayburn (4th), Austin Rayburn (1st), Quentin Thatcher (1st), Jared Ball (1st), Jacob Cover (1st), and Mo Debyan (1st).
The Panthers will look to continue their hot streak from winning the last two tournaments (All-North and Sectionals) into the District Tournament at Darby High School on March 3rd and 4th.
The Hilliard Darby Wrestling Panthers entered the dual against Hilliard Bradley High School, on February 16th, with a chance to stay unbeaten and win the outright OCC Title. Bradley, who entered the dual with a 4-1 OCC record, was looking to share the OCC Title with a win. The Panthers, however, would not be denied an outright Championship. Daryby was victorious via a score of 42-22.
Several key matches vaulted the Panthers. One being Tai Bloch defeating Bradley's returning State Qualifier, Riley Amador, 11-7. The other being Sophomore, Rodney Beneker, defeating Bradley's Adam McCardle, 6-0.
Coach Moody state, "It takes a lot of preparation, desire, luck, and hard work to win an OCC Title, and the kids were able to put all of those traits together in order to pull this Championship off. Every week the kids came to practice with passion, a great attitude, were all reliable. I have to credit the Seniors for keeping everyone in line and on the right path."
Thursday, Feb. 2nd, marks this year's Senior Night. The Panthers will take on Lexington in the cafeteria. the Senior Night ceremony begins at 5:30pm, and wrestling will begin at 6pm.
This year's Seniors include Kieren Davidson, Cesar Chamorro, Tai Bloch, Ryan Benson, Austin Rayburn, Taryn Dixon, Quentin Thatcher, and Mo Debyan. We are happy to celebrate the hard work that these young men have shown throughout their career. This is a group that has faced numerous amounts of adversity in the last 4 years, but they refuse to quit; they refuse to slow down; they refuse to back down! This group of Seniors will be remembered for rebuilding this program, for many years.
Darby was able to win in the first two rounds of the OHSAA State Duals on Jan. 25th. Darby defeated Westland (61-6) in the first round; then in the Regional Quarterfinals, Darby defeated Hilliard Bradley (39-25). Going 2-0 in the rounds were Eric Lowery, Ben Brown, Caiden Rayburn, Tai Bloch, Austin Rayburn, Jared Ball, Jacob Cover, and Mo Debyan.
The Panthers now move on to the Regional Semifinals against Dublin Coffman. Coffman is led by a plethora of experienced wrestlers that include State Champion, Dom Demas. If the Panthers were to be victorious, then their path to the State Dual Finals does not getting any easier... They would need to defeat either Marysville or Olentangy; both of which are stout teams.
The Regional Semifinals begins at 5pm at Dublin Coffman on Wednesday, February 1st. Be there to support your Panthers!!
Darby Wrestling continues to grind through the Month of January. Since the Porter Memorial, Darby Varsity has competed in the Grizzly Invitational, and the Brooke Classic. Top six placers at the GIT included Jared Ball (1st), Austin Rayburn (4th), Quentin Thatcher (4th), and Tai Bloch (6th).
At the Brooke Classic, the Panthers took 2nd place as a team. Top eight placers included Evan Grose (4th), Ben Brown (3rd), Tai Bloch (5th), Austin Rayburn (1st), Taryn Dixon (6th), Jared Ball (1st), Rodney Beneker (7th), Jacob Cover (3rd), and Mo Debyan (1st).
The Darby Varsity has went 7-0 in dual meets in the month of January. Darby has defeated McClain, Edgewood, Delaware Hayes, Dublin Scioto, Westland, Hilliard Bradley, and Thomas Worthington. Currently Darby stands at 4-0 in OCC competition with Dublin Jerome and Hilliard Bradley remaining in conference duals.
The Junior Varsity Team has maintained steady improvement through the Month of January, as the team is also 7-0 in dual meets. The JV team highlight includes a tournament championship at the Hilliard Bradley JV Invitational.
The Darby Panthers were able to rack-up a Runner-Up finish at the Porter Memorial Tournament, at Hilliard Bradley High School on January 14th. Darby did so with the help of four individual champions, a runner-up, two third-place finishers, and a fourth place finisher. Champions included Tai Bloch, Austin Rayburn, Quentin Thatcher, and Jared Ball. Mo Debyan earned runner-up honors, while Evan Grose and Ben Brown took 3rd. Rodney Beneker finished in 4th.
113lber, Ben Brown was able to upend two wrestlers that he previously lost to, and Jared Ball was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestlers. Congrats Panthers!
On Saturday, Jan. 7th, Darby took to the mats at Heritage Middle School for the Hilliard Super-Tri. The Panthers took on Greenfield McClain and Edgewood (Dayton). Darby was able upend McClain by a score of 70-3, and defeat Edgewood by a score of 56-18. About the duals, coach Moody noted, "We were a little disappointed in how we wrestled in certain situations; we took a step back in the bottom position and we did not move our feet as well as we could have. It was nice to get out of there with two wins, but we must improve if we are going to be consistently successful in the remaining weeks of January.
The next match on the schedule is against rival, Delaware Hayes. Darby and Delaware have split 2 matches to 2 matches the last 4 seasons, in non-league duals. This season the
The JV team competed against Edgewood and Hilliard Bradley, only surrendering 3 individual losses on the day. The JV Panthers now move to 12-0 on the year in dual meets. The JV team will be challenged this Thursday (Delaware) and Friday as they will face Hilliard Davidson and Gahanna in a Super-Tri at Bradley. Those matches will begin at 5pm.
The Darby wrestling team kept it's intense way of wrestling going at the Medina Invitational Tournament on Dec. 27th & 28th. Out of 44 teams, Darby finished in the top 10 for just the 3rd time in school history, with an 8th place finish.
Darby had a record, 6 placers at this year's tournament. Evan Grose (8th), Tai Bloch (4th), Austin Rayburn (6th), Jared Ball (3rd), Jacob Cover (6th), and Mo Debyan (2nd). Mo Debyan marked the 4th Darby wrestler to reach the championship finals at Medina (all four have been heavyweights). Also, Evan Grose is now the first Darby Freshman to place at Medina.
Coach Moody stated, "The M.I.T. is a great way to end the Month of December. This tournament tells our kids where they stand on a District and State level. M.I.T. also shows our kids what they need to work on while moving into the month of January, which is filled with OCC and State Dual matches.".
Darby's schedule moving forward does not get any easier. Darby's first two OCC duals are against Delaware Hayes and Dublin Scioto, which are a couple of the best teams in the conference. Plus the Panthers travel to Wadsworth, The Porter, and Brooke, WV in the month of January. Add in the State Duals, and a very high level of mental and physical toughness will be needed to be successful.
The match, on 12/22/16, against Worthington Kilbourne, was a success. The atmosphere was electric and the Darby wrestlers competed extremely hard. The Darby Varsity Team was victorious by a score of 79-0.
The highlight win of the match was a 16-6 major decision at 152lbs.. Darby's Austin Rayburn was able to tally 8 takedowns versus Kilbourne's Michael Duzzny. Duzzny was recently ranked as the #5 wrestler in the district at 152lbs., and was a placer at the tough SWOWCA invitational.
Also, spectators from Worthington and Hilliard were able to donate a massive amount of canned goods, which were donated to the Hilliard Food Pantry. Thanks to everyone that was able to come support the Panthers and donate to a great cause.
The Hilliard Darby Wrestling Program would like to welcome anyone and everyone to donate to our canned food drive. The drive is simple; just bring a canned food good to the Darby match on Thursday, Dec. 22nd (7pm start time). The canned food good will serve as your ticket to the match. The goods will be donated to the Hilliard Food Pantry!
The match will take place in the Darby cafeteria, which should make for a close setting for the excitement. Darby will take on Worthington Kilbourne in an OCC rivalry match. We hope to see you there!
The Darby Varsity Wrestling Team split a pair of duals on Saturday, December 17th, against Westerville North and Sheridan. Action started with Darby facing Westerville North, followed by Westerville North vs. Sheridan, then Darby vs. Sheridan.
Darby was defeated by Westerville North, who is ranked #2 in the Central District, by a score of 40-22. Darby was able to save some team points early in the dual by fending off several pin attempts, but was unable to muster enough team points to catch the Warriors of Westerville North. In round two, Westerville North was able to defeat Sheridan (37-30).
In the final round, Darby came from behind to defeat Sheridan (38-35). Darby was able to score 29 points in the last 5 matches to take the victory from the hands of Sheridan. Finishing the dual was Ben Brown, at 113lbs.. Ben was down 4-1, when he secured a takedown, near-fall points, and a fall with 1 second left in the 2nd period. The Varsity squad will look to take this momentum into next week's OCC opener vs. Worthington Kilbourne.
The Darby JV team was able to defeat the JV teams from Westerville North and Sheridan on Saturday. The Westerville North dual came down to the final match, as Darby's Hunter Steggeman came from behind to secure the pin and the dual! The JV squad is now 9-0 on the season.
On December 9th and 10, the best High School wrestling tournament in the country took place at Walsh Jesuit High School, in Akron, Ohio. Darby Junior, Jared Ball, was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the tournament, marking him the first Darby wrestler in history to wrestle in the Ironman. Not only did he wrestle in the tournament, but he went 6-1 and placed 3rd!
Jared started the tournament with a first period fall over Tariq Thurman of Oak Park, Illinois. In the 2nd round, Jared defeated Joel Leise of Reynolds, Pennsylvania (5-1). Jared hit a setback in the quarterfinals as he lost to Travis Stefanik of Nazareth Area, Pennsylvania (7-0), Stefanik is ranked as high as #5 in the country.
Jared then made a run through the consolation bracket. He first knocked off Tyler Stepic of St. Edward (4-2), then Cole Fitzpatrick of Olentangy Liberty (Fall), then J.T. Brown of Elyria (3-1). In the finals, Jared faced the Ohio State Champion, Kaden Russell, of St. Ignatius. Jared was able to defeat Russell by a score of 12-1.
Jared and the rest of the Panthers will now get back into the room to prepare for the Medina Invitational Tournament and the OCC schedule. Go Panthers!
The Darby Varsity Wrestling Team was able to defeat Grove City on Dec. 7th by a score of 65-9. Individual winners included Evan Grose, Eric Lowery, Kieren Davidson, Cesar Chamorro, Jimmie Harmon, Tai Bloch, Austin Rayburn, Quentin Thatcher, Quentin Thatcher, Taryn Dixon, Jonny Montes, Jacob Cover, and Mo Debyan.
The Darby JV Wrestling Squad was able to defeat the Grove City JV team (72-12) and the Northland varsity team (54-22). The JV team is now 7-0 in dual meets on the season.
Both the Heritage Middle School and Darby Junior Varsity wrestling team's went 5-0 at the inaugural Darby Duals, held at Hilliard Darby High School on Dec. 3rd. Both teams won their respective divisions in dominate fashion to become Darby Duals Champions
Heritage defeated Dublin Karrer (57-39), Olentangy Orange (61-28), Reynoldsburg Waggoner (78-15), Hilliard Memorial (55-37), and Dublin Grizzell (58-33). Undefeated wrestlers included Hayden Taylor, Josh Digioia, Brad Weaver, Isaiah Beneker, and Jacob Neri.
The Darby Junior Varsity team defeated Olentangy Orange (60-12), Dublin Jerome (68-12), Hilliard Bradley (56-12), Reynoldsburg (54-15), and Gahanna Lincoln (58-11). Undefeated wrestlers included Eric Lowery, Muneeb Ajlouni, Derek Neville, Caiden Rayburn, Jimmie Harmon, Justen Shaw, Tyler Edgington, Malachi McGill, and Rodney Beneker. Those individuals represented 9 out of the 12 weight classes wrestled. Also, Darby's Jillian Dye made history by being the first female wrestler to compete for Hilliard Darby High School. Congrats Panthers!
Darby was able to get four representatives for the Central District Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Meet. This year's representatives are Tai Bloch, Austin Rayburn, Quentin Thatcher, and Jacob Cover.
The CDWCA All-Star Meet is a pre-season preview matching up the top three selected Division I individuals in a weight class against the top three selected Division II/III individuals in a weight class.
Senior, Tai Bloch was selected as the #1 seed in Division I at 138lbs., he will compete against returning State Runner-Up, Jake Martinez of Licking Valley.
Senior, Austin Rayburn was selected as the alternate in the 152lb. weight class. It is undecided if he will have a match to wrestle, but will be ready if called upon.
Senior, Quentin Thatcher was selected as the #1 seed in Division I, in the 160lb. weight class. He will wrestle returning State Runner-Up, Josh Doherty of West Jefferson High School.
Lastly, Junior, Jacob Cover was selected as the #1 seed in Division I, in the 220lb. weight class. He will compete against Austin Winegarner of River Valley.
The matches will take place at Marysville High School at 7pm on November 22nd. Please come support our Panthers!!