Trying to stay sharp has been among the biggest obstacles for the Whetstone and Briggs high school baseball teams as they prepare to play for the City League championship at 5:30 p.m. today.

Trying to stay sharp has been among the biggest obstacles for the Whetstone and Briggs high school baseball teams as they prepare to play for the City League championship at 5:30 p.m. today.

The Bruins, who lost to Watkins Memorial 9-0 on May 12 in the first round of the Division I district tournament and are 17-6 overall, finished off a perfect City League-South Division season at 12-0 with a 6-5 win over West on May 15.

The host Braves haven't played since May 17, and coach Tim Broskie had no luck trying to round up a game last week. The Braves had a six-inning intrasquad game May 22 in which pitcher Bradley Barnett's team beat pitcher Derek Toler's team.

"We've done some intra-squad stuff and brought back some alumni, just trying to stay sharp," Broskie said. "For a while I couldn't get people to respond to my e-mails because they thought I was asking about summer games with it being so late in the spring."

Barnett is expected to start with Toler being the first option in relief for Whetstone, which is 18-7 overall and went 12-2 to win the City-North.

Other starters for the Braves include Ben Jackson (1B), Dan Tuttle (2B), Toler (SS) and Max Wright (3B) on the infield with Will Homan (CF), Reggie Mitchell (RF) and Ben Burkholder (LF) in the outfield. Jeremy Althouse, who has played first and second, also is a key player.

The last appearance in the final for both teams was 2006, when the Bruins won 7-6.

"We've been just trying to stay focused on practicing hard and keep our momentum," Briggs coach Brock Mullins said. "It means a lot to the program just to have them be a part of a winning atmosphere. The kids just hated it last year that we didn't make it (to the City final)."

Senior Tim Knezovich, who will play next year at Ohio Wesleyan, bats No. 3 in the lineup and will start at pitcher for the Bruins. Senior Justin Lay, who will start in left field and bat cleanup, is Mullins' first option in relief.

Sophomore Nick Howard (CF) bats leadoff and senior Shane Shiman (SS) hits second, and rounding out the lineup should be seniors Josh Allen (DH) and Joe Lilley (C), sophomore Zach Taylor (1B) and seniors Raphael Jackson (RF) and Josh Staszak (2B).

"Tim Knezovich, their big left-hander, is the real deal," Broskie said. "They start six seniors and they've got a real good catcher."

•TRACK NOTES -- Walnut Ridge sophomore Kollin Dunson is trying to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Alan, who was a state qualifier in the 110-meter and 300 hurdles for the Scots two years ago.

At the Division I district 1 meet that concluded last Saturday at Dublin Coffman, Dunson became one of 39 City individuals to advance to a regional when he took third in the 110 hurdles.

The Division I regional began last Wednesday and concludes Friday at Hilliard Davidson, with the top four in each event advancing to state June 6-7 at Ohio State.

"I was using some spikes I hadn't run in all season," Dunson said. "I was hoping they'd help me be lighter on my feet and they helped."

The Division I district meet was a learning experience for the Eastmoor girls team, which was in Division II each of the past four years. Brittany Sims advanced in the 100 and 300 hurdles to lead a young team.

"We're feeling pretty good considering it's our first time in Division I in a few years," coach Rich Bolden said. "We knew our babies would be put to the test."

The Eastmoor boys team won the Division II district 2 meet at Whetstone with 129.28 points and will send five individuals and three relays to the regional at Dayton today and Saturday.

The East boys team also is well-represented at the Division II regional at Lexington today and Saturday after three individuals and two relays advanced from the district 1 meet last Saturday.

James Swanson led the way.

"This is the first year in a while that we've been in Division II, and they've all been working hard," coach Sardi Narra said. "This is the first year competing for most of them."

•CITY CHAMPS -- Centennial and Briggs played for the City softball title last Wednesday.

The Bruins captured their second consecutive City boys tennis title with a 5-0 win over Northland on May 22. It was Briggs' eighth consecutive season in the City final.

Winners for the Bruins seniors Chettrar Nil (first singles),ĘJames Moore (second singles) and Phillip Andrick (third singles), junior Cameron Rowland and senior Charles Moore (first doubles) and sophomores Terry Minn and Jimmy Rouen (second doubles).

At a glance

Below are the regional qualifiers for City League boys and girls track and field teams with district event, place and time/distance/height:

DIVISION I

Beechcroft -- Boys: Ben Ray, 100 (fourth, 11.13), 200 (fourth, 22.36); Girls: Alycia Davis, 100 hurdles (second, 15.88)

Brookhaven -- Boys: Andrew Herrell, 400 (fourth, 52.44)

East -- Girls: Sabrinthia Calhoun, 400 (third, 1:00.38)

Eastmoor -- Girls: Kiearra Jameson, long jump (fourth, 16-1 1/2); Brittany Sims, 100 (fourth, 12.81), 300 hurdles (third, 45.9); 800 relay (third, 1:45.92)

Independence -- Boys: Terrell Carter, 110 hurdles (second, 14.64), 300 hurdles (first, 38.62); Ryan Dodson, 800 (second, 1:56.58); 800 relay (first, 1:28.12); 1,600 relay (first, 3:20.3); Girls: Teria Cornett, long jump (third, 16-8); Chenae White, 100 (third, 12.62); 400 relay (second, 49.95); 800 relay (third, 1:45.88)

Marion-Franklin -- Boys: Tyrell Massey, 100 (fourth, 11.22); Paris Turner, long jump (first, 22-4); 400 relay (fourth, 44.05); 800 relay (second, 1:31.38); Girls: Keyara Anderson, high jump (tied for third, 4-10)

Northland -- Boys: T. Andre Brown, 110 hurdles (fourth, 14.8); Alex Johnson, 200 (fourth, 22.72); 400 relay (fourth, 43.2); Girls: Andrea Madison, shot put (third, 35-5)

Walnut Ridge -- Boys: Kollin Dunson, 110 hurdles (third, 15.21)

Whetstone -- Boys: Blake Callahan, 100 (first, 14.74), 200 (first, 21.99); Mario Dovell, 110 hurdles (third, 14.78); 400 relay (second, 42.81); 800 relay (second, 1:28.8); Girls: Debbie Miller, 300 hurdles (third, 47.03)

DIVISION II

East -- Boys: Chris Carter, long jump (third, 21-1 1/2); Patrick Jones, discus (third, 141-8); James Swanson, 200 (fourth, 23.91), 400 (first, 49.91); 400 relay (second, 45.3); 800 relay (first, 1:31.92)

Eastmoor -- Boys: Darius Chandler, 1,600 (second, 4:0.42); Steven Mitchell, 110 hurdles (second, 15.6), 300 hurdles (second, 40.08); Isaiah Pead, 100 (first, 11.09), 200 (second, 22.19), 400 (first, 49.6); Vince Williams, 200 (third, 23.18); Ryan Wilborn, discus (third, 137-3), shot put (second, 50-5 3/4); 400 relay (first, 43.87); 800 relay (first, 1:29.5); 1,600 relay (third, 3:28.34); 3,200 relay (second, 8:33.33)

Linden-McKinley -- Boys: Marvin Demby, long jump (fourth, 20-7 1/4); Kerwince Jones, long jump (second, 21-3)

Mifflin -- Girls: Shawnaye Scott, shot put (first, 38-3 1/2)

South -- Boys: Shamall Russell, 100 (fourth, 11.44), 200 (third, 23.61); 400 relay (third, 45.86); Girls: Tyreshia Cody, 100 hurdles (first, 15.82), 300 hurdles (third, 49.71)

DIVISION III

Africentric -- Boys: Deshon Best, 110 hurdles (first, 15.39), 300 hurdles (second, 42.75); Victor Graham, 100 (first, 11.32), 200 (first, 22.47); Jahleel Mullins, shot put (second, 44-6 1/4); Solomon Wheat, long jump (second, 20-7); 400 relay (second, 44.79); 800 relay (second, 1:32.69); Girls: Kristin Miller, 800 (third, 2:27.42); Shardai Morrison-Fountain, 100 (first, 13.03), 200 (first, 26.06), long jump (first, 16-4 3/4)