The Whetstone High School football team wouldn't be in a position to end the season on such a strong note if it wasn't for a 16-14 upset victory Oct. 16 at Northland.

The Whetstone High School football team wouldn't be in a position to end the season on such a strong note if it wasn't for a 16-14 upset victory Oct. 16 at Northland.

There wasn't much of an opportunity for the Braves to enjoy the victory, however, because of the circumstances surrounding it.

With less than a minute remaining and with Whetstone preparing to run out the clock against the Vikings, a fight featuring several players broke out on the field.

Over the next few days, as school administrators from both schools discussed how to handle the situation. It was determined that members of each team would perform community service Oct. 22.

The activity entailed picking up trash and raking leaves at each other's school.

In addition, two Whetstone players were suspended and an undisclosed number of Northland players were disciplined for the incident.

"We preach all year about having accountability for your actions," coach Jim Worden said. "We had our part in it. We have to look in the mirror and realize our part in it. You have to stick to your core values. It's a lesson in today's society that you just have to realize that sometimes you're going to be in situations in life that you have to get through and learn from."

The victory over the Vikings set up an opportunity for the Braves to have their third consecutive winning season heading into their final regular-season games last Friday against Mifflin and Friday at home against Centennial.

"We won the game, but haven't been able to celebrate it yet," Worden said. "We're playing good football right now and have to continue to play good football. There are a lot of distractions, but the kids are moving on. We're still really locked in and working hard. Everybody's ready to get all the sanctions and move on and finish the season strong."

Worden has been pleased with the development of a young defensive backfield that includes sophomores Gage Brown, Marvin Draper and Isaiah Hayes.

"We did a really good job defensively (against Northland), our defensive line has been playing well all year and our linebackers are playing better every week," Worden said. "Our young players in the defensive backfield also are getting better. We're getting some young guys in the secondary behind our defensive line and linebacker corps which have been pretty much the same all year.

"We were talking about how when we get out of September, October is a new season. (Winning our last five) would be huge."

•The girls soccer team lost 2-0 to Hilliard Bradley in the first round of the Division I tournament Oct. 20 to finish 7-8 overall.

The Braves, who beat West Lafayette Ridgewood 1-0 in their regular-season finale Oct. 17, went 4-1 against City League opponents with their loss coming to first-year Centennial (2-1 on Sept. 1).

In the loss to Bradley, coach Phil Labuhn's strategy was to keep the score as low as possible.

"They didn't score until 36 minutes into the game and it stayed 1-0 until there was about 12 minutes left in the match," said Labuhn, who completed his 10th season. "We went into the match specifically defensive-minded because we thought if we could keep it 0-0 we'd be able to counter with a late score or we felt good if we got into a shootout. We knew that they have turf on their field and that it would be a lot faster of a game."

Sophomore Symiah Campbell stopped three of four penalty kicks she faced during the season, including one against Bradley. She finished with 19 saves against the Jaguars.

Campbell will be among the returnees for a team which loses just four seniors in Kasey Althouse, Beth Lewis, Daisy Vasilko and Susan White. Althouse finished with a team-leading 19 goals.

Others eligible to return include junior midfielder Katie Fuller and sophomore defenders Ellie Rafferty and Zoe Leach. The only other juniors were Sarah Patashinsky (midfielder) and Lee Rhein-Murray (midfielder/forward), as most of the team was comprised of freshmen and sophomores.

"Until the middle of July, (Campbell) had never played soccer before, but she showed real good progress," Labuhn said. "The rest of the girls all worked hard and did their part, especially (against Bradley)."

•The boys golf team will lose four of its top six players to graduation, but will return one of the City's top players, and its top female player, junior Haley Buskirk.

Buskirk shot a 47 at the City League tournament Oct. 14 at Airport Golf Course to finish five strokes out of first and earn second-team all-City. At the girls Division I sectional tournament Oct. 6 at Mill Creek, Buskirk shot a 95, but failed to advance to district by seven strokes.

The Braves finished second (194) in the 14-team City tournament, behind Centennial (180).

Senior Kevin Blann shot a 46, followed by Buskirk (47), sophomore Gabe Reece (51) and seniors Kelly Norris (50), Thomas Fellure (55) and Cory Poulton (60).

Whetstone also finished second overall at 35-4 behind the champion Stars (39-0). Norris joined Buskirk on the all-City second team.

Also eligible to return are sophomores Marcus Blann, Jackson Peck and Greg Rogers.

"Last year all six players for Whetstone graduated, and this year we'll lose four kids to graduation so we're pretty happy with what we'll have coming back," coach Tom Philip said. "(Buskirk) is very competitive and Gabe Reece also is a strong player. The kids all enjoyed playing and showed up to all of the matches."

•The girls tennis team will lose Caroline Block-Wilkins, Natasha Krystofik and Melissa Tewart-Darwin to graduation.

The team of Tewart-Darwin and Block-Wilkins won the doubles championship at the City League Coaches Tournament on Sept. 28 and 30 at Wolfe Park. Sophomore Ciera Auddino was the singles runner-up.

Also eligible to return is sophomore Katie Dozer, who also was a regular singles player, along with teammates Rachel Murphy, Maryanne Murray, Kate Powers, Rachel Renick, Megan Sinclair, Jenna Sprouse, Anna Tran and Nina Tran.

The Braves, who had no player advance from the Division I sectional tournament Oct. 8 and 10 at Upper Arlington, finished 7-5 overall and second at 4-1 in the City-North behind Centennial (6-0).


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Whetstone boys and girls cross country, football, boys soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Oct. 13 -- Boys: Finished first (25) in eight-team City League meet at Whetstone; Girls: Finished third (73) in eight-team City meet behind Centennial (35) and Brookhaven (70) Last Saturday -- Boys: Finished eighth (187) in 13-team Division I Section 3 race at Watkins Memorial behind champion New Albany (67). Evan Schwartz was eighth (17:31.95) and Wade Westbrook took 12th (17:39.07) to advance to the regional; Girls: Finished 12th (373) in 13-team Division I Section 2 race at Watkins Memorial behind champion Dublin Scioto (23). Shelby Schaefer was 70th (25:18.25). Saturday -- Boys: Evan Schwartz and Wade Westbrook will compete in the Division I regional at Pickerington North at 2:50 p.m. The top 16 individuals advance to the state meet Nov. 7 at Scioto Downs.

FOOTBALL

*Oct. 16 -- Defeated Northland 16-14 *Last Friday -- Def. Mifflin 28-18 *Friday -- Home vs. Centennial

Of note: The Braves are 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the City League-North Division.

BOYS SOCCER

Oct. 15 -- Lost to Pickerington Central 3-0 Oct. 21 -- Lost to Hilliard Darby 4-1 in first round of the Division I tournament. The Braves trailed 2-1 at the half.

Of note: The Braves finished 8-8 overall.

VOLLEYBALL

*Oct. 13 -- Def. Beechcroft 25-15, 25-15, 25-19 Oct. 22 -- Lost to Pickerington North 25-7, 25-11, 25-13 in first round of the Division I tournament at Big Walnut

Of note: The Braves finished 7-14 overall and third at 5-2 in the City-North behind Centennial (7-0) and Northland (6-1).

*City contest