Whetstone High School baseball coach Tim Broskie isn't worried about his team's focus as it prepares to play host to Centennial on Monday, April 2.

Whetstone High School baseball coach Tim Broskie isn't worried about his team's focus as it prepares to play host to Centennial on Monday, April 2.

The Braves haven't advanced to the City League championship game since 2009 and the Stars are the two-time defending City League-North Division champions.

"It's a good group, a hungry group," said Broskie, who entered the season with a 325-149 record in 18 seasons as coach. "The main thing is that championships are not won on paper. They'll find out quickly that other teams want to beat you."

The Braves, who opened March 26 with a 34-0 win over Columbus East, are led by six seniors and a strong junior class after going 18-7 overall a year ago and losing to Reynoldsburg 9-4 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

Senior Ross Homan is in center field and also will see time at pitcher after finishing with 19 RBI, 28 stolen bases and 36 runs last year while earning first-team all-league and second-team all-district. Senior David Brown is back at pitcher after going 4-3 with a 2.86 ERA and also making first-team all-league.

The other returnee who made first-team all-league a year ago is junior Jon Griebel (SS), who had 22 RBI, 20 stolen bases and 29 runs.

Other seniors are Matt Barnum (2B), Zak Davidson (LF/P), Maurice McPherson (RF/P) and Kyle Radabaugh (3B/P).

Junior Kyle Oldaker should be a key pitcher after going 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA and also should see time at third base and in the outfield.

Others looking to contribute are juniors Kevin Ellison (1B/3B/P), Robert Everetts (OF/DH), Steven Foster (1B/DH), Eben George (utility player), Mike Lipster (C), Daylon Smothers (OF), Bobby Thompson (1B/OF/P) and Cameron Thompson (C).

Last season, Whetstone and Centennial both went 13-1 in the City-North, but the Stars won 7-3 in a one-game playoff to determine which team would play in the City final.

The Braves lost three players from last year's team to graduation, including Travis Buckalew (first-team all-league, second-team all-district) and Leo Cleary-Foeller (first-team all-league, honorable mention all-district).

Softball team again expects to contend for league title

The softball team also is coming off a runner-up finish in the City-North last season.

Although the Braves have just three seniors, sixth-year coach Larry Peck believes his team again should contend for the title.

Whetstone went 14-10 overall last season, losing to Lancaster 10-1 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

"We only have three seniors so we're young, but we're always young," said Peck, whose team opened March 26 by beating East 12-0. "Last year we had 47 out and at the moment we're at 29, so our overall numbers are down, but I think we're going to be a competitive team."

The Braves' only seniors are Libby Adelsberger (CF), Sarah Buckalew (C) and Katie Dozer (3B). Buckalew was first-team all-league last season along with 2011 graduates Haley Buskirk and Katie Fuller.

Junior Lauren Peck is back for her third season as the starting shortstop. Junior Briana Clemens is one of the team's most experienced pitchers and also could see time at first base.

Sophomore Liz Jackson should be at first base.

Others who could see action in the circle include sophomores Katie Elekes, Alex Myers, Maddy O'Malley and Maddy Wilming.

O'Malley (2B/LF), Elekes (RF) and Wilming (OF) and sophomore Ali Adelsberger (2B) should see time in the field.

Also looking to contribute are junior Kollene Elekes (3B) and sophomores Jasmyn Kennedy (OF) and Val Votak (2B/SS).

Last season, Whetstone and Centennial each went 13-1 in the City-North, but the Stars won 7-3 in a one-game playoff to advance to the City final.

Boys volleyball team battling injuries, inexperience

Although the boys volleyball team has five seniors, only Gabe Reece (middle hitter) and Dan Geiser (outside hitter) entered the season with significant experience at their respective positions.

Zak Bainazarov was on the team last season but has moved to setter, and Richard Lytton (middle hitter) and Kevin Bennett (outside hitter) are new to the team.

Also on the team are juniors Ty Hamilton (outside hitter/back-row specialist), Christian Cabreja (middle hitter/outside hitter) and N.D. Maston (middle hitter/outside hitter), sophomores Kaleb Christian (back row) and Mitchell Tijerina (outside hitter) and freshman Chase Maston (middle hitter/outside hitter).

Hamilton is expected to be out until at least mid-April with a foot injury, according to 29th-year coach Errole Rembert.

Last season, Whetstone went 6-15 overall and placed third at 5-5 in the Central Ohio Volleyball League, behind St. Charles (10-0) and Watterson (8-2) and ahead of DeSales (4-6), Gahanna Christian (2-8) and Licking Heights (1-9).

Gahanna Christian is not fielding a team this season.

Seeded sixth in the Division II East Region tournament last year, Whetstone lost to fourth-seeded Dublin Scioto 25-17, 18-25, 25-22, 25-14 in a first-round match.

"The kids are having fun and they like each other," said Rembert, whose team opened March 24, losing to Scioto 25-14, 25-11, 22-25, 25-11, Worthington Kilbourne 25-20, 22-25, 25-15, 25-15 and Delaware 25-17, 25-19. "They're just going to work as hard as they can."