City League title is highlight for golf team
Whetstone High School boys golf coach Tom Philip had little to say when reflecting on the season, in which the Braves won their third consecutive City League championship.
"It was fantastic," he said.
Whetstone shot a 183 to win the nine-hole City tournament Oct. 9 at Mentel Memorial. Centennial (204) was a distant second, followed by Briggs (230), Walnut Ridge (232), Columbus South (246), Eastmoor Academy (253), Columbus West (254), Brookhaven (268) and Independence (269). Marion-Franklin and Mifflin also competed but neither had a team score.
Whetstone, which went 11-0 in City dual matches, totaled 42 points in league play. The Braves received two points for each team they finished ahead of in the league tournament and two points for each victory in a league dual match.
Centennial (38, 10-1) finished second in the overall City standings, followed by Briggs (32, 8-3), Walnut Ridge (30, 7-3-1), South (24, 6-4-1), Eastmoor (22, 5-6), West (20, 6-5), Brookhaven (16, 5-6), Independence (6, 1-6), Mifflin (6, 3-8) and Marion-Franklin (4, 2-9).
Sophomore Dylan Matthews led the City with a 43-stroke, nine-hole average in league play. Rounding out the top five scoring averages were Centennial's Phil Pezzata (44.5), sophomore Carson Matthews (44.6), Centennial's Andrew Swisher (46.3) and Briggs' Kyler Hogle (46.3). Dylan and Carson Matthews are brothers.
The other scoring averages in league play for the Braves were sophomore Quentin Pruneau (50.0), senior Steven Foster (50.6), senior Nick Evans (51.7) and sophomore David Stern (54.3).
Dylan Matthews and Carson Matthews earned first-team all-league honors. Pruneau and Foster were second-team all-league and Evans and Stern were honorable mention all-league.
Whetstone shot a 424 in the 12-team Division I sectional tournament Oct. 2 at The Players Club at Foxfire to finish 12th, behind district-qualifiers New Albany (298), Dublin Jerome (305), Teays Valley (313) and Olentangy (323).
Dylan Matthews led the Braves at sectional with a 101. Carson Matthews was next with a 103, followed by Foster (107), Pruneau (113) and Evans (115). Reynoldsburg's Darnell Ellis shot an 82 to secure the fourth and final individual district-qualifying spot.
Whetstone loses two seniors in Evans and Foster.
"He started out slow," Philip said of Evans. "But he decided he wanted to finish strong and he did. That set a good example for the younger kids, that you put your mind to the game and you don't let the bad rounds get to you and you press forward on the positives. That was a good lesson."
Expected to return are the Matthews brothers, Pruneau, Stern and junior Drew Gabalski.
"We had to replace three seniors with sophomores (this season)," Philip said. "I expected it would be fine, but I wasn't sure. As it turns out, they came through."
Gabalski served as team captain this season for his approach to the game.
"I expect him to continue that next year," Philip said. "He'll have the leadership we need."
Philip not only wants his team to continue to be the team to beat in the City, but for his team's success to expand its boundaries.
"Now they have to shoot for doing well at the districts, as a team or someone qualifying as an individual," Philip said. "Really, that's what we'll look forward to next year."
Work ethic key to success for girls tennis team
The girls tennis team went unbeaten in the regular season, finishing 12-0 overall on the way to winning its third consecutive league championship and sixth in the last seven years.
"I was hoping the work ethic would be there because we were so young," coach Bucky Walters said. "But I was definitely not disappointed. Every kid put in that little extra."
Whetstone defeated Columbus West 4-1 in the City championship match Oct. 8, winning two of the three singles courts and both doubles courts. Senior Abby Nypaver defeated Leah Neimester 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, junior Alex Myers beat Katherine Bustos 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 at second singles, seniors Dora Mase and Jessica Price beat Christina Dickerson and Shayla Prillerman 7-5, 6-4 at first doubles and freshmen Sophia Rizzi and Lily Morris defeated Halima Omar and Jazmin Sigala at second doubles.
Sophomore Saorise Jones lost to Lian Kim 5-7, 7-6, 7-6 at third singles.
The Braves went 5-0 in the City-North to reach the City championship match. Centennial was second at 4-1.
Myers and Nypaver in singles and the doubles team of Mase and Price made first-team all-league and the doubles team of Rizzi and Morris was second team.
Whetstone competed in the Division I sectional tournament Oct. 4 and 6 at Upper Arlington.
In singles, Nypaver defeated Zanesville's Emily Denton 6-2, 6-1 in the opening round before losing to Upper Arlington's Jessica Patton 6-2, 6-1 in the second round, Myers defeated West's Leah Neimeister 6-2, 6-1 in the first round and lost to Gahanna's Kiara Shaw 6-3, 6-2 in the second round and Jones lost to Upper Arlington's Olivia Kompa in the first round.
In doubles, Mase and Price defeated Dickerson and Prillerman 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 in the first round before losing to Dublin Scioto's Medha Choudhary and Karishma Patel 6-1, 6-3 in the second round, and senior Arionna Darling and junior Kamena Willoughby lost to Omar and Sigala 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round.
Whetstone loses four seniors in Darling, Mase, Nypaver and Price.
"She's been an absolute constant," Walters said of Nypaver. "She improved every year. She's leaving big shoes to fill. ... It's going to be pretty wide open for next year's players as to who holds those singles and doubles positions."
Jones, Morris, Myers, Rizzi and Willoughby are expected to return, as are junior Lynne Connolly and freshman Brenna O'Sullivan.
"There's some others that might come up, but those are the ones that will probably do something (next season)," Walters said.
Football team ends season with win
The football team rallied to defeat host Centennial 26-20 on Oct. 26 to finish 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the City-North.
Whetstone, which won three of its last four games, extended its winning streak against the Stars to 10 games. Centennial, which hasn't beaten the Braves since 2002, finished 1-9 and 1-6.
The Braves trailed 14-0 in the first quarter before quarterback Ramroth Finnegan connected with Yusef Conteh on a 20-yard touchdown pass as well as the two-point conversion to make it 14-8.
In the second quarter, Finnegan threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Conteh and connected with Trent Harper on the two-point conversion, giving Whetstone a 16-14 lead at halftime.
The Braves extended their lead to 24-14 in the fourth quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run by Damon Rosemond and a pass from Finnegan to Chris North for the two-point conversion. After Centennial scored to make it 24-20, Whetstone closed the scoring with a safety, when the Stars snapped the ball out of the end zone.
Finnegan completed 25 of 43 passes for 261 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Conteh had nine receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns and Rosemond rushed for 52 yards and a score on 13 carries.
Whetstone outgained Centennial 313-220 in total yards.
Volleyball team concludes season
The girls volleyball team defeated Beechcroft 25-14, 25-16, 25-14 on Oct. 23 before concluding the season with a 24-26, 18-25, 25-20, 25-21, 16-14 loss to Columbus East on Oct. 25.
The Braves finished 13-6 overall and 12-4 in the City-North.