Led by pitcher Jonathon Griebel, the Whetstone High School baseball team captured its second consecutive City League championship and its eighth in 20 seasons under coach Tim Broskie.
The senior limited host Briggs to two hits in the Braves' 5-0 win in the City championship game May 16.
Whetstone earned a berth in the City final by winning the City League-North Division, its 11th City-North title during Broskie's tenure. The Braves went 14-0 in the league, with Centennial (12-2) and Northland (10-4) placing second and third, respectively.
Whetstone has won 30 consecutive City games.
"Jonathon Griebel was lights-out against a very good hitting Briggs team," said Broskie, whose team beat Briggs 17-7 in the City championship game last season. "That was his best pitching performance of the season. His curveball and fastball were on, he hit his spots and kept them off balance. They were frustrated and you could see it.
"(Assistant coach) Doug Roberts did a wonderful job calling pitches and was unpredictable. It was a masterpiece, very impressive."
Senior first baseman Steven Foster went 3-for-4 with an RBI as Whetstone managed only five hits. Senior catcher Cameron Thompson and senior second baseman Ozzie McMahon had the other hits.
Thompson also had a sacrifice fly, as did senior right fielder Mike Lipster.
"We made the most of our hits and we moved the ball," Broskie said. "We did a good job of executing and doing the little things and Jonathon took care of the rest of it."
Whetstone nearly reached its other goal, which was to advance to a Division I district semifinal. Seeded 24th of 41 teams in the district, the Braves beat 28th-seeded Mount Vernon 7-2 in the first round May 13 before losing to ninth-seeded Dublin Jerome 4-3 in the second round May 15 to finish 17-8 overall.
"We led Jerome the entire game until they scored two in the bottom of the seventh," Broskie said. "We got the first out, then hit a batter and they got an infield single. A walk loaded the bases and then there were two close and controversial plays at home plate. The first one tied it when the umpire said we missed the tag, but it was a force out. The second one was a bang-bang play."
Senior Kyle Oldaker and junior Chris Hutchings limited Jerome to two hits.
Against Mount Vernon, junior John Jannazo pitched a six-hitter and the Braves had nine hits. They bunted six times and four were successful squeeze plays.
"We played so well in the tournament and I'm proud of the way these kids performed, even though it hurt to lose like that," Broskie said. "We started eight seniors in the City championship (game), so it'll be interesting to see what happens next year. But we only returned four starters this year and, after the suspension of several guys because of (breaking) curfew on our spring trip, look at the way they all responded."
The seniors are McMahon (.529, 26 runs, 18 RBI, 24 stolen bases), Griebel (.521, 34 runs, 28 RBI, 30 stolen bases), Foster (.471, 31 runs, 35 RBI, 27 stolen bases), Thompson (.431, 20 runs, 23 RBI), Lipster (.315, 19 RBI), Oldaker (.314), outfielder Robert Everetts (.396, 19 runs, 17 RBI) and infielder Eben George (.314).
In addition to pitching, Oldaker played third base and in the outfield.
Griebel went 8-2 with a 1.90 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 48 innings. Jannazo was 2-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 32 1/3 innings and junior Justin Stern was 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA in 15 2/3 innings.
Among those expected to return are Hutchings, Jannazo, junior outfielder Ty Phillips-Bond and freshman shortstop Sam Price (.444, 15 runs, 13 stolen bases).
Softball team repeats as City champion
The softball team defended its City League championship by defeating host Briggs 6-2 on May 17.
Whetstone, which beat the Bruins 3-2 in the City final last year, finished 19-8 overall and won the City-North title, going 14-0 as Centennial (12-2) placed second.
Junior catcher Mara Diaz led the way in this year's City championship game, as she hit a two-run single in a four-run second inning and had an RBI-double in a two-run sixth. She finished 3-for-3 and also threw out two runners attempting to steal.
Senior Briana Clemens pitched a three-hitter and the Braves had eight hits off Briggs pitcher Jordan Estep. Junior outfielder Maddy O'Malley and senior outfielder Jasmyn Kennedy both had an RBI single.
"Our outfield played tremendous," said coach Larry Peck, whose team has won five of the last seven City championships. "Maddy O'Malley had seven putouts in center, (junior) Katie Eleckes had three in right and Jasmyn Kennedy caught one up against the fence that would've been a home run. Our defense was great.
"It was great redemption after the way we played in the district tournament."
Seeded 34th of 42 teams, Whetstone lost to 16th-seeded Thomas Worthington 11-0 in five innings in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 14. The host Cardinals scored 10 runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Whetstone loses seven seniors, including five starters in Clemens, Kennedy, Lauren Peck (SS), Brenna Feltz (utility) and Audrey Bollas (P). The other seniors, Grace Butcher (OF) and Lomina Bempah (OF), were first-year varsity players.
Sophomore Madison Wilming and freshman Riley Porter are the front-runners to replace Clemens in the circle next season.
Other expected returnees include Diaz, Eleckes, O'Malley and juniors Ali Adelsberger (2B), Liz Jackson (1B) and Val Vokac (3B).
"Obviously, the first thing we'll need to replace is pitching, although Wilming and Porter showed really great progress," coach Peck said. "Plus, we'll need to find a shortstop and I think we have several candidates who will do just fine there."
Girls track team places third in City meet
Led by senior Arionna Darling and sophomore Elizabeth Khoury, the girls track and field team placed third in the City meet May 13 and 15 at home.
Whetstone scored 81 points in the meet to finish behind Eastmoor Academy (111) and Northland (104) and ahead of Columbus International (56), Africentric (48), Walnut Ridge (34), Brookhaven (31), Centennial (30), Beechcroft (29), Independence (23), Columbus South (21), Marion-Franklin (16), Columbus West (8), Linden-McKinley (7), Columbus East (6), Briggs (4) and Mifflin (3).
Darling won both the discus (123 feet, 1 inch) and shot put (37-9 1/2) and Khoury placed second in the 800 meters (2 minutes, 34.22 seconds), third in the 1,600 (5:48.19), anchored the winning 3,200 relay (10:45.78) and was a member of the 1,600 relay that placed sixth (4:25.75).
Caitlyn Haughley, Helen Davis and Bianca McLemore each scored in three events.
Haughley placed sixth in the 100 hurdles (18.66), seventh in the 300 hurdles (55.81) and eighth in the high jump (4-4) and Davis placed seventh in the 800 (2:41.94) and teamed with Julianna Hawsman, Kelli Chin and Khoury in the 3,200 relay and Khoury, Bianca McLemore and Chin in the 1,600 relay.
In addition to being on the 1,600 relay, McLemore placed fourth in the long jump (15-1/2) and sixth in the 400 (1:00.57).
Cassie Chenoweth placed third in the 3,200 (13:37.87).
The boys team tied Linden for fifth (41) in the City meet, behind Eastmoor (132), Independence (130.5), Brookhaven (43) and Centennial (43) and ahead of Northland (40.5), Walnut Ridge (36), Mifflin (35), Marion-Franklin (17), South (15), East (14), Briggs (12), Beechcroft (9), Africentric (5) and Columbus International (1).
Junior Hayden Palmer placed second in the 1,600 (4:50.6), eighth in the 800 (2:11.79) and teamed with Kellen Kincaid, Damarius Bradley and Alec Waitkus to place sixth in the 1,600 relay (3:44.88).
Kincaid was runner-up in the 800 (2:02.75) and David Simmons placed second in the long jump (20-8). Also scoring were Darius Bester in the 100 (fifth, 11.23), Yussuf Ibrow in the 3,200 (sixth, 11:24.28), Idiris Ibraham in the 3,200 (seventh, 11:30.86) and Joel Paige in the discus (seventh, 99-1 1/2).
Both the boys and girls teams are competing in the Division I, district 3 meet this week at Hilliard Darby. The meet began May 22 with field events, continues Thursday, May 23, with running event preliminaries and concludes Saturday, May 25, with running event finals.
The top four finishers in each district event advance to the regional meet Wednesday, May 29, and May 31 at Pickerington North.
Boys tennis season ends at district
No members of the boys tennis team advanced out of the Division I sectional tournament May 16 at Upper Arlington.
The doubles team of sophomore Quentin Pruneau and freshman Akeem Adesiji had a first-round bye and defeated Central Crossing's Mikey Massey and Dennis Meleshchuk 6-4, 6-2 in the second round before losing 6-1, 6-1 to top-seeded Jeff Melvin and Nate Wallace of Upper Arlington in a district-qualifying match.
Also in doubles, junior Ricky Bowman and freshman Winfield Slocum beat Central Crossing's Aaron Hill and Jacob Cerino 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the first round before losing 6-0, 6-0 in the second round to second-seeded Peter Pema and Ben Minton of Upper Arlington.
In singles, junior Drew Gabalski defeated Central Crossing's Stephen Taylor 7-6, 6-3 in the first round before losing to Westerville North's Sam Payne 6-1, 6-0 in the second round, junior Matthew Ray lost to St. Charles' Will Niermeyer 6-0, 6-3 in the first round and senior Brink Hering lost to West's Marcell West 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the first round.
The top four finishers qualified for the district tournament.
Whetstone played West in the City League championship match May 20.