Some of what could be the nucleus of next season's Reynoldsburg High School football team was on display during its season finale Nov. 1 against visiting Groveport.
With senior running backs Zack Mehan and David Moore not available to play, sophomore Cameron Young saw his first extensive action of the season and responded by rushing for 128 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries to help the Raiders win 30-14.
Reynoldsburg finished 5-5 overall, its third consecutive non-losing season under coach Buddy White.
"One thing we have no shortage of at Reynoldsburg is running backs," White said.
In addition to Young, the Raiders closed the season with sophomore Conner McCloud at quarterback, junior Andrew Callender as one of their key wide receivers and sophomore Mark Gooden as a key defensive lineman.
For the defense against Groveport, senior lineman Solomon Grace led with 9.5 tackles and junior defensive back Ashton Dulin had eight tackles and one interception.
Senior running back Jamel Hillman rushed for 82 yards on 13 carries after seeing little playing time most of the season.
"Hillman and Cameron actually both did a great job," White said. "I was very, very pleased with how hard the kids played. Defensively, we were still flying around."
Reynoldsburg followed a 3-1 start by losing four in a row, but beat Newark (43-13 on Oct. 25) and the Cruisers to close the season.
The Raiders, who have gone 18-12 under White, tied Lancaster and Gahanna for fourth in the OCC-Ohio Division at 3-4, behind co-champions Pickerington Central and Pickerington North (6-1) and Grove City (5-2), and ahead of Groveport and Newark (1-6).
Wallace finishes season at state
For the third consecutive year, junior Leah Wallace concluded her cross country season in the Division I state meet.
On Nov. 2 at National Trail Raceway, Wallace found herself in a pack in the upper one-fourth of the race but wasn't able to close the gap and ended up 45th in 19 minutes, 22.63 seconds.
"When you're in the top 30 or 40 you can still get into the top 10, but the second mile is crucial and my body just didn't go," Wallace said. "Obviously, I'm really disappointed. I tried, but it just wasn't my race."
Wallace, who was 13th at state as a freshman and 16th a year ago, has her eye on preparing for the track and field season after qualifying for state the last two seasons in the 3,200 meters.
"This season was really disappointing, and all I can do is learn from it and go to state for outdoor track," Wallace said.
Wallace earned a runner-up finish in the league meet Oct. 12 at Pickerington Central in 19:37.46. Then in the district meet Oct. 19 at Watkins Memorial, she came in third in 19:00.32.
Wallace ran 19:07.19 to place eighth in the regional Oct. 26 at Pickerington North.
The girls team finished sixth (167) in the seven-team league meet behind champion Gahanna (29) and 14th (372) in the 17-team district 3 meet behind champion Upper Arlington (64).
Freshman Abby Hutson-Comeaux was the team's No. 2 runner in the league and placed 62nd (21:57.31) at district. Also competing at district were senior Kaitlyn Hill, juniors Kaily Leslein and Mallory Bruggeman and freshmen Rachel Huffman and Sara Lichtner.
The No. 1 runner for the boys team, Donovan Kitchen, also was its only senior.
Kitchen finished 24th (17:49.48) in the league meet as the Raiders placed sixth (163) behind champion Lancaster (30).
In the 16-team district 3 meet, Reynoldsburg was 12th (352) behind champion Lancaster (36) as Kitchen placed 61st (18:11.36).
Freshman Joey Russell was 32nd (18:01.81) in the league and 65th (18:15.55) at district.
Also competing in the postseason were juniors Christian Snyder and Mike Crider and freshmen Hunter Rich, Warrick Stanford and John Mauritz.
Ring earns team tennis award
Senior Paris Ring was named the girls tennis team's Most Valuable Player at its recent banquet, according to coach Les Somogyi.
Ring was a four-year letterwinner who played third singles most of the season and went 12-5.
Junior Jessika Acosta-Gorman was named Most Improved Player and senior Brea Brooks was the team's scholar-athlete winner.