Ralph Young Trophy
Westerville North wins first All-Sports trophy
Westerville North High School athletics director Vicki Saunders is looking forward to displaying the Warriors' latest achievement in the gymnasium.
While North has numerous banners showcasing the accomplishments of its various teams, its latest award recognizes the Warriors' overall sports success during the 2012-13 school year.
For the first time, North won the Ralph Young All-Sports trophy for the OCC-Cardinal Division.
The award, in its fourth year, goes to the school in each division that performs the best in the OCC's 16 common sports over the course of a school year. Eight points are awarded for finishing first, seven for placing second, six for finishing third, and so on.
"I'm very proud of the youngsters in our program and our coaches," Saunders said. "I'm usually entertained when it comes to that. To say that I'm proud is quite the understatement."
The award honors Young, a longtime Ohio Capital Conference secretary and former athletics director at Delaware who also was a longtime track official and managed basketball tournaments at the sectional, district and regional levels for the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Young also served as treasurer of the OHSAA's Central District.
North scored 84.5 of a possible 128 points, edging Dublin Jerome (84) for the award. Hilliard Darby (74) finished third, followed by Westerville Central (73), Dublin Scioto (71.5), Westerville South (67), Hilliard Bradley (66.5) and Worthington Kilbourne (55.5).
"We're in a very competitive division in the OCC, so this was a close battle and we ended up in first place by a half a point," Saunders said.
The Warriors won league titles in boys cross country and boys and girls basketball.
The boys basketball team finished 23-2 overall, losing to Newark 59-55 in a Division I district semifinal, and went 14-0 in the OCC-Cardinal to win its first league title since 1997-98.
Kevin Thuman retired as coach following the season and was replaced by longtime assistant Shan Trusley.
For Thuman, it was a nice way to end his 18 years in the program.
"It's a testament to the quality of the kids we have at North," he said. "It's not just one team. It just goes to show you that there's a lot of really good, dedicated, hardworking athletes and I think our coaching staff reflects that, too. We have a lot of coaches at North that are hard working and they put their time in."
The girls basketball team finished 22-2 overall and won its first league title since the 2004-05 season by going 14-0. The Warriors lost to Pickerington North 50-42 in the second round of the district tournament.
"It gives the girls a lot of pride in that all their work paid off and the main thing is it's given a lot of pride for our school," girls basketball coach Jim Kloepfer said.
The boys cross country team won the league meet by scoring 34 points to finish ahead of second-place Jerome (51).
North finished second in boys golf and boys and girls track and field.
Jerome won league titles in girls soccer, girls tennis, boys golf, baseball and boys tennis.
Other winners were Pickerington North in the OCC-Ohio, New Albany in the OCC-Capital and Olentangy Liberty in the OCC-Central.
Previous winners in the OCC-Cardinal were Liberty in 2009-10 and 2011-12 and Central in 2010-11.