Whitehall News

Whitehall City Council

Wrestling team recognized for state showing

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The coaching staff and athletes of the Whitehall-Yearling High School wrestling team were recognized during Whitehall City Council's April 16 meeting.

Head coach Steve Pennington and assistant Tim Farrow and four wrestlers -- seniors Alex Farrow and Ifa Abduljelil, junior Ashden Gibson and freshman Ana Abduljelil -- were there to accept the honor.

City Council President Jim Graham read a council resolution recognizing the performance of the Rams at the Division II state individual tournament Feb. 28-March 2.

"The team has been a source of inspiration and pride for all the city of Whitehall," Graham said.

Graham recognized the coaches and wrestlers at the beginning of the meeting. Council members also lauded the team during council polling at the conclusion of the meeting.

After presenting the resolution, Ifa Abduljelil presented a video he had made, illustrating the team's performance at the state championship. Abduljelil won a $10,000 scholarship to Ohio Wesleyan University from a pool of nearly 300 potential OWU students who entered the video-producing contest.

The resolution recognized Pennington, who was named Coach of the Year by the Central Ohio Coaches Association.

The team earned its first league title since 1968 by winning the Mid-State League-Ohio Division championship. The Rams also won their first sectional title since 1961, finished third at the district meet and 14th at state. At the inaugural state team tournament, the Rams were regional runner-up.

Individually, Farrow finished first at district and second at the state tournament to become the program's first state runner-up since 1976 and was named the Division II Wrestler of the Year by the Central Ohio Coaches Association. He finished the season 51-2.

Gibson placed third at district, advancing to the state tournament where he went 0-2 to finish 50-3.

Ifa Abduljelil placed fourth at district and went 1-2 at state to finish 43-11.

Ana Abduljelil placed third at district and seventh at state, going 3-3 to end with a 48-5 record.

Council shuffles

some funds

In other legislative action, council members adopted an ordinance transferring $100,000 from the general fund to the technology fund and an ordinance authorizing Mayor Kim Maggard to extend a contract with E.P. Ferris & Associates for an amount not to exceed $159,000.

The ordinance advancing $100,000 to the technology fund passed 5-1, with councilman Leo Knoblauch dissenting. Councilman Chris Rodriguez was absent.

The ordinance transferring $100,000 was an amended version of a previous ordinance that had advanced the same amount.

Knoblauch said he opposed the measure because it transferred, rather than advanced, $100,000 from the general fund to the technology fund.

Council members unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing Maggard to extend an existing contract with Ferris & Associates.

The ordinance approves the expenditure of an amount not to exceed $159,000 for developing a right-of-way plan in association with the signal upgrade. The ordinance approves an extension of an existing contract for an amount not to exceed $500,000.

"The original contract was for design and engineering, but then we discovered that some of our traffic signals are not in our right of way," city service director Ray Ogden said.

The right-of-way plan comes in advance of a $6.4 million project to upgrade traffic signals on East Broad Street, East Main Street and South Hamilton Road and to synchronize the signals to those in Columbus.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will fund the construction cost of the project, which is scheduled to begin next year.

New signals at all intersection on the three arterial roads will have mast arms identical to those on South Yearling Road in the city's Olde Towne District.

Cameras mounted on mast arms will determine if any vehicles have approached left-turn lanes, and all signals will be synchronized to those in neighboring Columbus to improve traffic flow through the city.

During council polling, members alluded to and appealed for prayers for those affected by the bombing April 15 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where improvised explosive devices killed three and injured nearly 175.

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