Football team to open MSL play
After splitting its four non-league games, the Whitehall-Yearling High School football team now will focus its attention on the MSL-Ohio Division.
The Rams begin league play when they play host to Bexley on Friday, Sept. 27.
Whitehall, Bexley and Columbus Academy remained in the realigned MSL-Ohio and have been joined by Grandview, London, Madison Plains and West Jefferson.
Worthington Christian is playing a junior varsity schedule this season and will compete at the varsity level in 2014.
"That's a big thing, we have the league coming up," coach Jake Kuhner said. "Bexley is 4-0. It's our homecoming game. It's going to be a tough one. They're well-coached over there. It's always a rivalry between us and them."
Last year, the Rams defeated Bexley 28-10 in the season finale.
It will be the fourth of five consecutive home games for Whitehall in its renovated stadium.
Running back B.J. Upchurch said the Rams are focusing on winning a league title.
"We've been saying for a long time that we can do it," he said. "This is our year. The seniors can do something. We think we can do it."
Bexley improved to 4-0 with a 48-12 win over host Grandview on Sept. 20 in its league opener.
Quarterback Andre Stewart rushed for 215 yards, including three first-quarter touchdowns, on 14 carries and running back Rasheed Morgan added 157 yards on eight carries.
Bexley's offense finished with 543 yards -- all on the ground -- and the defense had four interceptions.
This is Bexley's best start since 2006 when it also began 4-0 and finished 8-2, but failed to qualify for the Division III playoffs by one spot.
Last season, the Lions finished 2-8 overall and 1-6 in the MSL-Ohio.
Whitehall fell to 2-2 with a 49-19 loss to visiting Ready on Sept. 19.
The Rams fell behind 28-0 in the second quarter.
Akili Taylor led the Silver Knights, rushing for 276 yards on 23 carries.
'The kids didn't give up," Kuhner said. "It was just mental mistakes. Penalties killed us. Ready is a tough team. That running back, I haven't seen anything like him this year."
For Whitehall, quarterback Cody Koons scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and connected with wide receiver Demetrius Ridgeway for a 61-yard touchdown in the third. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 183 yards.
Running back Shaquille Alexander scored on a 7-yard run in the fourth.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Upchurch said. "It was a tough loss, unfortunately, but you just have to get through it and move on."
Through four games, Koons has completed 47 of 83 passes for 687 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has rushed for 356 yards and five touchdowns on 75 carries.
Alexander has rushed for 361 yards and three touchdowns on 98 carries, and Upchurch has 20 receptions for 281 yards and four touchdowns.
Boys runners finish 15th at Lancaster
The boys cross country team finished 15th (398) behind champion and host Lancaster (36) in the Bob Reall Invitational on Sept. 21 as 17 teams scored.
The Rams' Nahom Hailu was 27th of 112 runners in 18 minutes, 27.9 seconds.
Ana Abduljelil was 76th (20:12).
MSL-Ohio tennis tournament postponed
The MSL-Ohio girls tennis tournament was postponed Sept. 21 because of bad weather.
It will be played Saturday, Sept. 28, at Columbus Academy.
The Rams fell to 0-4 in the league with a 5-0 loss at home against Grandview on Sept. 17.
Whitehall, which was 0-6 overall before playing Bloom-Carroll on Sept. 24, also lost to Ready 4-1 on Sept. 18, as Manalee Patel and Ariana Oldham won 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 at first doubles.
Volleyball team loses two league matches
The girls volleyball team was 4-11 overall and 0-7 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Columbus Academy on Sept. 24.
The Rams were competitive in a pair of league losses last week, losing to Worthington Christian 25-20, 25-23, 25-23 on Sept. 17 and Grandview 25-20, 25-17, 23-25, 25-20 on Sept. 18.
"We are struggling with learning how to finish games," coach Danielle Smith said.
"We are going to work on playing with a lead in practice and learning how to play to win and not be afraid of losing and making mistakes. Mistakes happen, we have to learn to play through them and move on to the next point."
Boys soccer team falls to Comets
The boys soccer team was 1-6-1 overall and 0-1-1 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Grove City Christian on Sept. 23.
The Rams lost at Central Crossing 3-0 on Sept. 16.
"We had two mental errors on defense," coach Dan Ensign said. "In the second half we got settled and played a good half. We couldn't generate much offense. We are low on defensive players."