The Whetstone High School boys volleyball team is having its best season in years.
The Braves were 13-5 before closing the regular season May 17 against Watterson.
"We're ranked in the (Division II) state poll for the first time since maybe 2009," coach Errole Rembert said. "We're 14th right now and were actually (tied for) 12th in the previous (poll).
"This team might not be as good as the teams we had back in 2008, 2009 or even in 2001 and 2002, but we're beating teams and doing what we have to do. We've only lost one match that we shouldn't have lost and that was to Watterson (22-25, 27-25, 26-24, 25-17) in our opener (on March 24)."
The Braves have been led by seniors Spencer Comyns, Lawrence Dean, Levi Leslie and Connor Vokac.
"We run a 6-2 offense and Spencer and Connor are the setters and outside hitters," Rembert said. "Lawrence is our best hitter and Levi is strong in the front and the calming glue of the team. Those guys do the majority of the work."
The Division II East Region tournament draw was May 15. First-round matches are scheduled for Saturday, May 20.
Girls track team
places third in City
The girls track and field team finished third in the City League meet May 8 and 10 at Africentric and the boys finished fourth.
Both teams are competing in the Division I, district 2 meet this week at Hilliard Darby. Field events were held May 16 and preliminaries for the running events were May 17. The finals for the running events are Saturday, May 20.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional meet Wednesday, May 24, and May 26 at Pickerington North. At regional, the top four finishers in each event qualify for state June 2-3 at Ohio State.
In the City meet, Jamie Bossenbroek finished first in the 300-meter hurdles (45.29 seconds) and second in the 100 hurdles (15.98) and Bryn Van Dommelen won the 3,200 (13:52.51) to lead the girls team, which scored 67.5 points to finish behind Northland (149) and Centennial (90.5) and ahead of Eastmoor Academy (56), East (45), Africentric and Beechcroft (44), Walnut Ridge (42), Independence (26), South (25), Linden-McKinley (16), Briggs (7), Mifflin (6) and Marion-Franklin (5).
Also for the girls, the 1,600 relay of Sofia McLemore, Arielle Swinehart, Bossenbroek and Mariyanna Lacy (4:15.64) and the 3,200 relay of Callie Umbarger, Lacy, Adrien Delapp and Van Dommelen (11:19.5) both placed second and Lacy was third in the 800 (2:26.45).
"When we began this year, I never dreamed of finishing third (in the City), so I'm extremely happy with the way the girls performed," coach Chris Lisi said. "Jamie posted her first sub-16 in the 100 hurdles and set a (personal record) in the 300 hurdles by 1.3 seconds and Brynn ran well despite not getting pushed at all.
"Overall, we had a ton of PRs and season bests. All of the coaches were happy with the girls performances."
The boys team scored 64.5 points in the league meet to finish behind Eastmoor (125), Walnut Ridge (115) and Northland (96.5) and ahead of Centennial (54), South (41), Marion-Franklin (33), Mifflin (27), East (24), Linden (19), Beechcroft (12), Briggs (9), Independence (2) and West (1).
Placing second were Andrew Pierce in the 400 (51.14), Sam Khoury in the 3,200 (10:02.74), Ibrahim Sesay in the long jump (21 feet), the 1,600 relay of Adreon Barrett, Ephrayim Robinson, Pierce and Sesay (3:24.67) and the 3,200 relay of Barrett, Emil Adams, Khoury and Francisco Soto (8:15.62)
Barrett finished third in the 800 (2:00.9) and Adams was fourth in the 1,600 (4:47.58).
Season ends for
boys tennis team
A strong season for the boys tennis team ended May 11 in a Division I sectional at Upper Arlington, as none of the Braves finished in the top four in singles or doubles to advance to the district tournament.
In singles, Kaleb White defeated Hamilton Township's Aaron Fitzsimmons 6-3, 6-0, but forfeited his second-round match because of illness. Colin Harmon-Ulmer defeated Hamilton Township's Alex Jordan 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 before losing to UA's Nathan Yu 6-0, 6-0 in the second round, and Kal Buterbaugh lost in the first round to Hamilton Township's JoeLou Watson 6-2, 6-4.
In second-round doubles matches, Armando Prince and Atticus Bulgrin lost to Olentangy's Pradhit Gosula and Alex Ulry 6-0, 6-0 and Henry Morris and Hunter Stavenger lost to second-seeded Jack Shadek and Jack Hughes of UA 6-0, 6-0. Both of the Braves' doubles teams had a first-round bye.
The Braves finished 10-3 overall and 4-1 in the City-North. Their only league loss came against league-champion Centennial, 4-1 on March 29.
In the City coaches tournament April 26 and 28 at Linden and South, Prince and Bulgrin took first place in doubles.
"Our first-singles player, Kaleb, was not there for the Centennial match, nor was our only senior, Hunter," coach Bucky Walters said. "It was our second match of the year. We had all but one player playing out of position and it hurt us. We're two matches into the season and we realized that we had lost our chance to be City-North champions.
"But the boys hung in there and really put together a good season. The boys really improved throughout the season and I'm expecting us to have a really good season next year."
Baseball team seeks
berth in City final
The baseball team played Centennial on May 15 with a sixth consecutive trip to the City final at stake.
The Braves entered the contest 18-8 overall and 10-1 in the City-North and Centennial was 9-2 in the league. If the Stars won May 15, there would have been a playoff game to determine which team would represent the City-North in the City championship game Thursday, May 18. The City-South winner also was undetermined entering this week.
Seeded 26th, Whetstone defeated 36th-seeded Marion Harding 3-2 in nine innings in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 8 before losing at second-seeded Darby 16-0 in the second round May 10.
"We scored twice in the first (inning) against Marion Harding and then couldn't hold them off," coach Tim Broskie said. "Two batters in a row, we were one strike away from winning 2-1 in seven innings. But I'm proud that we bounced back to win and get to the second round.
"Against Darby, our pitchers struggled with control and we made two huge errors. We only allowed eight hits, but we had a ton of walks and you can't beat good teams like that, let alone teams like Darby, which is 11th in the (Division I) state (poll)."
Against Marion Harding, Cameron Bragg's two-out single to right-center field in the bottom of the ninth scored Jacob Price from second base for the winning run.
Softball team forces
playoff for City final
The softball team played Centennial in a City-North playoff game May 15 to determine which team played in the City championship game May 17.
The Braves defeated Centennial 3-2 on May 10 and both teams finished 13-1 in the City-North after receiving forfeit wins over International when the Lions could not field a full team for the makeup games.
Against Centennial, Whetstone scored two runs in the first inning and led 2-1 in the sixth when winning pitcher Bailey Waitkus hit a solo home run. The Stars scored once in the top of the seventh.
"It was a really good game," coach Larry Peck said. "Both teams played very well and we managed to win, but it was a pretty clean, well-played game."
The Braves were 18-7 entering the City-North playoff game.