The Whitehall-Yearling High School girls bowling team would like nothing more than to make another strong postseason run.
It's the end of an era for the Rams, who not only will lose three senior standouts but 11th-year coach Jess Biller has announced this will be his final season.
Leading the way should be senior Madison Stiffler, who finished second (659 three-game series) in the Division I state tournament last season behind Briggs sophomore Dakota Fink (677).
The Rams finished 13th (2,956) of 16 teams during qualifying play as the top eight teams advanced to championship play.
"I keep last year in the past," said Stiffler, who rolled a 719 series to win the state title as a sophomore.
"I want to move forward and worry about now. One of our biggest goals is to get back to state. We need to hit the lanes a little harder in practice and work on our spares, but most importantly have fun and stay positive."
Stiffler has committed to bowl at Wright State.
"It's flown by, but I've loved every second of it," she said of her prep career.
Also back is senior Makayla Barber, who had a 584 series at state last season to finish 11th and earn honorable mention all-state. Stiffler was first-team all-state.
Senior Alexis Stiffler (458 at state) and junior Khylie Hardy (431) also return.
Sophomore Sydney Weatherby is in her first season and should contribute, Biller said.
Junior Shyanne Reese rounds out the team.
"We have the returning seniors who are stronger than ever and we have Khylie who is better and Shyanne who is better, and we have Sydney, who is really stepping up to our No. 4 spot," Biller said.
The Rams won their fifth consecutive MSL-Ohio Division tournament title last season, defeating Worthington Christian 3-1 in the best-of-five final as Barber earned league Bowler of the Year honors with a 562 series.
Barber, Madison Stiffler, Alexis Stiffler and Hardy were first-team all-league, Reese was second-team all-league and Biller was named Coach of the Year.
Biller expects his team to again contend for MSL and Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference titles. He said the Rams should be a favorite to win the COHSBC D title because longtime rival Briggs has moved to the C Division.
Last season, Whitehall went 14-0 in the COHSBC-South to finish first ahead of Briggs (13-1). It was its second consecutive league title.
The Rams have won 30 consecutive regular-season matches, with their last loss coming Feb. 10, 2015, against Westerville South (2,270-1,952).
Whitehall opened league play Dec. 8 with a 2,100-1,223 win over Eastmoor Academy at Holiday Lanes as Madison Stiffler had a 502 two-game series.
The Rams won the Red and Blue Classic on Dec. 2 at HP Lanes with a 2,992, with Madison Stiffler finishing first individually with a 739 series.
"We're concentrating on going forward," Biller said. "We reveled (in our success) last year, but now it's time to continue our win streak and continue winning tournaments. We have our goals."
The boys team also hopes to make a return trip to state after finishing 15th (3,076) of 16 teams last season.
Senior A.J. Stiffler led the Rams with a 580 series. Also back are junior Jason Kefauver (514) and junior Brandon Shaw (349, two games).
Seniors Charles Clark and Austin Gilbraith also are looking to contribute.
Junior Justin Biller, who had a 488 series at state last season, has transferred to New Albany. He is the son of girls coach Jess Biller.
Whitehall opened COHSBC-D play by defeating Eastmoor 2,162-1,421 as Clark had a 391 two-game series.
Last season, Whitehall won the MSL-Ohio title by defeating Columbus Academy 3-1 in the best-of-five final, and Biller earned league Bowler of the Year honors with a 682 series. Biller, Kefauver and Shaw were first-team all-league,
Stiffler was second-team all-league and Tavi Netotian was named Coach of the Year.
The Rams finished second (13-2) in the COHSBC-South behind Pickerington North (14-1).
Wrestlers tie for third in home event
The wrestling team tied Pickerington Central for third (199) in the six-team Dan Gartner Duals on Dec. 9 at home behind champion Grove City (251).
Alex Rodriguez (132 pounds), Justin Peck (170) and Assante Ndongo (heavyweight) won titles for the Rams.
Luke Gibson finished second at 138, and Jace Peck (120), Sean Hudson (126) and Andrew Dickens (195) all placed third.
Boys basketball team off to good start
The boys basketball team was 2-0 before playing Gahanna on Dec. 12.
The Rams opened MSL-Ohio play with a 68-53 win at Bexley on Dec. 9. They took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Lions 19-7 to open a 49-30 lead.
Reiko Bagley scored 23 points, followed by Darius Butler with 18 and Taylon Cofers with 11.
Gymnast competing with Central program
Sophomore gymnast Rebekah Revadelo is in her second season competing and training with the Westerville Central program.
"She got that freshman year over with," coach Shea Stammen said.
"She did recreational gymnastics then you come into high school and it's a big step up, so getting that freshman year under your belt, now she knows what to expect."
Revadelo opened her season by finishing first on balance beam (9.15), fourth in the all-around (29.85) and fifth on floor exercise (8.0) in a meet with Central, DeSales and Thomas Worthington on Dec. 6.
Stammen said Revadelo has the potential to qualify for the state meet on beam.
Last season, she finished 51st (30.625) of 90 gymnasts in the all-around at district, including a top score of 8.5 on beam to tie for 22nd of 134 gymnasts.
Dec. 2 -- Red and Blue Classic at HP Lanes
*Dec. 8 -- Eastmoor Academy at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 12 -- Ready at Game of Western Columbus
*Dec. 13 -- Boys: St. Charles at HP Lanes
*Dec. 15 -- Hartley at Holiday Lanes
Dec. 16 -- Wright State Raider Collegiate Challenge at Beaver-Vu Bowl in Beavercreek
*Jan. 8 -- Walnut Ridge at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 9 -- Columbus East at Eastland Lanes
Jan. 13 -- Muskingum University High School Bowling Invitational at Sunrise Strikes in Zanesville
*Jan. 18 -- Africentric at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 19 -- DeSales at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 22 -- Independence at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 25 -- Watterson at Sawmill Lanes
*Jan. 29 -- Mifflin at HP Lanes
*Feb. 2 -- Linden-McKinley at Holiday Lanes
Feb. 3 -- MSL tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Feb. 10 -- COHSBC tournament at Game of Western Columbus
Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 15 -- At London
Dec. 21 -- Home vs. Wellington
*Dec. 16 -- Home vs. Grandview
Dec. 19 -- At Hamilton Township
Dec. 20 -- At New Albany with Westerville North and Whetstone