The last time the Whitehall-Yearling High School softball team won a league title before this season, senior Trinity Johnson was an infant and coach Brian Anderson was coaching T-ball in Gahanna.
The pair helped the Rams capture their first league title since 2000, as they shared the MSL-Ohio Division championship with London at 7-1.
"This is what we've been working for ever since I came into this program," Johnson said. "I felt like I was born for this softball team and to lead our team to victory. I've been saying it every year that we're going to get this far and to know that we finally made it in our final year, it feels good to finally leave a legacy especially since 2000."
The Rams shared the OCC-Capital title with Delaware in 2000.
Whitehall and London split two league games, with the Red Raiders winning 12-0 in five innings April 10 and the Rams avenging the loss 10-3 on April 11.
"This feels great," said Anderson, who is in his sixth season. "It was definitely a goal to win a championship when I came here. I didn't come here just to have fun. We wish it would have happened a little bit quicker. We were close a couple of years ago, but this year we felt with this senior class this was our year and they performed."
Whitehall secured its share of the title with a 9-5 win over Worthington Christian on May 1, while London defeated Grandview 14-3 on May 2.
The Rams and Red Raiders finished ahead of Bexley (3-5), Grandview (2-6) and Worthington Christian (1-7).
"We've been working on it four years now," senior Taylor Ford said of the league title. "It feels really good. It's a big accomplishment."
After celebrating the league title and also recognizing the team's seven seniors following a 5-4 win over visiting Berne Union on May 2, the Rams began preparing for the Division II district tournament.
Whitehall was 12-7 overall before playing host to 20th-seeded Marion-Franklin in the first round May 8. The Rams were seeded 12th of 22 teams.
The winner plays at ninth-seeded Buckeye Valley on Thursday, May 10, in the second round, with the winner playing second-seeded Jonathan Alder, 13th-seeded Centennial or 17th-seeded Linden-McKinley in a semifinal Tuesday, May 15, at a neutral site to be determined.
The district final will be played May 18 or 19 at Pickerington Central.
Anderson and his players were hoping for a matchup with Buckeye Valley. The Barons defeated the Rams 5-4 in the second round last season.
"We're very excited about the tournament," Anderson said. "Buckeye Valley knocked us out last year with a run in the bottom of the seventh and we're probably going to be matching up with them in the second round, so we're looking to get some revenge."
Through 19 games, Madison Stiffer was hitting .516 with 11 doubles, two home runs and 20 RBI, and Johnson was batting .508 with nine doubles, six triples, five home runs, 26 RBI and 36 runs.
Makayla Barber, who continues to battle a sore pitching shoulder, was batting .411 with six doubles, one home run and 26 RBI. She also was 6-1 with a 4.76 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 40 innings.
"We have many more games to come and we are not done," Johnson said before the Rams played Marion-Franklin. "Even though we won the MSL, it's time to keep moving forward and try to build the team even more."
Baseball team begins postseason
The 48th-seeded baseball team was 1-17 before playing at 24th-seeded Westerville Central in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 7.
The winner played at 10th-seeded Pickerington Central in the second round May 9, with the winner facing seventh-seeded Worthington Kilbourne, 15th-seeded Hilliard Bradley or 45th-seeded Westland in a district semifinal Monday, May 14, at a neutral site to be determined.
The district final is Wednesday, May 16, at a neutral site to be determined.
Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling boys tennis and track & field teams:
May 10, 12 -- Division I sectional at Hilliard Bradley. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 17 at Bradley and May 19 at Upper Arlington.
TRACK & FIELD
May 11 -- MSL-Ohio meet at London