Eliminating some of the mistakes that contributed to the Whetstone High School football team's lopsided loss in its opener is among its goals heading into a Week 2 matchup Friday, Aug. 31, at home against Briggs.
The Braves had a touchdown called back because of a penalty and other miscues that hindered their progress during a 54-6 loss to Wat-kins Memorial on Aug. 24, according to first-year coach Tom Jones.
"The penalties, I thought, were lopsided (against us)," Jones said. "They did a great job on defense shutting us down, but penalties killed us. We'd get two or three good plays and would take two steps forward, one step backward."
Briggs, which opened Aug. 24 with a 53-22 loss at first-year Olentangy Berlin, beat the Braves 31-6 last season. Whetstone was held to minus-38 total yards in that matchup with the Bruins, scoring its only points on a fumble return.
The Bruins trailed Berlin 40-14 at halftime.
Briggs quarterback Josh Gainey finished 12-for-24 passing for 217 yards with two touchdowns and one interception and rushed 12 times for 73 yards and one score. Jalin Lake had two receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns and Eli Dillon, David Downs and Jaylen Smith had two catches apiece.
"I'm assuming (Briggs') numbers are similar to ours," Jones said. "They put up 22 points against the new Olentangy school, so we're not going to look at them light-heartedly. The thing that's interesting is hopefully we can grow in numbers when school starts. A lot of guys played two ways (against Watkins Memorial), so hopefully we can get it to where we have more guys playing one way."
Whetstone trailed Watkins Memorial 9-0 when Darric McClintock ran for a 17-yard touchdown, but the play was nullified because of a personal foul.
The Braves scored in the fourth quarter when Dorian Jordan picked up a loose ball after a blocked field goal and ran 26 yards for a touchdown.
"I took most of the starters out when it was 30-0, so (Watkins Memorial) put up 24 points on our backups," Jones said. "In the fourth quarter, guys were cramping. We've got to get our starters playing very well."
Girls soccer team has experience
The girls soccer team had its streak of consecutive City League titles snapped at five last season when it lost to Centennial 2-1 (2-1 in penalty kicks) in the City championship game at Mapfre Stadium.
The Braves returned 13 letterwinners, including six who earned starts last season.
"We lost (10 graduates), but we have a lot of girls with experience back and we're pretty excited about the season," second-year coach Doug Kohler said. "We played a lot of girls last year and the best news is that we only have three seniors this year. We have six juniors and seven sophomores on the roster, so next year should look pretty good, too.
"The problem we've had early is that we were rarely able to get all of the girls together for practices to establish team chemistry and a set lineup. But now that school has begun, it'll be much better."
The Braves were 1-1-1 before playing Tree of Life on Aug. 28. They lost to Teays Valley 10-0 in their opener Aug. 18 and defeated Sparta Highland 1-0 on Aug. 20 before tying Caledonia River Valley at 1 on Aug. 23.
The returning starters are senior Olivia Evans (goalkeeper), juniors Lily Mathys (midfielder), Olivia Mullins (defender) and Misa Norris (forward) and sophomores Amelia Morris (defender) and Annabelle O'Neal (defender).
Other returning letterwinners are senior Ella Umbarger (midfielder/forward), juniors Ellis Scanlon-Kimura (midfielder) and Elise Peters (forward/midfielder) and sophomores Julian Calderone (forward/midfielder), Mira Dush (midfielder), Elizabeth Martin (forward/midfielder) and Ellie O'Shaughnessy (for-ward/midfielder).
Dush scored against Highland and River Valley.
Newcomers are senior Sydney Kohler (midfielder), junior Edee Malley (forward/midfielder), sophomore Shekina Gresham (defender/midfielder) and freshmen Lily Hoyt (midfielder), Ella Norris (defender) and Nezzie O'Malley (midfielder/defender).
Last season, Whetstone finished 8-7 overall and went 5-1 in the City to share first place with Centennial in the regular season before falling to the Stars in the City final. The Braves lost six all-league performers to graduation, including first-team honorees in Jamie Bossenbroek, Mary Doherty and Haylee Thomas-Speigle.
The Braves open league play Sept. 13 at home against West.
Boys soccer team out to better start
The boys soccer team returned six starters and is off to a better start than it had last year.
The Braves opened 1-5 last season but finished 7-10-1 overall. They went 4-2-1 in the City League-North Division to place third.
Guided by sixth-year coach Larry Howell, Whetstone won its first two contests, beating Sparta Highland 7-0 in the opener Aug. 20 and Marion Harding 4-1 on Aug. 21. The Braves played Chillicothe Unioto on Aug. 28.
Whetstone's league opener is Sept. 11 at Linden-McKinley.
Seniors Kurtis Chenowith (defender), Tyler Coleman (forward) and Michel Edmund (defender) are returning starters and are expected to lead the Braves. Other returning starters are juniors Brendon Clem (defender), Nathan Hochstetler (goalie) and Louis Schirmer (defender).
Last season, Clem was first-team all-league, Schirmer made second team and Coleman was honorable mention.
Completing the roster are juniors Ibrahim Bangura (for-ward/midfielder), Jacob Barczak (midfielder/goalie), Daniel Solano (midfielder) and Yacine Rouag (forward), sophomores Max Cipriani (midfielder), Javier Cruz (defender), Leo Davey (midfielder) and Brack Dillon (midfielder) and freshmen Rafeal Arebelo (defender), Carson Dellesky (defender) and Samuel Garcia (midfielder).
Aug. 20 -- vs. Sparta Highland
Aug. 21 -- at Marion Harding
Aug. 28 -- at Chillicothe Unioto
Aug. 30 -- vs. Watterson
Sept. 4 -- at Briggs
Sept. 6 -- vs. Lancaster
*Sept. 11 -- at Linden-McKinley
*Sept. 13 -- at East
*Sept. 18 -- vs. Beechcroft
*Sept. 20 -- vs. Mifflin
*Sept. 25 -- at Northland
*Sept. 27 -- vs. International
Sept. 29 -- at Central Crossing
*Oct. 1 -- vs. Centennial
Oct. 4 -- vs. South
Oct. 8 -- vs. Independence
Aug. 18 -- at Teays Valley
Aug. 20 -- vs. Sparta Highland
Aug. 23 -- vs. Caledonia River Valley
Aug. 28 -- at Tree of Life
Aug. 30 -- at Westland
Sept. 4 -- at Columbus School for Girls
Sept. 12 -- at Johnstown
*Sept. 13 -- vs. West
*Sept. 20 -- at International
*Sept. 25 -- vs. Mifflin
Sept. 27 -- at Hamilton Township
*Oct. 1 -- vs. Centennial
*Oct. 2 -- at Briggs
Oct. 8 -- at Mount Vernon
Oct. 9 -- vs. Bloom Carroll
Below are the coming schedules for the Whetstone boys golf, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
*Sept. 4 -- Briggs and Mifflin at Raymond Memorial
*Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Northland
*Aug. 30 -- Home vs. Linden-McKinley
*Sept. 4 -- At International