Jason Kefauver couldn't be happier about his decision to join the Whitehall-Yearling High School boys bowling program as a freshman.
On March 9 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl, the senior capped his prep career by competing in the Division I state tournament for the third time. He wasn't thrilled with the way he bowled, finishing 65th of 100 competitors with a 532 series, but he loved his time on the team.
"I had hoped to do a lot better, but you win some and you lose some," Kefauver said. "It's not what I expected. I expected a lot more of myself. I'm very disappointed on how I bowled."
Last season, Kefauver finished eighth (654) to earn second-team all-state honors. As a sophomore, he had a 514 series at state.
"I believe I'm one of the best in Whitehall history," Kefauver said. "The last four years were some of the best times of my life. It was the best decision I've ever made to start bowling my freshman year."
In the regular season, the Rams finished first (3,525) during preliminary play in the MSL-Ohio Division tournament Feb. 2 at Wayne Webb's, ahead of second-place Worthington Christian (3,300), but lost to the Warriors 3-1 in the best-of-five championship series.
Senior Brandon Shaw rolled a 659 to earn league Bowler of the Year honors. Kefauver was first-team all-league, freshman Nathan McGrath was second-team all-league and sophomore Elias Rozzelle and freshman Sam McQuate were honorable mention all-league.
Others eligible to return are sophomores Nick Minor and David Sattler and freshmen Dillon Fooce, Kameron Lees and Casmir Szczepaniak.
Junior Jessica Gress led the girls team with a 511 to earn league Bowler of the Year honors. She also competed at district March 2 at HP Lanes, tying for 15th (538) of 104 bowlers.
Gress missed her sophomore season because of arthritis.
"It's amazing," Gress said of being the top bowler in the MSL-Ohio. "It's a wonderful achievement to have under my belt, especially with taking last year off. It's only going to make me stronger for next season, knowing what I'm capable of."
The Rams finished second (2,685) in preliminary play behind Worthington Christian (2,926) and lost to the Warriors 3-0 in the final.
Senior Bayla Bonner was first-team all-league and juniors Kamdon Pauley and Kayla West were second-team all-league.
Others eligible to return are junior Payton Parks and sophomore Chelsee Cress.
Boys basketball team hopes to rebound
With the nucleus of his team expected to return, boys basketball coach Drew Williams is confident the Rams will bounce back from a disappointing season.
The 31st-seeded Rams finished 10-13 overall with a 61-43 loss at ninth-seeded Newark on March 1 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.
Whitehall went 3-5 in the MSL-Ohio to finish fourth behind champion Columbus Academy (6-2).
"I had hoped that we would have done better, but I knew it was going to be somewhat of an up-and-down year because we're so young," Williams said. "Early on we lost so many games that were so close. We just could not finish games."
Senior guard Taylon Cofer was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, and senior guard Roshean Bagley was honorable mention all-league.
"I'm sure it wasn't the way the seniors wanted to end the season, but they all have their future mapped out and I hope they got as much out of this and the program as possible," Williams said. "They've added a lot to the program. They had a pretty productive four years."
Sophomore Kei'Von Wiggins was a solid contributor before being lost for the final six games because of disciplinary reasons. Williams expects Wiggins to return next season.
Cofer and Wiggins each averaged a team-high 10 points. Wiggins led in rebounding at seven per game.
"The kids really understood the value that he added to our team," Williams said. "Missing him turned out to be a big hole that we could not fill."
Junior guard Charles Miller also is looking forward to next season.
"I was disappointed with the season," he said. "It was like a roller coaster. It was up and down a lot. I felt like I could have played harder. As a team, we could have had more chemistry. We didn't click as much as we did in previous years.
"I'm ready to be a leader next year. I feel like I can do a better job and help other people focus more."
Others eligible to return are junior Amir Dallas (forward) and sophomores Teddy Brown (guard), Dorsien Butler (forward), Deleon Jackson (forward), Jaiion Lowe (center/forward), Kaden Mack (forward) and Royal Sibley (center/forward).
"I really like what I have coming back," Williams said. "I'm looking forward to it. We have a great group of kids, kids that play hard (and) play for each other."