After missing the latter part of last season with his second concussion, Whitehall-Yearling senior wrestler Andrew Dickens enters the postseason with added motivation.
The Rams will compete in a 13-team Division I sectional Saturday, Feb. 29, at Newark. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby.
"It feels great to be back," Dickens said. "The goal is to get to district then state. I have to work hard."
Dickens hopes to ride the momentum of being named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the MSL-Ohio Division tournament Feb. 15 at Bexley.
He went 4-0 on the day at heavyweight and is 34-6 on the season with 23 pins.
Dickens was a district qualifier as a sophomore, going 0-2 at 195 pounds to finish 27-16.
Another district hopeful is sophomore Shea Jordan, who is 32-11 at 106.
Senior Steven Fancelli, who won a league title at 113, is 30-7. He qualified for district as a sophomore but opted not to compete last season.
Junior Jace Peck, who is 15-10 at 160, should be another district contender.
Freshman Damion Black, who is 16-19, finished first in the league tournament at 120 and Noah Church, who is 14-24, won a league title at 220.
The Rams qualified two wrestlers for district last season, a number coach Steve Pennington hopes will increase this year.
Rashaad Strickland, a 2019 graduate, went 0-2 at 120 and Mike Dawkins went 0-2 at 132. Dawkins, a junior, transferred to Reynoldsburg.
"We have five kids who have legitimate shots (of advancing)," Pennington said. "We have a couple who are on the bubble."
Pennington expects a challenging sectional, especially because it includes top-seeded Dublin Coffman and second-seeded Lancaster.
"We're there with the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the district, Dublin Coffman and Lancaster, but we match up well with them - our good kids are where their weaker kids are," said Pennington, whose team is seeded 32nd.
"Top to bottom, it's the weakest of the four sectionals where last year we went to Newark and it was the toughest of the four. I like our chances to get quite a few out."
Mobley leads girls team to victory
Led by Alexia Mobley, the girls basketball team pulled away in the second half for a 54-36 win over visiting Licking Valley in a Division II district tournament second-round game Feb. 21.
The third-seeded Rams outscored the 14th-seeded Panthers 28-9 in the second half.
Mobley pulled down a career-high and program-record 29 rebounds.
"Rebounding is my favorite thing to do on the floor," she said. "(The late) coach Pat Summitt from Tennessee said rebounds win championships, but I had no idea I had that many. I just want to do whatever it takes to win a championship for our seniors."
Mobley also scored 14 points, followed by Jewel Watkins with 12 and Brooklynn Greer with 10.
Mobley scored 16 points, Greer had 13 and Watkins added 11 in a 63-16 win over 16th-seeded Linden-McKinley in the first round Feb. 17 at home.
Whitehall was 19-5 before playing 10th-seeded Sparta Highland in a district semifinal Feb. 25. The winner plays fourth-seeded Lakewood or eighth-seeded London in a district final Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The district champion plays Circleville or McArthur Vinton County in a regional semifinal Tuesday, March 3, at Zanesville.
Senior bowler makes district
Senior bowler Jessica Gress qualified for the Division I district tournament by tying for eighth of 192 bowlers with a 545 three-game series in the girls sectional Feb. 22 at HP Lanes.
The top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Saturday, Feb. 29, at HP Lanes.
The Rams finished 20th (2,732) of 42 teams behind champion Westerville Central (3,653).
On Feb. 21, the boys finished 38th (2,782) of 47 teams at sectional behind champion Reynoldsburg (3,991).
Elias Rozzelle tied for 112th (464) of 192 bowlers to lead Whitehall.
Boys basketball team to open postseason
The 22nd-seeded boys basketball team opens the Division I district tournament Friday, Feb. 28, at 14th-seeded Canal Winchester in the second round.
The winner likely plays top-seeded Gahanna in a district semifinal Wednesday, March 4, at a neutral site.
Whitehall, which is 14-8, lost to Gahanna 55-44 on Dec. 31.
Girls soccer coach steps down
Maria Shipe has stepped down after one season as girls soccer coach because of other commitments, according to athletics director Bill Hughett.
The Rams finished 3-12-1 overall and 0-7 in the MSL-Ohio last fall.
"Maria brought an intensity to our practices and raised the overall motivation of our girls soccer program and we will miss her greatly," said Hughett, who now is searching for the program's third coach in three seasons.
Alex Setser coached the team in 2018, when the Rams went 3-10 overall and 0-6 in the league.
The Rams also continue to search for a new girls volleyball coach to replace Haley Bright, who guided the team for one season.
Senior gymnast vies at district
Senior gymnast Rebekah Revadelo capped her prep career by competing in the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne.
Revadelo tied for 14th on balance beam with an 8.9.
"Her routine was beautiful," coach Shea Stammen said. "She got all of her bonus. She got her start value. She didn't fall. She did what she needed to do. You can't control the scores."
The top eight individuals in each event advanced to state Saturday, Feb. 29, at Hilliard Bradley.
Revadelo, who also competed on floor exercise (8.0) and uneven bars (7.2), trained all four years with Westerville Central.
"I'm really going to miss hanging out with my team," Revadelo said. "I don't know if I'm going to continue gymnastics. I'd really like to."