In a season in which Whitehall-Yearling wrestling coach Steve Pennington believes his team did not reach its full potential, he still saw several bright spots.
The Rams' season ended in the Division I district tournament held March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby, as seniors Steven Fancelli (113 pounds) and Andrew Dickens (heavyweight) both went 0-2.
Whitehall dealt with numerous injuries, with Dickens and Fancelli emerging as leaders for the wrestlers who were forced into the starting lineup.
Dickens finished 36-9 with 25 pins and Fancelli, who did not compete as a junior, finished 33-10 with 16 pins.
Both won their second MSL-Ohio Division titles Feb. 15 at Bexley and were two-time district qualifiers. Dickens was named the most outstanding wrestler at the league tournament.
"This was a tough season," Pennington said. "We had a ton of talent. However, we had several injuries throughout the season that kept us from being at full strength and full potential. The leadership provided by Andrew and Steven was a huge asset not only to us coaches, but mainly to the young team we put out on the mat."
Sophomore Shea Jordan finished 33-13 at 106 with 12 pins and is 56-31 for his career.
Freshman Damion Black (113/120) finished 19-21 with 14 pins, junior Jace Peck (160) went 15-10 with seven pins and sophomore Austin Whistle (126/132) went 15-13 with seven pins.
Black was a district alternate after finishing fifth (120) at sectional Feb. 29 at Newark.
Sophomore Noah Church, who finished 14-26 at 220 with six pins, "made huge jumps this season and will be a force his next two years," Pennington said.
Junior David Winegarner (160/170) went 10-10 with seven pins and freshman Nakylan Haley (138) finished 10-19 with four pins.
Black captured the league title at 120, and Church won the league title at 220.
"The future is bright with all the returners and the incoming freshmen coach (John) Guerrero is sending us from Rosemore (Middle School)," Pennington said. "We are making offseason lifting an emphasis this year along with open mats to ensure the continual rise of Ram wrestling."