City League Roundup: Camaraderie carries Northland boys soccer squad to championship

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Roland Ohene Ntow (front) helped the Northland boys soccer team capture its first City League championship since 2007. The Vikings beat Mifflin 3-1 on Oct. 27 in the league title game. Ntow assisted on all three goals.

One characteristic the Northland boys soccer team displayed throughout what became its best season in more than a decade centered on how each player treated one another.

The Vikings beat Mifflin 3-1 on Oct. 27 to capture their first City League championship since 2007.

“We went back to our fundamentals of playing with each other, passing to one another and never, ever getting frustrated,” senior winger K.B. Abdullahi said. “That’s one of our rules as a team. We don’t give up on any single person and we never get frustrated with each other. That’s what really pulled us through.”

After winning just four games last season, Northland won all eight of its regular-season City games.

City teams didn’t participate in the OHSAA district tournament, but the Vikings then beat Briggs 8-0 on Oct. 20 in a quarterfinal and Centennial 3-0 on Oct. 22 in a semifinal of the City tournament.

In the league finale against the Punchers, senior striker Abdihakim Abdi scored two goals, senior striker Parjal Tiwari scored the other and junior midfielder Roland Ohene Ntow assisted on all three.

The game was tied at 1 at halftime.

“It means a lot,” Ntow said. “We’ve worked since preseason and we came in and worked our butts off and it paid off. Every game we gave 100 percent, each and every one of us, and the results came in.”

Mifflin, which lost to the Vikings 3-0 on Oct. 13, finished 6-2-2. Anjan Bhujel scored the only goal in the City final for the Punchers, who beat Briggs 2-0 in last year’s title game.

“We’ve never had an undefeated season,” Abdullahi said. “This is not just for us. It’s for every single one who’s come through here. Since the program started here, soccer in this school has been nothing. We changed that and were on a different mission this year and a different path to success. We all win together and play for each other.”

On Oct. 21 in the City girls soccer final, Whetstone won 4-2 at Centennial. The teams met three times this fall, with the Braves also winning 7-0 on Sept. 23 and the teams playing to a scoreless tie Oct. 5.

City concludes

boys golf season

The boys golf season didn’t get started until October for City programs and featured six rounds of competition.

Whetstone won the league title with 15 points, followed by Mifflin (8), Centennial (5) and South (1).

“It came together late and we had trouble getting tee times but we basically (competed) every Tuesday and Thursday (throughout October),” Centennial coach David Leatherwood said. “I’m glad we got the season in because they’ve been practicing all the time and it feels good to get out on the course and let them play.”

Whetstone senior Eric Verway-Cohen was league medalist with a 44.8 average for nine holes, followed by Whetstone junior Eli Krabill (46.2), Centennial junior Joel Ford (49.4), Mifflin junior Owen Mensah (52.6) and Whetstone junior Ethan Harrison (56.2). They were first-team all-league.

Also competing for Centennial were sophomore Carson Lopez, who was second-team all-league, and junior Nick Rivers and freshman Jaiden Williams, both of whom were honorable mention.

The only City golfers to compete in the OHSAA postseason were the top three individuals in the league. On Oct. 7 in a Division I sectional at Denison Golf Club, Verway-Cohen shot 103, Krabill carded 107 and Ford shot 117.

Ford, whose best score for nine holes this fall was 47, shot 50 in the final round of the City tournament Oct. 27 at Airport.

“I competed in the sectional but didn’t do very well,” he said. “I’d never played there before and it was hard because it’s really hilly, but it was a good warmup (for City competition).

“I’m a junior this year and averaged 49. Last year I was averaging about 53 or 54. I want to try to get it lower for next year. I tried to play as much as I could (earlier in the fall) doing solo matches with my family. At the beginning of the summer I played, but then courses started to close because they didn’t want people coming in as much. (Our team has been) getting used to playing. We’ve had some harsh conditions the last couple weeks.”

Junior Joel Ford earned first-team all-City League honors for the Centennial boys golf team.

City holds tourneys

in tennis, volleyball

Of the 16 City schools that participate in sports, 14 had girls volleyball teams this fall.

Although teams in that sport did not participate in the OHSAA district tournament, a City tournament was set to begin this week.

The City also held a girls tennis individual tournament Oct. 12 and 13 at South.

In singles, Eastmoor Academy’s Amina Blount won the title and Whetstone’s Stella Thompson was runner-up, while Northland’s Huai Pi and Independence’s Dominique Cabiness lost in semifinals.

In doubles, Whetstone’s Maizy Pratt and Avery Halteman beat Northland’s Mary Kim and Twei Twei Aung for the title.

Whetstone also won the team championship.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek