City League Roundup: Briggs boys volleyball team bests Northland for third straight title

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Khai Khup (right) helped the Northland boys volleyball team reach the City League championship match, which the Vikings lost 25-13, 25-22, 24-26, 25-22 at Briggs on May 25 to finish 11-8.

During the 2018 and ’19 seasons when it won consecutive City League championships, the Briggs boys volleyball team had one of the area’s most powerful players in right-side hitter Justin Sharfenaker leading the way. 

The Bruins also reached a Division II regional semifinal in 2019 before Sharfenaker, then a senior, headed off to play for Division II college power Lincoln Memorial. 

Players such as seniors David March (outside hitter/middle hitter) and Monty Peterson (setter/libero) had limited varsity experience heading into this season but proved to be more than ready for their increased roles as the Bruins won their third consecutive City title. 

Briggs closed its season with a 25-13, 25-22, 24-26, 25-22 win over visiting Northland on May 25 in the City championship match to finish 16-10. 

The Bruins were the fifth seed for the East Region tournament but lost to 10th-seeded Hartley 14-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-22 on May 21 in their postseason opener. 

“It feels really good,” Peterson said. “All the hard work and dedication pays off. We lost in the (postseason) so we came back and redeemed ourselves. We have a lot of first-year players and athletes that don’t just play volleyball full time and the fact that we can come together and win the City championship is always great.” 

Peterson, who was first-team all-league along with March and junior outside hitter Daizhon Cox, has committed to Kentucky State. 

During one moment in the fourth set against Northland, coach Herb Sharfenaker reminded his players they were “getting a little lackadaisical” in their communication. 

The Bruins responded with three consecutive points and went on to close out the match.  

“Whenever we don’t communicate, the game goes bad, but once we start communicating, everything pulls together and we start doing what we’re supposed to be doing,” Peterson said. 

The Bruins split with the Vikings during the regular season.

March plans to compete next year for Rio Grande, which is coach Sharfenaker’s alma mater and is starting a program. 

“We all just came out and performed 100 percent,” March said. “Us as a team really wanted it and I feel like we played our best and hardest and we got it done. We knew the mistakes we made the first time we played them, like not covering tips, mental mistakes, missing serves, missing hits, missing blocks. It means a lot (to win another league title).” 

Northland, which was the eighth seed for the Division II East Region tournament and opened the postseason with a 25-16, 25-23, 25-23 loss to sixth-seeded Watterson on May 21, finished 11-8. 

“Northland is so scrappy,” coach Sharfenaker said. “They always have fast players and we had to take away their tips. They’re shorter but they can all jump.” 

March and Cox led Briggs in kills with 183 and 155, respectively, with Peterson having 594 assists.

The Vikings had just seven players all season, including senior outside hitters Suan Tung and Caleb Stallings.

Stallings was joined on the all-league first team by junior setters Kam Kap and Mang Sian, with Tung and junior Khai Khup (defensive specialist) both making the second team and junior Piang Khup (defensive specialist) being named honorable mention. Also on the team was sophomore Juan Hernandez (defensive specialist).

“With the numbers we had this year, we did phenomenal,” coach Cheri Bowman said. “I’m so proud of them. With two seniors, the rest were underclassmen so we’re looking to add some new players next year and come back and fight again.” 

The other players who made first-team all-league were Centennial senior Ignacio Mariscal and junior Jay Ramirez, Beechcroft senior Michael Oduor and Whetstone sophomore Max Rogers.

Senior Deshaunte Battle (left) made honorable mention all-City League for Centennial, which went 6-15.

Rounding out the all-league second team were junior Ngun Lian and freshman Quinnten Loel from Briggs, Centennial sophomore Daniel Najad Abdurhaman, Beechcroft senior Jevin Lodovico and Whetstone freshman Neil Gordon. 

Briggs senior Ryan Morey, Centennial senior Deshaunte Battle, Beechcroft senior Anup Rimal and Whetstone junior Duke Daniel were honorable mention all-league. 

Centennial, which finished 6-15, was seeded 11th for the Division II East Region tournament and lost to top-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 25-16, 25-8, 25-12 on May 22 in the second round. 

Beechcroft finished 0-8 and didn’t compete in the regional tournament. 

City represented in

all three state meets 

The City League had athletes competing in all three divisions of the state track and field meet June 4 and 5, with Division I at Hilliard Darby, Division II at Pickerington North and Division III at Westerville North. 

Competing for Africentric in Division III were the girls 800-meter relay of sophomores Rachael Dwomah, Makiah Ferguson, Ariel Grace and KyAshia Perry, the boys 400 relay of senior Justin Fudge, juniors Kaylin Spence and Dan Wagner and sophomore Deangelo Fuller, the boys 800 relay of Fudge, Spence, Wagner and junior Josiah Smith, Fudge in the long jump and Wagner in the 100 and 200. 

In Division II, the South girls team and the Centennial and Eastmoor Academy boys teams competed.

Junior Spiritual Wilson Foster Wright competed for the Bulldogs girls in the 400, and junior Daishawn Gossett represented the Stars boys in the 300 hurdles. 

For the Eastmoor boys, competing were sophomore Christian Monroe in the 200, junior Isaiah Pressley in the 400, the 1,600 relay of seniors Kalani Booker and Larenz Lacking, Pressley and Monroe, the 400 relay of senior Cameron Foster, Lacking, Monroe and junior Jaeden Valdez and the 3,200 relay of Booker, sophomore Preston Davis, junior Devin Lloyd and freshman Dominick Lloyd. 

In Division I, Beechcroft sophomore Jayden Douglas competed in the 300 hurdles and Independence sophomore A.J. Jordan competed in the 100 in the boys meet. Independence senior Kapri Dawkins and Northland junior Nahdia Alcorn competed in the 400 in the girls meet. 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

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