City League Roundup: Centennial Stars softball team closes on high note

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Junior Kassy Stefanski is expected to be one of the top returnees for the Centennial softball team. She tossed a no-hitter in the season finale as the Stars finished 14-7 overall and 12-2 in the City-North.

The season ended on a bright note for the Centennial softball team. 

Despite her team earning a runner-up finish in the City League-North Division, first-year coach Alexis Marsh believed it was best for the Stars to opt out of the Division II district tournament. 

Instead, they ended up closing the season by beating International 25-0 on May 10 as freshman pitcher Grace Murphy threw a no-hitter and by defeating Beechcroft 18-0 on May 12 as junior pitcher Kassy Stefanski tossed a no-hitter. 

“We didn’t play any tournament games this year because I just decided that we’re not really ready for it,” Marsh said. “Next year, we’ll have a lot better of a chance. This year we deserved to take a breather from the tournament. Next season is going to be our best season. We’ve shown so much improvement.” 

Stefanski, who struck out 10 in the season finale, helped the Stars finish 14-7 overall and 12-2 in the City-North as Whetstone won the title at 14-0. 

She was among the team’s key players as freshmen along with juniors Lauren Long (1B) and Toni Sfikas (SS), who were among the team’s top players again this spring. 

Murphy threw three no-hitters and sophomore Jazmine Singleton (3B) was among the top hitters. 

The only seniors were Joy Chambers (2B/1B) and Erica Crippen (C). 

Others eligible to return include junior Alex Moore (1B), sophomores Ava Adkins (RF) and Tamarra Carter (CF/3B) and freshmen Zaria Brown (LF), Amelia Harris (C/CF) and Eve Miller (LF). 

“I’ve got a few girls that have really made a lot of improvements since the start,” Marsh said. “Kassy’s got the highest batting average at about .600. They’ve all improved so much with their batting and fielding and are nothing but team players.” 

Beechcroft finished 7-7 overall, including 7-6 in the City-North. The Cougars were seeded 15th for the Division II district tournament and lost to top-seeded Jonathan Alder 13-0 on May 13 in a second-round game. 

The only seniors for the Cougars were Fury Kimber (C) and Angel Coles (utility).  

Juniors Danielle Nunley (INF/P) and Alese McNair (OF/1B) and sophomores Valeria Ferguson (INF) and Jenesi Galan (INF) are among those eligible to return. 

Nia Waugh and Northland struggled this season, going 1-12 overall and 1-10 in the City-North. “The kids have really, really gotten better, but when other teams get better, too, you might not win many games,” coach Dan Zedeker said.

Northland was seeded 44th for the Division I district tournament and lost to top-seeded Watkins Memorial 20-0 on May 12 in a second-round game to finish 1-12 overall. The Vikings were 1-10 in the City-North. 

“When you don’t have pitching and it takes you two and a half hours to play three innings, it’s tough,” coach Dan Zedeker said. “The kids have really, really gotten better, but when other teams get better, too, you might not win many games. But I’m impressed with how much the girls improved.”

The Vikings had no seniors, with freshman Tiah Brady serving as No. 1 pitcher. 

Juniors Bless Anor (LF), Karmela Reed (1B), Dalisa Roberts (P) and Ke’aira Warren (OF) and sophomores Junia Dieubon (OF), Roshni Kami (SS), Fartun Ali Mohamed (C), Monay Smith (2B) and Nia Waugh are eligible to return. 

“I don’t care about the wins and losses (because) there’s been too many good (things) that happened,” Zedeker said. “To see how coachable they are, we had to do a lot of hands-on coaching because some of them don’t understand English the best. When we showed them something, they picked it up pretty fast. It’s a season I’ll never forget.” 

Christian Monroe won the 100 and 200 in the City League meet, helping the Eastmoor Academy boys track and field team capture its 10th consecutive league championship.

Eastmoor boys win 

another track title 

The Eastmoor Academy boys track and field team became the second program in the history of the City League to capture 10 consecutive championships when it scored 137 points in the league meet May 11 and 13 at Africentric. 

The last time that feat was accomplished was by Central from 1927-36. 

“I’m just excited,” coach Jason Lewis said. “We looked at the record that Central held from 1927-36 and to know that you’re linked there and that the Columbus City League is the biggest district in Ohio, I’m so proud of the group I’ve been allowed to work with.” 

The Warriors scored in every event, with Whetstone and Independence sharing runner-up honors with 91 points, followed by Africentric (71), Linden-McKinley (58), Beechcroft (44), Walnut Ridge (39), Centennial (23), East (19), Northland (18), South (16), Marion-Franklin (8), Mifflin (2), Briggs (1) and International (1). 

Capturing titles for Eastmoor were Christian Monroe in the 100 meters (11.12 seconds) and 200 (22.77), Cheikh Ndiaye in the discus (134 feet, 11 inches), the 400 relay (43.66), the 1,600 relay (3:30.67) and the 3,200 relay (8:24.93). 

Also winning titles were Beechcroft’s Jesufewa Adediran in the 400 (50.85) and Jayden Douglas in the 110 hurdles (15.23) and 300 hurdles (39.28), Whetstone’s Thaine Nederveld in the 800 (2:01.44) and 1,600 (4:41.04) and Wyatt Starkie in the 3,200 (10:25.03), Walnut Ridge’s Jamarius Dinkins in the shot put (49-9 1/2), Independence’s Orlando Jones in the long jump (21-5 1/2) and Africentric’s Eli Burke in the high jump (6-6) and its 800 relay (1:29.52). 

Northland girls

add to title streak 

With 125 points in the City meet, the Northland girls track team earned its fifth consecutive title. 

It was the tightest among any in the current run, as the Vikings edged Eastmoor (122), which was followed by Whetstone (73), Walnut Ridge (69), Independence (58), Africentric (49), Beechcroft (45), South (43), Centennial (8), East (8), Marion-Franklin (7), Mifflin (6) and Briggs (1). 

“It was our fifth one (in a row) and I’m glad to be a part of it this year,” said senior Diarri Rogers, who was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (54.35) and was on the fifth-place 1,600 relay (4:43.56) to help the Vikings wrap up the title. “I feel like for the most part we did what we had to get here. I’m proud of everybody.” 

Joining Rogers on the 1,600 relay were Nasia Bailey, Makyah Ross and Tyra Thomas.

The only title the Vikings won was by Andrasia Wilson in the 300 hurdles (49.46), but they finished second in six events. 

“It’s very exciting to get to year five and keep the legacy going,” said junior Nahdia Alcorn, who was runner-up in the 100 (12.84) and scored in three other events. 

Also winning titles were Walnut Ridge’s Amyre Redd in the 100 (12.62) and 200 (26.01), Independence’s Kapri Dawkins in the 400 (58.1) and its 800 relay (1:48.36) and 1,600 relay (4:25.25), Whetstone’s Marisa Tayal in the 800 (2:37.34), Anouk Moritz in the 1,600 (5:50.87) and 3,200 (12:45.9) and its 3,200 relay (11:15.62), South’s RaMya Woodward in the high jump (4-10) and Eastmoor’s Amari Kiluvia in the long jump (17-6 1/2), Brayonna Muse-Dixon in the 100 hurdles (15.11), Zuriya Robinson in the shot put (38-8 1/2) and discus (100-0) and its 400 relay (50.7). 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek