Whitehall-Yearling Roundup: Cross country teams return to action

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Goalie Edwin Gutierrez clears the ball during the Whitehall-Yearling boys soccer team's game at Delaware on Sept. 17. The Rams, who won 2-0, were 6-2 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Worthington Christian on Oct. 3.

Despite having a limited schedule because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Whitehall-Yearling boys cross country coach Robert Taylor has been pleased with his team’s commitment to remain active.

After playing host to the Dan Reid Invitational on Aug. 29, the Rams had several meets canceled but have been training hard, according to Taylor.

Whitehall returned to action Sept. 26 by competing in a tri-meet at Licking Heights.

Daba Hordofe led the Rams by finishing second of 33 runners in 17 minutes, 39 seconds, and Eyobong Ita finished seventh (19:03).

“Daba ran a great race and Eyobong took a big step forward in competing hard to finish in the top 10,” Taylor said. “The lack of race experience this year is affecting our times, but we hope to compete well when we get to the (MSL-Ohio Division) meet.”

Whitehall finished third (57) behind Licking Heights (31) and Johnstown (42).

Also competing for the Rams were Keteme Faye (13th, 20:00), Jonathon Guijosa (21st, 21:24), Shea Jordan (22nd, 21:25), Jordan Burchnell (23rd, 21:28), Sam McQuate (26th, 22:03), Brian Holloway (30th, 23:57) and Jaylin Moody (33rd, 29:38).

The Rams will close the regular season by competing in the Harrier Showdown on Saturday, Oct. 10, at Johnstown.

Whitehall will then compete in the MSL-Ohio meet Oct. 17 at Buckeye Valley.

Last season, the Rams finished fifth (118) behind champion Bexley (39).

Girls runners

return to action

The girls cross country team also returned to action at Licking Heights.

Ashley Castillo was 20th of 26 runners in 30:11 to lead the Rams. Haleigh Jordan was 22nd (30:47) and Amanda Gomez was 24th (34:07).

Whitehall did not have enough runners for a team score.

“The team did well,” coach Natasha Gallagher said. “It was nice to be out there running. It was only our second meet.”

Boys soccer team 

rebounds from loss

The boys soccer team bounced back from a 1-0 MSL-Ohio loss to Columbus Academy on Sept. 23 to post non-league victories over Lancaster (6-0 on Sept. 26) and Hilliard Davidson (2-1 on Sept. 30).

The Rams were 6-2 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio entering a game at Worthington Christian on Oct. 3.

Against Lancaster, Jesus Alcauter-Yanez had three goals to lead the Rams, with Kirubel Amari, Ebrima Jorbateh and Jefferson Martinez each adding one. Goalie Edwin Gutierrez had three saves.

Against Davidson, Yanez scored the game’s first goal and Jorbateh put the Rams ahead 2-0 on a penalty kick that was drawn by Daba Hordofe.

“The team has done a good job of responding in the following games after a defeat,” coach Geral Leka said. “We’re looking forward to having a challenging and competitive conclusion to our regular season and this will benefit us by preparing us for hopefully a deep run in the postseason.”

Whitehall will close league play Saturday, Oct. 10, against Bexley and Wednesday, Oct. 14, against Buckeye Valley, both at home.

“The main thing for us is to remain as healthy as possible and just get better each game, in which we have done,” Leka said. “The guys really enjoy playing with one another and are holding each other accountable during practices and games. 

I’m also pleased with the contributions of some freshmen and sophomores. This is beneficial to the long-term success of the program.”

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank