Whitehall-Yearling Roundup: Bowlers gear up for biggest tournaments

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
A.J. Scott has been a solid early season contributor for the Whitehall-Yearling boys bowling team. Scott led the Rams with a 453 two-game series in a 2,217-2,086 win over Groveport on Jan. 11 at Holiday Lanes.

The Whitehall-Yearling boys bowling team has been working to build momentum for the MSL tournament and the postseason.

The Rams won the second annual Jim Shaw Baker Challenge on Jan. 9 at Holiday Lanes after finishing seventh (2,215) in the 16-team pool play behind first-place Ashland (2,513). The top eight teams advanced to championship play and Whitehall reached the final, where it beat Lexington two games to one in a best-of-three Baker series. 

“It was a fantastic day,” coach Tavi Netotian said. “I didn’t expect to do that well because we didn’t bowl any games in December. We’re a month behind and trying to get the feel of the team. We want to see what they’re made of and (Jan. 9) they want after it. The final was the exciting part. The games were close.” 

The Rams finished 17th (2,733) in the 32-team Holiday Baker Marathon Tournament on Jan. 10 at Columbus Square Bowling Palace. The top eight teams advanced to championship play. 

“We didn’t do anything. I think we were hung over from (Jan. 9),” said Netotian, whose team was 2-2 in the COHSBC-B Division before facing Pickerington Central on Jan. 20. 

Whitehall’s ultimate goals include contending for an MSL title and peaking in time for the Division I postseason. 

“My goal is to get them ready for the MSL (tournament) and sectional,” Netotian said. “The MSL is our league, so that’s the one we want.” 

The MSL tournament is scheduled for Jan. 23 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl. 

The Rams defeated Groveport 2,217-2,086 on Jan. 11 at Holiday Lanes as A.J. Scott led Whitehall with a 453 two-game series. He was followed by Jacob Leach (397), Nathan McGrath (365) and Elias Rozzelle (364). 

“I’m enjoying myself a lot,” Rozzelle said. “Our energy is a lot better this year. Even when we do get in a funk, we still bring it back. If we can pick up our spares, we can be solid.” 

Whitehall beat Hilliard Darby 2,152-1,817 on Jan. 4 as Leach (457) led the Rams. 

The girls team was 0-4 in the COHSBC-B before playing Central. 

The Rams lost to Groveport 1,411-1,276. Chelsee Cress led Whitehall with a 293, followed by Lilli Jones (236). 

Whitehall finished 21st (1,782) of 27 teams in the Holiday Baker Marathon Tournament. 

“We’re getting better,” coach Lori Shaw said. “We just have a few more things to work on, but we’ll be all right. We have to work on our spares.” 

Wrestling team

increases workload 

The wrestling team will be busy as it prepares for the postseason. 

Whitehall, which was 1-5 before facing Licking Heights on Jan. 14, has a full schedule to close out January and heading into February. 

Despite the increase in matches, coach Steve Pennington said his team remains behind several programs. 

“It’s up to each individual school district,” said Pennington, whose team lost 58-24 to Gahanna on Jan. 12. “There are teams that are going to 10- to 20-team tournaments just like normal, and then you have a school like us that are only allowed to have duals.” 

The Rams, who were 1-1 in the MSL-Ohio before facing Grandview on Jan. 20, close out league action Feb. 17 against visiting Columbus Academy. 

Whitehall fell to Buckeye Valley 50-21 on Jan. 8

“We lost, but we wrestled a lot better,” Pennington said. “We actually wrestled pretty well. We had some younger kids step up and get some wins that they haven’t been able to do yet this year.” 

Through five matches, Shea Jordan (106 pounds) and Mikey Park (113) were 3-2 and Damion Black (120) was 2-2. 

“We’re a very young team and we’re not focusing on wins and losses right now,” Pennington said. “We’re focusing on, ‘Are you attempting the proper technique and if you didn’t, how do we fix that?’ We have so many young kids in the lineup, we’re spending more time on the basics than getting into more advanced techniques.” 

Kaden Macklin and Whitehall were 5-5 overall after defeating Trotwood-Madison 110-108 in double overtime Jan. 13. The Rams are 2-1 in the MSL-Ohio Division and visit Grandview for a league game Jan. 21.

Boys basketball team

shakes off loss

The boys basketball team bounced back from a 54-41 loss to Liberty Township Lakota East on Jan. 9 to beat Wellington 75-36 on Jan. 12. 

Kei’Von Wiggins scored 18 points to lead the Rams against Wellington. Royal Sibley had 17 and Kaden Macklin added 10. 

Sibley scored 12 points against Lakota East. 

The Rams were 5-5 overall after defeating Trotwood-Madison 110-108 in double overtime Jan. 13. They are 2-1 in the MSL-Ohio and visit Grandview on Jan. 21. 

Against Trotwood-Madison, Sibley led Whitehall with 34 points. Wiggins had 26 and Teddy Brown scored 20.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank