By Linda Dillman
A trio from Hamilton Township High School’s Ranger athletic team recently wrapped up their fall season of student-athletes having success on the field and court.
Volleyball head coach Katie Forrest said the team’s season began in August and ended with a 13-11 record when they lost to Bishop Hartley in the third round of the district semifinals on Oct. 26. Hartley went on to win the district finals.
Looking back at the highlights of the 2022 season, Forrest said, “We had a very successful Volley for the Cure event honoring breast cancer survivors and raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We were also able to win our first round of the tournament against Granville in five sets. Senior and outside hitter Ashley Kefauver had 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs this season which was great to see and celebrate.”
Kefauver was named to the 1st Team Central District and 1st Team Mid-State League. Gabrielle Whittenburg, a junior, was named to the 2nd Team Central District and 2nd Team Mid-State League, and freshman Alexis Wooten was named Honorable Mention Central District and Honorable Mention Mid-State League.
“We use the word HEART a lot—heart, effort, attitude, respect, and togetherness,” Forrest said. “We need to grow in line with all those standards and hold each other accountable. We will continue to work on this and expect the same from each other.”
Girls’ varsity soccer head coach Jose Cruz, who is in his seventh season leading Lady Rangers with assistant coach Mitch Cruey, reported that the team finished 11-4-3 overall and 4-2-2 in of the Mid-State League ended. The junior varsity team finished 6-4.
“The team really exceeded expectations as all games were very competitive,” said Cruz. “The team tied Piketon District Champion Fairfield Union on his field. This was also the game in which the goal record was broken. We kept Central District runners-up Bloom-Carroll scoreless the entire second half. We hosted two games in state tournaments and faced district semi-finalist Bishop Hartley in a very competitive game in the last game of the season. Natalia Cruz-Sosa scored an olimpico (a goal scored directly from a corner kick) in that game”.
According to Cruz, six people received All-Mid-State League honors. Freshman Natalia Cruz-Sosa and sophomore Kamaya Cruz became 1st Team All-League, senior captains Morgan Fannin and Ziann Payne were 2nd Team All-League, and freshmen Sadie Orum and Isabelle Lutz earned honorable mentions.
Cruz-Sosa was also recognized as a 1st Team All-District and Cruz was named to the 2nd Team All District.
As a program, the girls’ soccer team raised over $1,100 to benefit St. Jude’s at their Kick for the Cause game.
Michelle Crisler, Hamilton’s head cheerleading coach for the past three years, said the roster begins its competitive season in just a few weeks, even as teams have been working hard since the start of the school year.
Highlights so far include, according to Crisler, “new tumbling and stunt skills, lots of community involvement and watching the Hamilton football team make it to the playoffs.”
She said team members work to stay positive when a new skill doesn’t work right away.
In other season-ending stats, Hamilton’s senior Karli Neff received an honorable mention in Mid-State League girls’ tennis.
The Hamilton boys’ football team finished fourth in the Mid-State League Buckeye Division. Junior Andrew Duska and senior Eli Aliff were named to the division’s 1st team, seniors Brendan Delong and Aiden Dunno received 2nd team honors, and senior Logan Caplinger and junior Zach Hayes received honorable mentions.
Ranger athletes honored
The following fall Hamilton Township Ranger athletes received Mid-State League Buckeye Division honors: Girls’ Tennis – Karli Neff (Honourable Mention); Girls’ Soccer – Natalia Cruz Sosa, Ka-Maya Cruz (First Team), Morgan Fannin, Ziann Payne (Second Team), Sadie Orum, Isabella Lutz (Honourable Mention); Boys’ Football – Andrew Duska, Eli Aliff (first team); Brendan Delong, Aiden Dunno (second team); Logan Caplinger, Zach Hayes (Honourable Mention); Volleyball – Ashley Kefauver (first team); Gabrielle Whittenburg (second team); Alexis Wooten (Honourable Mention); Football – Nadir Langston, Kaden Kiser, Trent Renz, Artis Cain-Jackson (first team); Josh Woods, Jalen Townsend, Matthew Noel (second team); Omarion Medley, Bryson Harr, Max Petry (Honourable Mention); Girls Cross Country – Sienna Sanborn, Skyla White (Honourable Mention).