By John Bombatch
The Greene County area has plenty of athletes of which to be proud after this Fall high school sports season.
In the eight Ohio High School Athletic Association-sanctioned sports contested by Greene County area schools, there were state competitors in boys and girls cross country, boys soccer and girls tennis; regional qualifiers in boys golf and girls soccer; district qualifiers in girls golf; and sectional champions in girls soccer.
Carroll junior Jillian Milano qualified to the Division II state championships and won the district title.
Greenon junior Ariana McNeil was a Division II sectional runner up in Troy.
The Bellbrook doubles team of senior Rachel Heinz and freshman Andrea Szep earned a sectional championship, while Beavercreek’s tandem of senior Anna Jones and sophomore Ester Hu also advanced to the Division I district tournament by placing third.
Led by sectional tournament medalist Alex Flick, Beavercreek won the Division I boys golf sectional tournament, and Xenia placed fourth, to advance to districts this season. Bellbrook’s Raif Foster finished third overall to advance on to districts as an individual.
In Division II, Carroll’s Tyler Goecke placed seventh overall to advance to the district tournament as well.
Carroll’s girls golf team finished third in the sectional tournament to advance on to districts in Division II.
Bellbrook’s Alyssa Burritt placed third in the Division I sectional to advance on as an individual qualifier.
Bellbrook, Yellow Springs and Beavercreek each won league titles this Fall, with Beavercreek claiming a sectional title. After starting off the season 0-2, Bellbrook won its next 17 straight matches during the regular season. Yellow Springs defeated perennial Metro Buckeye Conference powerhouses Emmanuel Christian and Dayton Christian twice each to claim its first-ever MBC title.
Beavercreek (Division I), Carroll and Bellbrook (DII) and Greeneview (DIII) were each ranked among the top-10 teams by the Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (MVSSCA).
Carroll finished ranked no. 10 in the final Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Assn. (OSSCA) poll in Division II and won the school’s first district championship since 1997 before bowing out in the regional final.
Beavercreek was the MVSSCA’s top-ranked Division I boys soccer team in its final regular season poll and Xenia finished 10th in that same final poll. Beavercreek finished ranked fifth in the final OSSCA state poll.
In Division II, Carroll and Bellbrook finished second and third respectively. And Carroll had a terrific post season run, advancing to the state semifinals before losing 1-0 in overtime to eventual state champion Columbus DeSales. Carroll received a no. 6 ranking in the final state poll and Bellbrook was ranked no. 9.
Greeneview was named the MVSSCA’s top boys soccer program in Division III, with Yellow Springs ranking fifith in the same poll. Greeneview finished ranked no. 6 in the final state poll.
Led by personal-best runs by junior Rachel Sweeney and senior Grace Norman, the Xenia Christian girls cross country team finished seventh at the Division III state cross country championships.
Beavercreek’s boys and girls teams (DI), Carroll’s boys team (DII) and Xenia Christian boys runner Isaac Erlundson (DIII) also were state qualifiers in their respective divisions.
Norman, who runs with a prosthetic leg from her left knee down, became the first Ohio para athlete to qualify to the state cross country meet based on her individual performance. Norman also excelled in several international paratriathlon and paralympic competitions throughout the fall. She’s considered one of Team USA’s top paratriathletes in her racing category and will likely compete with the team at the Paralympic Games next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
For the second consecutive season and second time in school history, the Greeneview Rams football team qualified for the Division V postseason playoffs. And for the second consecutive year, the Neal Kasner-led Rams won their first-round game.