By Linda Dillman
A trio of Hamilton Township High School Ranger sports team recently ended their fall seasons with student athletes finding success on the field and court.
Head volleyball Coach Katie Forrest said the team’s season began in August and ended up with an 13-11 record, losing to Bishop Hartley on Oct. 26 in the third round of the district semi-final tournament. Hartley went on to win the district finals.
In looking back over highlights of the 2022 season, Forrest said, “We had a very successful Volley for the Cure event where we honored breast cancer survivors and raised money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We also were able to win our first round of tournament play against Granville in five sets. Senior and outside hitter Ashley Kefauver achieved 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs this season, which was awesome to see and to 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,” said Forrest. “We need to grow consistent with all of these standards, as well as hold each other accountable. We will continue to keep working on this and expecting it from each other.”
Girls’ varsity soccer Head Coach Jose Cruz, who is in his seventh season leading the Lady Rangers along with Assistant Coach Mitch Cruey, reported the team finished 11-4-3 overall and 4-2-2 in the Mid-State League. The junior varsity team finished 6-4.
“The team really exceeded expectations as all matches were very competitive,” said Cruz. “The team tied Piketon District Champion Fairfield Union on their field. This was also the match where the goals record was broken. We kept Central District Runner Up Bloom-Carroll scoreless the entire second half. We hosted two state tournament matches and competed against district semi-finalist Bishop Hartley in a very competitive match in the last game of the season. Natalia Cruz-Sosa scored an Olimpico (a goal scored directly from a corner kick)” in that match.”
According to Cruz, six individuals received All-Mid-State League Honors. Freshman Natalia Cruz-Sosa and sophomore Kamaya Cruz earned 1st Team All-League, senior captains Morgan Fannin and Ziann Payne earned 2nd Team All-League and freshmen Sadie Orum and Isabelle Lutz earned Honorable Mention recognition.
Cruz-Sosa was also recognized 1st Team All-District and Cruz was named to the 2nd Team All District.
As a program, girls’ soccer raised over $1,100 at their Kick for the Cause match benefiting St. Jude’s.
Michelle Crisler, head cheerleading coach at Hamilton for three years, said the squad begins their competition season in a few weeks although teams have been hard at work since the beginning of the school year.
Highlights so far, according to Crisler include, “new tumbling and stunting skills, lots of community involvement and watching the Hamilton football team make it to the playoffs.”
She said squad members are working on staying positive when a new skill does not work right away.
In other end-of-season statistics, Hamilton senior Karli Neff received honorable mention honors in the Mid-State League girl’s tennis.
The Hamilton boys’ soccer 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 mention honors.
Ranger athletes honored
The following Hamilton Township Ranger fall sports athletes received Mid-State League Buckeye Division honors: girls tennis – Karli Neff (honorable mention); girls soccer – Natalia Cruz Sosa, Ka-Maya Cruz (first team), Morgan Fannin, Ziann Payne (second team), Sadie Orum, Isabella Lutz (honorable mention); boys soccer – Andrew Duska, Eli Aliff (first team); Brendan Delong, Aiden Dunno (second team); Logan Caplinger, Zach Hayes (honorable mention); volleyball – Ashley Kefauver (first team); Gabrielle Whittenburg (second team); Alexis Wooten (honorable 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 (honorable mention); girls cross country – Sienna Sanborn, Skyla White (honorable mention).