The Jonathan Alder High School athletic department had a strong showing in its last fall as a member of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference.
The Pioneers as a whole will move to the Central Buckeye Conference in all sports next year, but they made the most of their final fall season, racking up championships and collecting postseason honors.
Coach Matt Evans team finished the season 14-5-1 and won an outright league crown, posting a perfect 6-0 mark in MOAC play.
The squad earned the No. 2 seed in the Central District tournament and advanced all the way to a Division II district championship where it was eventually edged by top seed Granville 1-0.
Alder landed four players on the All-MOAC first team including senior Riley Gruenbaum (20 goals, 11 assists), junior Hannah Headlee (15 goals, 13 assists), senior Lily Hess (11 goals, 18 assists) and junior Sophia Thomas (14 goals, 19 assists). Gruenbaum was also a first team All-Ohio selection.
Another four players were selected to the all-conference second team including freshman Lindsey Miller (10 goals, 10 assists), sophomore Maggie Ridder (seven goals, three assists), sophomore keeper Nora Squires (14-4-1) and senior Isabel Rodela (one goal, two assists). Senior Madison Welsch (one goal) was an honorable mention selection.
Despite losing a few of its top players, the Lady Pioneers should return most of its talented roster for the move to the new league next fall.
Like the girls soccer squad, this Lady Pioneers team’s season ended well before it had hoped.
Alder played for a D-II state championship in 2015 and with a number of those same players back in the mix, expectations were high. The team however had its season end in a D-II regional semifinal.
Alder however did win the Central District title and cruised to yet another MOAC Red Division crown finishing with a 19-7 record (12-0 in conference play).
A trio of Alder seniors earned first team MOAC honors led by West Virginia University-bound senior Alexa Hasting, as well as Maddie Fuller and Julie Jakse.
Sam Durbin and Corinne Parker were second team selections, while Kortney Reynolds was tabbed as a honorable mention pick.
“This team will definitely be missing important pieces to the puzzle,” Alder coach TJ Read said about his seniors. “The four seniors are monumental to this program. We also have a lot of girls with a lot of talent, but Maddie Fuller, Julie Jakse, Alexa Hasting and Taylor Izzard have all given their life to volleyball. They’re role models, I’m going to miss them, the team is going to miss them.”
The Pioneers will enter the new league loaded and ready to compete for more titles. They’ve won at least a share of three straight MOAC crowns.
The Pioneers (14-5-2) also claimed a MOAC championship in its last season in the league. The squad was a perfect 7-0 in conference play, edging out Pleasant (6-1) for the title. Alder reached a D-II district semifinal before coming up short against Hamilton Township.
Alder placed three standouts on the All-MOAC first team including junior Cameron Androw, senior Alex Moore and senior Riley Thomas.
Second teamers included senior Daniel Ciuca, sophomore Peyton Ernst and junior Braeden McGough and senior Nick Salzler. Senior Collin Kovacs was picked as an honorable mention all-conference performer.
The Lady Pioneers placed second in the MOAC standings with a 6-2 mark, finishing behind only North Union (8-0).
A trio of Alder golfers earned postseason awards including Sarah Harp (second team), Sarah Gentil and Emily York (both honorable mention).
The Pioneers (11-1) tied rival Buckeye Valley for the MOAC Red Division championship this fall.
Hayden Mitchell earned first team honors, Joey Petrella was second team, while Zach Otto and Mychal McKelvey were honorable mention selections.
Alder placed second in the MOAC standings, scoring 21 points and finishing behind only conference champ Marion Harding (22 points).
Madison Vance and Madelyn Grove earned second team All-MOAC honors as a doubles team, while Chloe Grove was a honorable mention all-conference singles player.
The Pioneers had an individual MOAC champion in Ohio State University-bound standout Aziza Ayoub, who won the MOAC crown in 19:19.9. Her efforts earned her first team MOAC honors. Teammate Ashlyn McDaniel placed fourth (20:42.6) in the same race and also earned first team recognition.
The girls team placed fifth in the conference standings.
On the boys side freshman Luke Malone (16:58.5) ran to a first team honor by finishing second in the MOAC race, fellow freshman Zack Hicks (18:16.7) was 21st which got him honorable mention.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.