The fall season featured two particularly amazing accomplishments from sports teams at 109 West Pioneer Trail.
The Aurora boys soccer team knocked off powerhouse after powerhouse on its way to the Division II state semifinals and the Greenmen football team reached the playoffs for an unprecedented 13th consecutive year.
The good times didn’t stop for Aurora’s athletes when all of the leaves fell off the trees.
How does this sound?
The Greenmen and Lady Greenmen had six athletes earn All-Ohio honors and a total of nine participants at the state competition.
Not bad, wouldn’t you say?
Leading the way was the Aurora wrestlers, who finished 14th out of 81 teams with 34.5 points at the Division II state tournament.
Five Greenmen competed on the prestigious mats in Columbus. Four of those five talented athletes earned All-Ohio recognition.
Leading the way were juniors Andy Garr and Will McGhee, who both finished in fifth place at 138 and 152 pounds, respectively.
Junior Jack Gorman placed sixth at 132 pounds and classmate Kyle Petersen captured eighth at 120 pounds.
Not to be outdone, junior Colin McNamara, who was the quarterback for Aurora’s football team, reached the quarterfinals before losing his last two matches.
The Greenmen and Lady Greenmen also shined in the pool.
Junior diver Drew Albrecht made a drastic improvement at the 2018 state meet after experiencing a few butterflies last season. He improved a whopping 11 places to finish fifth in the Division II competition last month.
Unlike last year, Albrecht had some company in Canton when it came to stepping onto the diving board.
Freshman Victoria Blechschmid and sophomore Kylie Palian placed 23rd and 24th, respectively, in the Division I competition.
And let’s not forget senior Lara Ketonen.
The precocious senior, a Finland native, also shined on the finest stage. Ketonen, a two-time state qualifier, placed eighth in the 50-yard freestyle.
She could have reached the state competition in the 100 freestyle, too. But an untimely illness killed her chances of earning an invitation to Canton.
By the way, Ketonen plans to continue her academic and swimming careers at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling this incredibly gifted student athlete has a very promising future.
While its season ended way too soon in a vaunted Division I district, it was another fantastic season for the Aurora girls basketball team.
Heading into the previous winter, the Lady Greenmen hadn’t won a league or conference championship in 90 years.
It didn’t take them nearly a century to win a pair of titles this time.
Aurora captured its second consecutive Suburban League American Conference championship. This time, the Lady Greenmen were the undisputed class of the field with a perfect 12-0 record in conference play.
Aurora also had a 15-game winning streak and finished with a school-record 21 victories. Considering that most of the Lady Greenmen’s talented core is expected to return, a three-peat and another school record lurk in my crystal ball when it comes to next season.
I also want to give a shout-out to the Greenmen ice hockey team, which had another winning season despite losing some key players.
Aurora also got a postseason victory over its main rival Twinsburg, which defeated the Greenmen in the first of their three regular-season contests.
Congrats to all of the athletes for their efforts during the winter season.
Now that the spring is drawing near, let’s keep the fun times going on West Pioneer Trail!
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.