Since I started working at Record Publishing Co. more than 18 years ago, I had covered the Aurora High School sports teams on a limited basis.
However, that changed when the Aurora Advocate sports section officially became my latest project about 11 months ago.
As a result, I’ve made many treks to 109 W. Pioneer Trail to cover the Greenmen and Lady Greenmen.
And yeah, I think I can finally find the school without using a GPS.
Prior to this past year, I had heard rumors about Aurora’s, well, decent track record when it comes athletic success.
Let’s just say I wasn’t proven wrong.
The Greenmen and Lady Greenmen recently concluded another stellar year for the lovely high school located not far from Route 43.
The spring season was capped by the performances of two fabulous leapers.
Freshman Brianna Rawlings and junior Corinne Henderson made sure Aurora’s usual spot among the elite was safely secured, thanks to their performances at the Division I state track and field meet.
Rawlings, who was the Lady Greenmen’s top tennis player during the fall, finished seventh in the long jump to earn a trip to the podium.
Not bad for a young lady who decided to give jumping a try two years ago.
Henderson also proved she could reach heights higher than most of us.
The standout junior, who was Aurora’s top gymnast during the winter, joined Rawlings in Columbus with a 16th-place finish in the pole-vault competition.
And let’s not forget about the Lady Greenmen softball team.
The Aurora girls got their first trophy in a while after capturing their first-ever Suburban League American Conference title. The Lady Greenmen shared the crown with defending champions Tallmadge and Highland.
By the way, it was the softball team’s first championship since Aurora won the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division in 2013.
These young ladies joined a plethora of successful athletes who excelled on all surfaces during the 2017-18 season.
This includes the boys soccer team’s run to the Division II state semifinals and the football squad’s unprecedented 13th consecutive trip to the playoffs.
Junior Robbie Taylor advanced to the Division I state cross country meet last November and senior Lara Ketonen concluded her stellar career with her second straight trip to the Division I state swimming and diving meet.
Ketonen wasn’t the only member of Aurora’s swimming and diving teams to participate on the ultimate stage.
Divers Drew Albrecht, Victoria Blechshmid and Kylie Palian also qualified for the state meet. Albrecht advanced in Division II, while Blechshmid and Palian competed against Division I divers.
This may be just the beginning. Albrecht recently completed his junior year and Blechschmid and Palian recently concluded their freshman and sophomore years, respectively.
As always, Aurora proved to be formidable on the mats.
The Greenmen captured their third consecutive American Conference title and had five members compete at the Division II state meet.
Juniors Andy Garr, Will McGhee, Jack Gorman and Kyle Petersen earned All-Ohio honors and junior Colin McNamara, who spent much of the fall season as the football team’s starting quarterback, fell just one win shy of All-Ohio recognition.
Last but not least, the girls basketball team added another banner to the walls of Aurora’s beautiful gymnasium after going 90 years without one.
The Lady Greenmen captured their second straight American Conference championship. This time, there was no doubt. The Aurora girls finished a perfect 12-0 against their conference rivals.
Congratulations to all of the athletes on their success during the school year.
I had a blast meeting the many wonderful people of Aurora and I’m looking forward to seeing the success continue at West Pioneer Trail.
Enjoy your summer and go Greenmen!
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com and @FrankAceto_RPC.