They were both multi-sport stars.
And they both ended their high school careers in rather spectacular fashion.
Aurora High School recently said goodbye to 2019 graduates Graham Aldredge and Corinne Henderson.
Aldredge, a member of the Greenmen track and field and football teams, finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles at the Division I state meet. As a result of his performance, Aldredge earned the prestigious trip to the podium.
Aldredge leaves Aurora as the school’s fastest runner ever in the 300 hurdles and is planning to continue his education at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Not to be outdone, Henderson ended her track and field career as a two-time state qualifier.
Despite an up-and-down spring, Henderson, who also was a district qualifier for Aurora’s gymnastics team during the winter, saved her best for last.
Henderson finished 17th in the pole vault at the 2019 state meet after placing 16th at last year’s state competition. By the way, the two-sport standout owns the school record in the pole vault.
Losing two giants such as Aldredge and Henderson will leave a significant void for both the boys and girls track and field teams next spring.
The girls squad, on the other hand, can probably breathe a little bit easier.
That’s because the Greenmen featured a rather talented jumper who plans to return next year.
Rising sophomore Lauren Tincher gave Aurora its second freshman state qualifier in two years after her spectacular season.
Tincher finished 15th in the long jump at the 2019 state meet. Her goal for the next three years will be to top another freshman phenom who excelled in the long jump the previous year.
Tincher will be gunning for the school record that is owned by former Greenmen standout Brianna Rawlings.
I’m not going to bet against her.
This gifted trio highlighted another strong spring season for sports teams in the 44202 ZIP code.
When the spring of 2018 arrived, I had high hopes for the Aurora baseball team. Alas, the Greenmen’s plan of reaching regional play for the second straight year hit a treacherous wrong turn.
I must confess that I felt far less enthusiastic about Aurora’s embattled baseball team this spring. The Greenmen appeared to be rebuilding after losing 12 talented seniors from the previous year.
Not surprisingly, my modest expectations proved foolish.
Aurora, despite featuring several new faces in its lineup, finished 15-10 and advanced to a Division II district title contest.
Yes, the Greenmen would have liked getting a few more wins to extend their postseason run. But considering it had a losing record last year, Aurora’s baseball squad certainly proved its subpar 2018 season was a total fluke.
The softball team certainly believed its season ended prematurely, as well. The top-seeded Greenmen were upset by fourth-seeded Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in a Division II district semifinal contest.
Nonetheless, Aurora finished a very respectable 15-8 and was in the Suburban League American Conference title race until the very end. The Greenmen ended up finishing as the conference runner-up to Highland after sharing the title with the Hornets and Tallmadge the previous spring.
And of course, Aurora has one more year to enjoy a certain once-in-a-generation star who terrifies both opposing pitchers and baserunners.
Her name is Aleese Angelo.
The standout rising senior catcher mesmerized yours truly with her left-handed bat and lethal right arm throughout the spring.
Angelo’s batting average hovered around .650 in 2019. That is, well, superhuman, if you ask this reporter.
Congratulations to all of the athletes for their amazing accomplishments during the spring.
Once again, these stellar performers proved something that has become quite common for the small school located not far from Routes 82 and 306.
The road to greatness goes through West Pioneer Trail.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.