Vinton County High School (VCHS) athletes who advanced to state-level competition last school year in their respective sports were presented championship rings in a pre-game ceremony held just before the varsity football game between the Vikings and Warren Local on Friday evening, Oct. 1.

The rings were purchased by the Vinton County Athletic Boosters and were presented to the members of the Vinton County Lady Vikings’ State Runner-Up basketball team, along with State Track Meet qualifier Elijah Williams, who competed in the long jump. The third honoree was Olivia Mayers who advanced to the State Cross Country Meet. She could not attend because she is attending college at Miami University. She will be receiving a necklace from the Boosters for her accomplishments.

It was the first time VCHS athletes competed in State Tournament competitions in the fall, winter, and spring seasons in the same year. As he began the ceremony, Public-Address Announcer Bruce Knox described the accomplishments of the athletes. He started with the Lady Vikings, who made school history with their long march to the State Tournament in Dayton.

“This team accomplished a lot of firsts,” said Knox. He went on to describe how the team won its first District championship and Regional title. Then, Knox hit the climax of what sports fans will always remember.

“The Lady Vikings punched their ticket at the State Tournament by defeating Shaker Heights by two points,” Knox noted. The journey through ended for the Lady Vikings with a loss to Napoleon in the State Championship Game.

Head Coach Rod Bentley and Assistant Coaches Bret Jones (the new head coach), Bob Grillo and Michaela Puckett were present along with the players: Ashley Bentley, Morgan Bentley, Tegan Bartoe, Karis Caudill, Myriah Davis, Chloe Haybron, Lydia Lenegar, Lydia Nichols, Allison Riddle, Lacie Williams, Lakin Williams, and Cameron Zinn.

Knox also praised the hard work Williams did in advancing in the Long-Jump competition. He finished in14th in the State Track Meet competition and was the runner-up in the Regional Track Meet.

Mayers finished 73rd in the State Cross Country Meet with a time of 20:21. She finished 26th in the Regional Meet with a time of 20:25:26. Mayers was able to balance academics and athletics as she was also the class Valedictorian.

Knox stated these athletes and their accomplishments will long and fondly be remembered by Vinton County sports fans.