Westerville Central High School
|Westerville Central High School|
|7118 Mount Royal Avenue
Westerville, Ohio, (Delaware County), 43082
|Type||Public, Coeducational high school|
|School district||Westerville City School District|
|Color(s)||Silver and Black |
|Athletics conference||Ohio Capital Conference|
|Alumni||Ben Buchanan (OSU Football player)|
|Athletic Director||Andrew Ey|
Westerville Central High School is a public high school located in Westerville, Ohio, northeast of Columbus, Ohio. It is the newest of three high schools in the Westerville City School District, opening in the fall of 2003. It is located north of Westerville North High School.
Westerville experienced a population boom in the late 1990s, particularly in Genoa Township in the northern part of the city. In order to keep up with the growth, the district announced that it would build two new elementary schools and a third high school. Westerville was the second Greater Columbus school district to build a third high school. The district turned to the taxpayers to help foot the bill for the new buildings, with Central costing the district $40 million, but voters turned the district down. Eventually, the district secured the funds and Central opened its doors in August 2003. Students had the opportunity to select the school mascot and colors. The winning nickname was the Wombats, but the Westerville School Board deemed it unacceptable, and instead selected the second choice, the Warhawks. The colors chosen were Black and Silver.
On March 3, 2008, Central made national headlines after playing host to President Barack Obama, who was then a candidate in the Democratic Party Presidential Primary. Over 2,500 attended the town hall meeting, with many watching his speech from an overflow room.
Construction began on Central in 2002. The district hired Firestone Jaros Mullin, Inc./TMP Architecture to execute the project after declaring its proposal the best of those offered. The school features numerous facilities, including seven athletic fields, a 5,000-seat stadium, an 1800-seat gymnasium, and a state-of-the-art 750-seat auditorium/theatre. The school design called for four distinct academic "wings" for focus on individual subjects. Each "academy" is marked by a distinct color; there are red, yellow, blue, and green wings. Central's centerpiece is its common area, traditionally referred to as Central Avenue. It serves as the school's dining area, is the point that connects all wings of the school, and also is the site for many school functions. It is meant to resemble Westerville's historic business district, Uptown Westerville, with a design that includes storefronts, signs, and lampposts. For its design, the school design earned the designation of "2004 Outstanding Design Award" from American School and University magazine.
Central opened its doors to students in the fall of 2003, enrolling only freshmen and sophomores. The underclassmen thus had the opportunity to start new traditions and set the tone for years to come. Central added a third class in the 2004-05 school year, and had its first senior class in the 2005-06 school year. The school currently has approximately 1,600 students. In every year since its opening, the School has earned the designation of "Excellent" by the Ohio Department of Education on its annual report card, the highest possible distinction.
In the spring of 2007, principal Todd Meyer announced that he would be leaving his position at Central to become the principal at Olentangy Orange High School, a new high school in the Olentangy Local School District set to open in 2008. Todd Spinner was chosen to be the new principal after an extensive search. Spinner previously was the assistant principal at Delaware Hayes High School.
In athletics, students had the opportunity to play varsity schedules in their freshman and sophomore years during the initial two years of the school. Most teams struggled, but the school rallied around the girls soccer team, coached by Erik Ekis, winner of the 1997 National High School Coach of the Year award. Ekis led his team of 11 freshmen and 3 sophomores to a 15-3-1 record and an appearance in the OHSAA Division II State Semifinals. This was the beginning of a very successful run in girls soccer at Central, where the girls won the Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division and appeared in the Central District Championship in 2005. Seven members of the 2003 squad received scholarships to play soccer at the collegiate level. Central's 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 Girls Relay team also had success at the state level in their inaugural season, with the 4 x 400 team placing third in the state finals and the 4 x 100 team of Jeanetta Francy, Julia Francy, Raisa Garvin, and Vanessa Hardin winning the school's first state title.
The school has crosstown rivalries with Westerville North and Westerville South. The three schools found themselves in the same division in the Ohio Capital Conference starting in 2008. The Warhawks are also rivals with the Big Walnut Eagles in football, with the two teams competing in the "Battle of the Birds" for the "WarEagle Trophy."
The Boys Bowling team finished second at the state tournament in the 2005-06 season, and Jayson Foote finished as individual state runner-up in 2008.
In February 2007, Kicker Ben Buchanan became the first verbal commit of the 2008 Ohio State Buckeyes' football recruiting class, and was selected in September to play in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. In addition, he was selected in December 2007 as a first-team USA Today All-USA Team Member.
At the 2007 OHSAA Swimming State Championships, Austin Staab defended his state titles in the 100 Free and 100 Fly, tying the national record in the 100 Fly with a 47.10, matching the time of Nate Dusing of Covington, Kentucky set in 1997. For his efforts, Staab was named the Swimming World Magazine High School National Swimmer of the Year. He swam for Stanford University, where he was named an NCAA All-American in six events and the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference and NCAA champion in the 100 Fly.
The Girls Bowling team finished second at the state tournament in the 2009-10 season. Mary Wells and Melissa Klodnick were crowned individual state champion and runner-up, respectively, in 2010.
Westerville Central has earned the Ralph Young All-Sports trophy for the Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal division twice in five years (2010-2011 and 2013-2014 school years). The trophy is awarded to the school in each OCC division that performs the best in 16 common team sports over the course of the school year.
OHSAA Regional Championships
- Girls Soccer - 2003
OHSAA Central District Championships
- Boys Soccer - 2007, 2010
- Boys Bowling - 2006, 2008, 2010
- Baseball - 2011
- Girls Volleyball - 2012
- Girls Soccer - 2003
- Girls Bowling - 2009, 2010
Ohio Capital Conference Championships
- Boys Soccer - 2005
- Boys Basketball - 2008, 2014
- Boys Track and Field - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Football - 2006, 2011^, 2013^
- Softball - 2007
- Girls Soccer - 2005
- Girls Swimming and Diving - 2006
- Girls Track and Field - 2009
- Girls Volleyball - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Mens Lacrosse - 2012
^ State Playoff Qualifier
OHSAA Individual State Champions
All except those noted are Division I State Champions
2004 - Jeanetta Francy, Julia Francy, Raisa Garvin, and Vanessa Hardin (Track and Field - 4X100M Relay)^
2005 - Bryan Blake (Golf)
2006 - Austin Staab (Swimming - 100 Free)
2006 - Austin Staab (Swimming - 100 Fly)
2006 - Brandan Barlow (Wrestling - 285 Wt. Class)
2007 - Austin Staab (Swimming - 100 Free)
2007 - Austin Staab (Swimming - 100 Fly)^^
2007 - Stuart Smith (Track and Field - 100M Dash)
2007 - Stuart Smith (Track and Field- 200M Dash)
2009 - Gabrial Kamara, John Howard, Channing Doermann, and Davon Reed (Track and Field - 4X100M Relay)
2010 - Nic Schuttinger (Swimming - 100 Fly)
2010 - Mary Walls (Bowling - Girls)
^ Division III
^^ Former High School National Record
- OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association member directory". Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- Westerville News and Public Opinion, 4/23/03 "Wombats Won't Work... School Board Goes With Warhawks."