You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Wildcats dedicate season to fallen teammate

A void won’t be easily filled on the Springfield High School boys track and field team this spring. A bullet to the chest of junior Jeff Wellington last weekend saw to that.

“Everybody’s hurting and trying to get back on their feet and get back to normal but it hurts,” said sophomore football and track teammate Xavier Garland during Friday’s 64th Dayton/Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium.

“It’s somebody who you just saw the other day and is gone. Just talking to him and hanging out with him and now he’s gone. It’s just unreal.”

Wellington died early last Sunday while trying to break up a confrontation. The slaying suspect, 17-year-old Tyrin Lemond Hawkings of Springfield, remains at large.

Springfield’s sudden loss has rocked teammates, the school and its community. No wonder the Wildcats have dedicated this season to Wellington.

A sprinter, he was one of the many new members who new head football coach Maurice Douglass had encouraged to run track. Springfield has a long way to go to compete with the likes of Wayne, Centerville, Trotwood-Madison and Northmont in the Greater Western Ohio Conference, but the future looks good.

So did the promise of Wellington, who was ticketed as a starting running back this fall.

“Our whole school was heartbroken,” freshman sprinter Tyron Holly said. “It doesn’t even feel the same no more. Everything that we do is for him. I’ve got his name printed on my shoes. That man, he had so much potential. He had everything going for him.”

The meet was the first time that Springfield had competed since Wellington’s death. Coaches Elliot Shuman (boys) and Anthony Moss (girls) were more concerned about the Wildcats emotionally recovering than training this week.

Schuman first bonded with Wellington as a science tutor. He said besides understanding science, they often talked about the “big picture,” about what awaited Wellington.

On Thursday, Springfield track members prepared for the meet with a cathartic kickball game and cookout.

“It was a good time and I saw some guys smile for the first time in a while,” Shuman said. “That was nice.”

Garland said he and Wellington would have been in the backfield together this fall.

“Everything, football, any sport that I do is for him,” Garland said. “I know he wouldn’t want me to go any other way than to go as hard as I could. It’s some big shoes to fill. Everything from now on is going to be dedicated to Jeff.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

H.S. Results for 1/16: Troy girls win Pioneer Classic

The Troy girls bowling team’s baker game totals pushed them ahead of Centerville by four pins in the 24-team Pioneer Classic on Monday. Troy tallied a 3,763. Centerville had a 3,759. Bellefontaine finished third, followed by Vandalia, Coldwater and Versailles. Tacey Ballen of Centerville rolled the highest score in the tournament. The boys had...
Ohio State commits shine at Flyin’ to the Hoop
Ohio State commits shine at Flyin’ to the Hoop

Two future Ohio State basketball players who took the floor Monday at Trent Arena had different outcomes, but they both came out smiling. For Versailles junior wing Justin Ahrens, it was a matter of pride, scoring 26 points in a 61-56 win for the Tigers over Tri-Village at Day 4 of the 15th annual Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop. “They&rsquo...
Alter rallies to beat Middletown at Flyin’
Alter rallies to beat Middletown at Flyin’

Alter played its third game in four days and rallied in the fourth quarter to edge Middletown 48-44 in the Day 4 finale of the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop at Trent Arena. Dominic Laravie had 21 points to lead the Knights (10-2), who beat Fenwick on Friday and lost to unbeaten and top-ranked Moeller (Division I) on Saturday. “It&rsquo...
Girls Basketball: Top-ranked Alter beats Tecumseh
Girls Basketball: Top-ranked Alter beats Tecumseh

Tecumseh found out early in a nonconference girls basketball game on Tuesday night that Alter is deserving of the No. 1 ranking in Division II. The Knights likely solidified their spot with a 66-52 win over Tecumseh. “We knew what we were getting into, and that’s why we wanted to play them,” Tecumseh coach Danielle Thomas said. &ldquo...
Wesley Christian (Ky.) edges CJ in OT at Flyin’
Wesley Christian (Ky.) edges CJ in OT at Flyin’

Jacquel Freeman-Parks hit a late 3 to force overtime but Chaminade Julienne couldn’t convert enough in the extra session and fell 51-49 in OT to Wesley Christian (Ky.) in Day 4 of the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop at Trent Arena on Monday. Benson Lin led Wesley with 14 points. P’Hariz Watkins paced CJ with 19 points and Christian...
More Stories