It was a busy offseason for the Dublin Jerome High School boys lacrosse team.

It was a busy offseason for the Dublin Jerome High School boys lacrosse team.

With four Division I college recruits among 11 graduates from last year's team, coach A.J. Auld knew he'd have a much more inexperienced roster.

To help close the gap, Jerome brought in former Ohio State and current Major League Lacrosse attacker Kevin Buchanan as well as other college and professional players to provide instruction.

Although the roster will have seven freshmen, Auld believes his team should remain competitive as it grows through the early season. The opener is Wednesday at Worthington Kilbourne.

"We've really worked in the offseason to get a lot of local guys in here to help them come along," Auld said.

"We're just doing everything we can to teach the guys new tricks."

Jerome has two seniors who have committed to play in college in defender Erik Flexer (St. John's) and midfielder and attacker Connor Matrka (Mercyhurst). Junior Eric Ruhl, who was the leading scorer with 44 goals and 22 assists last year as Jerome went 14-6, has verbally committed to Johns Hopkins.

Joining Flexer on defense are seniors David Harless, Joe Horine and Ted Nelson. One of the candidates to take over at long-stick midfielder is freshman Austin Duncan.

Senior Ian Burkhart and junior Matt Horn have been battling with junior Joe Foglietti at goalie. Burkhart and Hornsplit timelast year.

Because the Celtics have such a large group of new players offensively, Auld said all of them could see time at attack and midfield. Senior Spencer Schnell and Ruhl were attackers last year along with junior Landon Delprince. Matrka is listed at midfielder.

Others on offense should include sophomore Leo Horine and freshman Joe Bano.

Jerome finished third at 5-2 in the OCC-Buckeye Division last year behind Upper Arlington (6-1) and Worthington Kilbourne (6-1) and ahead ofThomas Worthington and Dublin Scioto(4-3), Dublin Coffman (2-5), Hilliard Davidson (1-6) and Hilliard Darby (0-7).

Jerome beat Olentangy Liberty 18-3 and Scioto 13-8 before losing to Kilbourne 16-12 in a Division I regional final.

Amongthe graduation losses were Marshall Burkhart (Johns Hopkins), Tyler Mordecai (Johns Hopkins), Tanner Seago (St. John's) and Alex VanKrevel (Army).

"We're very young this year," Auld said. "We have a mix of guys with a nice amount of experience with a majority of guys who have never touched a varsity field. With a lot of the guys who are freshmen, if you didn't look at their faces, you'd think they're seniors."

• Scioto lost 11 graduates from a year ago after it went 12-8, but new coach Matt Cafarelli inherits two of the area's top offensive players in seniors Aaron Taylor and Liam Patridge.

The Irish also have one of the state's top goalkeepers in senior A.J. Levell, who along with Taylor signed with Detroit Mercy in late February.

Patridge was the third-leading scorerwith 34 goals and 19 assists last year and is back at attack where he'll join Taylor, who transferred from St. Charles.

Levell finished with 283 saves and a .637 save percentage.

Joining Levell on defense will be seniors Will Applegate, Aaron Crawford and Steven Livingston, junior Michael Dilenschneider and sophomore Marcus Rossetter on close defense and senior Adam Abrishami at long-stick midfielder. Other defensive midfielders include senior Andrew Berrigan and junior Kyle Colello.

Also at attacker is junior Shane Hasty. Offensive midfielders include seniors Alex Dowell, Kyle Kapps, Drew Pike and Michael Verhaeghe, juniors Brendan Gray and Ryan Kossoudji and sophomores Jordan Emerson and Sean Thum.

The Irish open Saturday against visiting Westerville Central and play their OCC-Buckeye opener Wednesday at Darby.

"We definitely have some high hopes," said Cafarelli, who replaces three-year coach Dave Anderson. "Our senior leadership is what sticks out."

• Coffman has seven seniors but few others with much experience after losing 12 graduates from a team that finished 10-8.

The Shamrocks, who beat Toledo St. John's 7-5 in the first round of the postseason and lost to eventual state champion Upper Arlington 14-7 in the second round, opened last Monday at Loyola (Md.) Blakefield and played at Severn (Md.) Spalding last Tuesday. They will play Tuesday at Davidson.

Top returnees include junior attacker Evan Bowdy, who had 23 goals and 22 assists last year, senior defenderMatthew Richert and senior midfielder Alex Previte.

Juniors Josh Jee and Sam Ganz are expected to split time at goalkeeper. Richert should be joined on defense by juniors Jacob Gilbert and Alex Pang, and senior Ory Kelley will be at long-stick midfielder.

Joining Previte at offensive midfielder will be seniors Ryan Cassidy, Jason Chin and Robert Scott, junior Matthew Mack and freshman Kenny Kristan.

Sophomore Jerrod Bierbower, who will take face-offs along with Previte, will be a defensive midfielder along with junior Chuck Carkhuff and sophomore Connor Lucas.

Joining Bowdy at attacker are juniors Jake Buehler and Steve Carpenter, sophomore Ryan Borcherding and freshman Alex Chin.

Among those lost to graduation, Ross Doan is playing for Bellarmine and Kyle Lucas (45 goals) and Justin Baltzer are at Wheeling Jesuit.

"We're very strong (at attacker)," coach Marc Carlson said.

"Defensively we're strong across the board. With us being as young as we are, it's kind of an open book. I like the fact that we've got a lot of guys that have lacrosse knowledge."

At a glance

COFFMAN

•Coach: Marc Carlson, fourth season

•Next game: Tuesday at Hilliard Davidson

•Key players: Evan Bowdy, Ryan Cassidy, Ory Kelley, Alex Previte and Matthew Richert

JEROME

•Coach: A.J. Auld, fourth season

•Opener: Wednesday at Worthington Kilbourne

•Key players:Erik Flexer, Joe Horine, Connor Matrka, Eric Ruhl andSpencer Schnell

SCIOTO

•Coach: Matt Cafarelli, first season

•Opener:Saturday vs. Westerville Central

•Key players: Will Applegate, A.J. Levell, Liam Patridge, Drew Pike and Aaron Taylor