Weather can't slow Jerome's three-peat
When the weather took a turn for the worse in the second round of the Division I state tournament, Brady Bohl of the Dublin Jerome High School boys golf team heard several of his opponents complaining about having to play through the wet, chilly and windy conditions.
Knowing that the Celtics had thrived under adverse conditions all season, the senior captain couldn't help but smile.
"When we got here and saw how bad the weather was, I told coach (Craig Zesiger) that if we were allowed to play in it, we were going to win because we're the toughest team in the state," Bohl said. "While other teams don't like playing in this kind of weather, we do well in it, and we've won every tournament that's been played in rainy and cold weather this season."
The Celtics went on to capture their third consecutive state title, winning the 36-hole, 12-team tournament held Oct. 18 and 19 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course with a 641. They finished five strokes ahead of runner-up Pickerington North (646) and six ahead of third-place Cincinnati St. Xavier (647).
Jerome became the first boys program in Ohio to win the large-school division of the state tournament three years in a row since Columbus Aquinas accomplished the feat from 1953-55.
The state championship is the Celtics' sixth in their program's 10-year history. They also won Division I titles in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2012 and captured the Division II title in 2004.
Jerome is now tied with Columbus Academy for the second-most state titles in boys golf behind Upper Arlington (16).
The Celtics shot a 319 in the first round at state and a 322 in the second. The only team to have a lower score in the second round was Pickerington North, which shot a 318 after turning in a 328 in the first round.
"It's so cool to go out with one more state championship, and I told my teammates that I wouldn't want to stand on the podium at the end of the tournament with anyone else," Bohl said as he held the state championship trophy. "And sharing this with our girls team makes it even more special because we're all good friends with one another."
The girls team also won its third state title in a row. Jerome is the only school in OHSAA history to win the boys and girls state tournaments in the same season, and the Celtics have now done it four times. They first accomplished the feat in 2005.
Bohl led the Celtics at state, shooting a 157 to finish sixth of 72 players. He and sophomore Adam Stephens, who tied for 10th (160), earned second-team all-state honors.
Also competing were sophomore Grant Lewis (tied for 13th, 161), freshman Jack Herceg (tied for 21st, 165) and junior J.D. Fletcher (27th, 166).
The Celtics were in second place after the first round, just one stroke behind St. Xavier.
"I like where we were after the first day because we didn't have the pressure of being in first place, but we were very close to the lead," Zesiger said. "We got off to a much better start (in the second round) and we played really well from hole No. 12 through 18. Even when our players' hands were so cold they could barely feel them, they were able to close this out, and we didn't have any big numbers on the last four holes."
Jerome's state performance capped a season in which it won its 10th league title in as many seasons and improved its all-time record in league play to 247-7. The Celtics went 27-1 in the four-round OCC-Cardinal Division tournament, finishing ahead of Westerville Central (25-3), Westerville South (18-10), Scioto (14-14), Hilliard Bradley (10-18), Hilliard Darby (9-19), Westerville North (9-19) and Canal Winchester (0-28).
Westerville South's Justin Arens was OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year with a 72 average in league play, but four Jerome players earned first-team all-league honors in Lewis (74), Herceg (74.25), Bohl (76) and Fletcher (76) and Stephens (78) was second-team all-league.
Seeded second in the district, Jerome shot a 300 in the 13-team sectional Oct. 1 at Granville Golf Course to edge runner-up and sixth-seeded St. Charles (301). The Celtics also won the 12-team district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley, shooting a 299 to finish six strokes ahead of runner-up Pickerington North (305).
"We swept the four major championships that were important to us, which were the OCC, sectional, district and state tournaments," Zesiger said.
Irish moved up in OCC standings
A year after going 1-27 and finishing eighth in the OCC-Cardinal tournament, Scioto went 14-14 and placed fourth.
Freshman Austin Dyson led the way for the Irish, earning second-team all-league honors with an 81 average.
Scioto concluded its season in the Darby Creek sectional, shooting a 341 to finish 11th. Competing at sectional were sophomore Blake Moody (81), Dyson (82) and sophomores Sam Humphries (85), Joey Nave (93) and Nick Pothoven (96).
"It was a fun season where we really improved our finish in the OCC," coach Roger Murphy said. "I'm really excited about our future because we can compete with anyone if each of our guys can improve (by) four or five strokes. Our guys need to improve in the offseason, and I'm also looking forward to some young golfers coming over from Davis Middle School and our j.v. team."