Dublin Villager

Football

Coffman places fifth at tourney

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Since Mark Crabtree took over as coach in 2001, the Dublin Coffman High School football program has gained a reputation for developing quarterbacks and a strong passing game.

Something the Shamrocks never had accomplished -- until this summer -- was qualifying for the National Select 7-on-7 tournament.

They achieved that task when they won the state tournament June 21 on their home field and built on the experience by placing fifth in the 32-team, double-elimination national tournament July 18 and 19 in Hoover, Ala.

"With all of the great teams Coffman has had, we've never been able to win the state tournament before," senior wide receiver Kyle Marcinick said. "Ever since our freshman year, our class has been able to do special things. It came down to chemistry and having fun."

Marcinick was among 32 players who traveled with Coffman to the national tournament, which included pool play July 18 and a championship bracket July 19.

Although the Shamrocks went 2-5 and were seeded just 27th after pool play, they found their stride during the bracket competition.

Coffman began bracket play by beating sixth-seeded Niceville (Fla.) 23-19, 11th-seeded Naperville (Ill.) Central 24-19 and 19th-seeded Topeka (Kan.) 24-20 before falling to eventual champion and second-seeded New Orleans Warren Easton 34-14.

The Shamrocks then lost to Brandon (Miss.), which entered bracket competition as the No. 1 seed, 29-22 to finish fifth.

Marcinick, who recently received college offers from Youngstown State and Yale, was among the standouts at the event for the Shamrocks, according to Crabtree.

Senior Ben Beckett and junior Gunnar Hoak split time at quarterback, and Crabtree said senior wide receivers Chase Granlund, Shawn Rankin and C.J. Saunders also contributed.

The event featured four pools of eight teams and games that lasted 21 minutes. The clock for each game ran continuously for the first 20 minutes.

Each team used quarterbacks, running backs and receivers on offense and linebackers and defensive backs on defense.

Kenton, which finished second in the state tournament, also represented Ohio in the national event after winning the national title a year ago.

The national 7-on-7 tournament has been held since 2001.

"The quality of the teams was extremely high," Crabtree said. "The caliber of athletes is unbelievable. We went 2-5 in pool play, but what we did was try to give everybody an experience. That's a little bit of the reason we struggled in pool play. I just wanted our team to go down and compete, and we ended up fifth. We lost to the team that won it all.

"The No. 1 thing is that we got an excellent opportunity to spend time with each other away from home. Any time you can do that, it develops team chemistry. We also got to install and work on some stuff offensively and defensively that's valuable."

According to Crabtree, there were more than 100 players at the event who have committed to play for major college programs.

Competition lasted for about nine hours during the opening day.

Warren East beat Spanish Fort (Ala.) 25-24 in the championship game.

"It was a really good experience," Hoak said. "It was well set up and there were a lot of good teams there. We got to see better competition than there was here in Ohio. We got to work on some stuff. There are no defensive linemen and nobody trying to tackle you, but it helps us work on timing. A lot of players put in a lot of work and improved a lot."

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