Boys win ninth straight league title
Gahanna Lincoln goalkeeper Josh Geary makes a stop against Dublin Coffman earlier this season. The Lions will play Columbus West in the second round of the Division I district tournament on Saturday, Oct. 20. Buy This Photo
The Gahanna Lincoln High School boys soccer team's domination of the OCC continued this season.
Since the beginning of the 2004 season, the Lions are 51-0-4 against OCC-Ohio Division teams and have won at least a share of nine consecutive titles. They shared the league championship with Upper Arlington in 2004 and with Hilliard Darby in 2007 before going 5-0-2 in 2008 in the first year of the league's current alignment.
Since playing Reynoldsburg to a scoreless tie in its final league game in 2008, Gahanna has won 28 in a row.
"We always go strong for the OCC and it feels really good," senior Caleb Gruenbaum said. "A lot of us have been playing together since we were freshmen, so there's a bond."
"(Winning the league) was our goal from the beginning of the season," coach Todd Keenan said. "It always is. We don't take that for granted because the league gets tougher and tougher every year. Pickerington Central is a good team."
Gahanna beat Pickerington Central 3-1 in its league finale Oct. 9, as Chad Barrick, Hayden Pfeifer and Andrew Schwall all scored goals, Schwall had two assists and Gruenbaum had one assist.
The Lions, who were seventh in last week's Division I state poll and are seeded second for the district tournament, outscored league opponents 22-3. Their only scare came Sept. 11 when they scored in the game's final minute of a 3-2 win at Reynoldsburg.
Gahanna is 12-1-3 overall entering its tournament opener Saturday, Oct. 20, against visiting Columbus West. Its only loss of the regular season came Aug. 25 when it fell 4-0 at top-seeded Olentangy Liberty, the state's top-ranked team last week.
If the Lions beat West, they would play Canal Winchester, Upper Arlington or New Albany in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 24. The district final is scheduled for 5 p.m. Oct. 27 at Westerville South.