Having lost 26 athletes to graduation, including four of its five Division I state qualifiers from a year ago, the Dublin Coffman High School boys track and field team is counting on numerous athletes to take on bigger roles this season.

That might not be a bad thing, however.

"Losing some guys on distance from last year hurts us, but we've got some younger guys stepping up," second-year coach Kathryn Slaven said. "I'm really excited to see what our sprinters can do. I think we have a lot of potential to go a little deeper in the postseason."

The top returnee is junior Lucas Bons, who teamed with 2016 graduates Simon Alford, Tommy Alford and Tyndale Hannan on the 3,200-meter relay that was state runner-up in 7 minutes, 39.23 seconds.

Also gone after competing at state is 2016 graduate Jason Boateng, who was runner-up in the high jump (6 feet, 7 inches).

Coffman, which tied Centerville and Sandusky for fifth at state last year, took third (82.5 points) in the 13-team Lexington Invitational on April 8 behind Strongsville (125.5) and Canton GlenOak (103).

Bons won the 800 (1:57.03) and ran on the winning 6,400 relay along with juniors Ryan Bosworth and Arnaldo Gonzalez Calero and freshman Alex Dediu (18:26.45).

Another athlete out to a strong start is senior Noah Carpenter, who was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (42.19) at Lexington.

Seniors Alex Barber, Nolan Conway, Chris Mollica and Ibn Williamson, junior Jeslord Boateng and freshman Jameel Williamson are among the top sprinters.

Others Slaven is excited about include seniors Matt Bishop (high jump), Griffin Boggs (long jump), Adam Scarmuzzi (discus) and Robert Yengo (shot put, discus), juniors Griffin Hoak (shot put, discus) and Nathan Sears (distance) and sophomores Haider Awan (long jump) and Derek Van Vlerah (high jump).

High hopes remain
for girls track team

Ninth-year girls track and field coach Greg King isn't sure whether his team will end up with enough depth to develop into central Ohio's top team, but he wouldn't be surprised if another top-10 finish at state is in store.

The Shamrocks earned a second consecutive third-place state finish at state last season, scoring 32 points to finish behind Cincinnati Withrow (64) and Gahanna (53). They also finished third at state in 2012.

The return of junior Abby Steiner and senior Wambui Watene to the sprint corps might be the biggest reasons for optimism.

Steiner won state titles in both the 100 (11.6) and 200 (23.75) and anchored the first-place 800 relay (program-record 1:38.53) that also included Watene.

Watene also ran on the seventh-place 400 relay along with 2016 graduates Shannon Downie, Megan Gregory and Shaunqueza Stevens (48.53).

Senior Megan Cameron is another returning state qualifier, having placed 10th in the pole vault (11-6).

"We're young, so I don't see us competing with Pickerington Central and Gahanna because they just have too much depth," King said. "But against most other teams and even against Pickerington Central, we should be able to run with them. We could be a top 10 team in the state again."

Coffman scored 105 points to place second in the 13-team Lexington Invitational on April 8 behind Strongsville (107.5), as Steiner won the 100 (12.19) and 400 (57.73) and joined Watene, junior Jennifer Schulze and sophomore Isabelle Angerman on the winning 1,600 relay (meet-record 4:04.62).

Watene also won the 300 hurdles (46.65) and was joined by junior Gabby McCloy, Angerman and freshman Natalie Buchman on the winning 400 shuttle hurdles (meet-record 1:07.3), while Cameron won the pole vault (12-0).

Other key athletes include seniors Danielle Brown (shot put, discus), Makayla Buckley (shot put, discus), Haley Devine (middle distance), Elizabeth Roscoe (sprints), Jackie Tu (middle distance) and Madison Willoughby (long jump), juniors Marissa Kruse (middle distance), Megan Machulski (shot put), Delaney Marsalek (distance) and Ellie Weber (distance), sophomores Rachel Hoadley (shot put, discus), Leah Jablonski (distance) and Samia Juras (high jump) and freshman Ashley Fitzgerald (high jump).

Boys volleyball team
brings new look

After losing nine players to graduation, the boys volleyball team has just one returning regular starter in sophomore setter Jack Proctor.

Third-year coach Shane Farrell is hoping a group of role players from last season and strong athleticism can help his team take gradual steps forward.

The Shamrocks went 11-15 overall and placed fourth in the OCC-Ohio Division at 5-5 last season. They are now competing in the OCC-Central.

"We tell them that every time they touch the volleyball, they're getting better," Farrell said.

"With us graduating so many, we've got a ton of sophomores and juniors, and we have a lot of sophomores who are very athletic."

Coffman opened with a 25-15, 26-28, 25-14, 25-21 win over Watterson on April 3, but lost to Hilliard Davidson 25-15, 25-18, 25-11 on April 4 and Gahanna 25-19, 28-26, 25-23 on April 6 and was 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the league before playing Pickerington Central on April 11.

Seniors on the team are Adam Buckley (defensive specialist), Arijit Das (outside hitter), Nate Finley (libero) and Mike Seo (outside hitter).

Also on the team are junior Rithik Boindala (6-4, middle hitter) and sophomores Tali Berzins (right-side hitter), Aaron Forbush (middle hitter/outside hitter), Sean McDerment (middle hitter), Joey Mitchell (outside hitter) and Trevor Morse (middle hitter).

Boys lacrosse team
captures Emerald Cup

With a 9-8 victory April 8 at Jerome, the boys lacrosse team captured the Emerald Cup for the first time in the 14-year series between the three Dublin programs.

Videos •The Coffman boys lacrosse team completes a 9-8 victory over Dublin Jerome on April 8. •Coffman boys lacrosse player Wyatt Bartlett talks about his team capturing the Emerald Cup for the first time.

The Shamrocks trailed 7-3 but scored six consecutive goals and held on.

Andrew Boyle, Matt Dennis, Evan James and Ethan Tyack each scored two goals and Nick Harris scored one.

Wyatt Bartlett's play as face-off midfielder also was key, according to coach Shane Comisford.

The Shamrocks, who were 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Central after beating Pickerington Central 14-2 on April 10, beat Scioto 13-4 on April 4 in their other game in the Emerald Cup series.

"(Bartlett) was big (against Jerome)," Comisford said.

"We just told the boys that they've got to be one team and we can do anything."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

TRACK & FIELD

April 1 -- Wildcat Premier at Hilliard Davidson

April 4 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

April 8 -- Lexington Invitational

April 11 -- vs. Scioto

April 15 -- Dublin Classic at home

April 18 -- at Hilliard Davidson

April 21 -- Fulton Relays at Lancaster

April 25 -- at Worthington Kilbourne

April 29 -- Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington

May 2 -- at Jerome with Upper Arlington

May 5 -- Larkin/Crosten Invitational at Upper Arlington

May 11, 13 -- OCC-Central meet at home

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

April 3 -- vs. Watterson

*April 4 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson

*April 6 -- at Gahanna

*April 11 -- at Pickerington Central

*April 13 -- vs. Upper Arlington

*April 18 -- at Pickerington North

*April 20 -- at Hilliard Davidson

*April 25 -- at Gahanna

April 26 -- at Westerville South

*April 27 -- vs. Pickerington Central

*May 2 -- at Upper Arlington

*May 4 -- vs. Pickerington North

May 5 -- TBA in Spike for Tykes Tournament at Greater Columbus Convention Center

May 9 -- at Watterson

May 11 -- at DeSales

May 12 -- vs. Jerome and Scioto in Battle of Dublin

May 13 -- vs. Cincinnati Elder and Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, softball and boys tennis teams:

BASEBALL

April 13 -- Home vs. Jerome

April 14 -- Home vs. Scioto

*April 17 -- Home vs. Central Crossing

*April 18 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson

*April 19 -- At Central Crossing

BOYS LACROSSE

*April 13 -- Home vs. Newark

April 15 -- At Cincinnati St. Xavier

*April 18 -- At Marysville

GIRLS LACROSSE

April 14 -- Home vs. Columbus School for Girls

*April 18 -- Home vs. Marysville

SOFTBALL

*April 13 -- At Westland

April 14 -- At Hamilton Township

*April 17 -- Home vs. Marysville

*April 19 -- Home vs. Central Crossing

BOYS TENNIS

*April 13 -- Home vs. Marysville

*April 18 -- Home vs. Central Crossing

*League contest