The first OHSAA-sanctioned high school boys lacrosse regional tournament featuring teams from central Ohio has an air of unpredictability surrounding it, largely because of Dublin Coffman.
The Shamrocks posted their two biggest wins under first-year coach Shane Comisford when they beat Jerome 9-8 on April 8 to capture the Emerald Cup and defeated defending Division I state champion Upper Arlington 16-12 on May 2.
Coffman had lost its previous 22 games against UA, which won 12 Ohio High School Lacrosse Association state titles in 25 seasons under former coach Ted Wolford and was 13-2 overall before playing Worthington Kilbourne on May 9.
"It's a huge confidence booster," sophomore midfielder Evan James said. "We're mostly focused on the playoffs, but obviously we're really jacked up after (beating UA). It shows us what we can do."
Coffman had won seven games in a row and was 15-3 overall after beating Thomas Worthington 19-4 on May 8. The Shamrocks tied UA and Hilliard Davidson for the OCC-Central Division championship at 6-1.
Although the Shamrocks have 11 seniors, most were role players a year ago.
Sophomore midfielder Nick Harris, who had six goals against UA, and junior attacker Cam Bowdy were the most experienced players entering the season.
Senior attacker Andrew Boyle and sophomore midfielder Will Hunter recently returned from injury.
Senior Roman Emig, who plans to play club lacrosse at Ohio State, has become the team's No. 1 goalkeeper, while seniors Jake Karsten, Ike Phelps and Henry Rosenstein have been standouts defensively, according to Comisford.
"We're finally getting healthy and everybody's starting to become a team," Comisford said. "Our defense has done a 180."
Coffman is seeded second of 19 teams in the Division I, Region 3 tournament, behind UA. Jerome is seeded third.
The Shamrocks, who last beat UA during the regular season in 2002 and had their season end with tournament losses to the Golden Bears eight times since that victory, will play host to 16th-seeded Beavercreek or 17th-seeded Westerville South in a second-round game Wednesday, May 17.
The winner plays seventh-seeded Pickerington North or 10th-seeded Pickerington Central in a regional quarterfinal May 20.
"(Beating UA is) just a phenomenal feeling," Harris said. "It also shows to us how good we can play and that we can beat top teams like UA if we play to our full potential."
Softball team splits
battle of Dublin
The softball team split its two games in the Battle for the Cure on May 7 at home, beating Scioto 8-4 and losing to Jerome 8-4. The Celtics won the event to capture the Jessica Hirth Memorial Trophy.
Proceeds from the games went to the American Cancer Society.
Hirth, a 2016 Jerome graduate and a former player for the Celtics, died July 14 after a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.
Seeded 25th of 45 teams, the Shamrocks were 11-14 overall after opening the Division I district tournament May 8 at home by beating 40th-seeded Northland 20-0.
Coffman played at 11th-seeded Watkins Memorial in a second-round game May 10, with that winner facing eighth-seeded Hilliard Bradley or 21st-seeded UA in a district semifinal Monday, May 15, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final will be May 19 or 20 at Pickerington Central.
The Shamrocks celebrated senior night May 3 by beating UA 8-3 in an OCC-Central game with senior pitcher Courtney Berry picking up the victory. The other seniors are shortstop Kara Day and outfielders Samantha Hackett and Josie Strong.
Coffman finished 3-7 in the OCC-Central.
"It was so fun," said Day, who was a standout on defense against the Bears, according to coach Scott Tillman, and had two hits. "I just couldn't have hoped for a better senior night."
Baseball team wins
Seeded 20th of 46 teams, the baseball team opened the Division I district tournament May 8 at home by beating 45th-seeded Walnut Ridge 15-0.
The Shamrocks were 14-10 overall before playing 10th-seeded New Albany in the second round May 10, with that winner facing sixth-seeded Pickerington Central or 34th-seeded Reynoldsburg in a district semifinal Monday, May 15, at a neutral site to be determined.
The district final is Wednesday, May 17, at a neutral site to be determined against second-seeded Hilliard Darby, 14th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley, 19th-seeded Upper Arlington or 27th-seeded Whetstone. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 25 at Coffman.
Coffman was in the OCC-Central title race until a 2-1 loss to Marysville on May 2. It beat Central Crossing 4-2 on May 3 to improve to 9-5 in the league and had its league finale May 5 against UA postponed.
Davidson won the OCC-Central title at 11-4.
Against Marysville, the Shamrocks scored one run in the sixth inning after trailing 2-0 but couldn't complete the rally. Marcus Ernst took the loss, giving up just four hits and no walks and allowing two unearned runs in five innings.
Against Central Crossing, Trent Jester went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Cole Bartemes was 2-for-3.
Canyon Caldwell pitched the first 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win, while Blake Baldridge retired the last batter for the save.
Girls lacrosse team
preps for postseason
The girls lacrosse team was 9-7 overall before playing Bradley on May 9 in its regular-season finale.
The Shamrocks finished 4-2 in the OCC-Central, with its losses coming to Pickerington Central (16-12 on April 11) and UA (14-1 on May 2).
Also last week, Coffman beat Westerville Central 16-6 on May 4 and lost to Thomas Worthington 19-8 on May 5.
Against Westerville Central, Delaney Murray had four goals, Annamarie Guth scored three and Megan Murphy, Alexa Piekarski and Renea Tonon each scored two.
Coffman is seeded fifth of 15 teams in the Division I, Region 3 tournament and will open Monday, May 15, at home against 11th-seeded Pickerington North, with the winner to play fourth-seeded Watterson or 12th-seeded Bradley on May 19 in a quarterfinal.
Track teams set for
OCC, district meets
The track and field teams are competing in the OCC-Central meet Thursday, May 11, and Saturday, May 13, at home.
The Shamrocks then will prepare for the Division I district meet next week at Darby.
The boys team is competing in district 3, which begins Wednesday, May 17, with field events, continues May 18 with running preliminaries and concludes May 20 with running finals.
The girls are competing in district 1, which starts with running preliminaries Tuesday, May 16, followed by field events on May 18 and running finals on May 20.
The top four finishers in each district event advance to the regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North.
Boys tennis team
set for sectional
Senior Bryan Yoshino and junior Robbie Berling of the boys tennis team are seeded second and fourth, respectively, in the Division I sectional Thursday, May 11, and Saturday, May 13, at UA.
Yoshino opens against Columbus South's Nathan Thompson or Briggs' Gavin Jolley in a first-round match, while Berling opens against Marion Harding's Evan Carlie or Marion-Franklin's Tavain Rhodman in the first round.
Also in singles, junior Pratheek Gandhodi faces Watkins Memorial's Aaron Burd in the first round.
In doubles, senior Nick Kashani-Motlagh and junior Ketul Patel are seeded second and juniors Grant Brooks and Alex Powell are seeded third. Both teams have a first-round bye.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 18 at Davidson and May 20 at UA.
Volleyball team preps
for Battle of Dublin
The boys volleyball team will play host to Jerome and Scioto on Friday, May 12, in the Battle of Dublin.
The Shamrocks were 5-10 overall before playing DeSales on May 8 and Watterson on May 9. They lost to Pickerington North 20-25, 25-16, 31-29, 18-25, 15-7 on May 4 to finish 2-8 in the OCC-Central.
Coffman went 2-3 in the Spike for Tykes tournament May 5 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. It lost to Clayton Northmont 25-13 and Westerville North 25-20 in pool play before beating Gahanna 26-24, 20-25, 25-21, losing to Pickerington North 26-24, 25-15 and defeating Middletown 25-23, 23-25, 25-16.
The Shamrocks close the regular season Saturday, May 13, at home against Cincinnati Elder and Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit.