With underclassmen filling about half of his team's lineup, Dublin Coffman High School wrestling coach Chance Van Gundy expected the season to be a "work in progress."
There has been plenty to celebrate thus far, however, including earning a runner-up finish in the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament held Dec. 27 and 28 at Vandalia Butler and sweeping its sister schools.
"Other than a few early-season injuries, the season is going as planned," Van Gundy said. "(We used) the month of December to work a lot on technique, developing a growth mindset in our athletes and collecting as much data as possible about our young team. ... Many will have an opportunity to be pleasant surprises as the season unfolds."
Coffman scored 134 points in the 27-team GMVWA tournament as Buford (Georgia) won the title with 192.
Freshman Jimmy Baumann (106 pounds) and junior Lennox Wolak (182) both finished first, while senior Kyle Murray (113) placed third, senior Ben Yost (145) took sixth, sophomore Davante Cooper (120) finished seventh and junior Antonio Gonzalez (138) was eighth.
On Jan. 4, the host Shamrocks beat Jerome 74-6 and Scioto 51-20.
Coffman opens OCC-Central Division action Thursday, Jan. 11, at home against Central Crossing.
The Shamrocks will find out Jan. 19 who they face in the opening round of the state dual tournament, which begins Jan. 24.
Swimmers on track for strong finish
Members of the boys and girls swimming and diving teams will compete in the Northeast Classic on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
It's the biggest remaining event on the regular-season schedule before the Shamrocks compete in the OCC-Central meet Jan. 27 at Upper Arlington.
"We should have a very strong championship season," coach Steven VonSchriltz said. "The competition in central Ohio is very good, which just pushes us every day to get better."
On Jan. 6, the Shamrocks got a midseason tuneup as the boys scored 125 points to beat St. Charles (124) and Hilliard Davidson (56) and the girls defeated Davidson 128-48.
Eddie Michael won the 100-yard freestyle (47.12 seconds) and 200 free (1:43.77) and Brendan Oshida finished first in the 200 individual medley (2:00.15) and 100 breaststroke (1:00.53) to lead the boys team.
Winning multiple individual events for the girls were Hannah Bailey in the 100 breast (1:05.13) and 200 free (2:00.3) and Kristyn Sabol in the 200 IM (2:15:93) and 100 butterfly (1:00.39).
"The season is going very well for both the girls and boys teams," VonSchriltz said. "We seem to be ahead of last year in both training and performance. Our sophomore group of Brendan Oshida, Ethan Shaw and Will Randal has been swimming well. On the girls side, freshman Ellie Andrews and sophomores Hannah Bailey and Kristyn Sabol are on pace to score high at districts and states."
Boys basketball team perfect at midseason
With a 69-56 victory over Olentangy on Jan. 6, the boys basketball team was 11-0 heading into a Jan. 9 matchup against a Division I regional runner-up from a year ago in Pickerington North.
The Shamrocks follow that with an OCC-Central contest Friday, Jan. 12, at home against Upper Arlington, which was 10-0 before playing Olentangy on Jan. 9 and features one of central Ohio's top talents in 6-foot-5 senior guard and Notre Dame-recruit Dane Goodwin.
Against Olentangy, five players scored in double figures, with Dominiq Penn leading the way with 16 points, followed by Derek Van Vlerah (14), Luke Bartemes (13), Nick Carlson (11) and Will Hunter (11).
Hunter missed two games in mid-December because of injury but had 15 points in a 69-63 overtime victory over Massillon Perry on Dec. 23.
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 12 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
Jan. 13 -- At Toledo Scott
Jan. 13 -- Kettering Fairmont in Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland
*Jan. 16 -- At Upper Arlington. The Shamrocks beat the Golden Bears 83-62 on Dec. 5.
Jan. 13 -- McGee Invitational at home
Jan. 17 -- Home vs. Delaware, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson and Jerome
Jan. 12 -- Toledo St. John's in Martin Luther King Tournament at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania
Jan. 13 -- Upper Arlington and Cincinnati St. Xavier in Martin Luther King Tournament
Jan. 14 -- TBD in Martin Luther King Tournament
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 13 -- Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton
*Jan. 11 -- Home vs. Central Crossing