Andrew Golda is seeing the court from a different viewpoint this winter.

At 6-foot-8 and among the Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball program's all-time leaders in blocked shots and rebounds, the senior post player has seen his role expand to parts of the floor other than just the paint.

It's been a part of the new system first-year coach Richie Beard has tried to instill that features spreading the court, pressuring the ball and passing.

"This past summer, I worked really hard on my jump shot, which I haven't been asked to use much to this point," Golda said. "I've never really been asked to step back and shoot, as I've been usually under or near the basket. Due to our lack of experience, as well as running a completely new offense, coach Beard has me playing further away from the basket, which I like."

There have been some positive moments, albeit with uneven results, as a roster filled with players whose previous experience was limited has adjusted.

The Celtics were 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Delaware on Jan. 9 and they'll close the first round of league play Friday, Jan. 12, at home against Scioto.

A 57-55 loss to Hilliard Darby on Jan. 5 was Jerome's third in four games. Its win during that span came Dec. 29 against Dover, 65-49 in the Stephen Gussler Holiday Invitational at Thomas Worthington.

Golda, who averaged eight points last season, had a four-game stretch in mid-December in which he averaged 14.4 points. Through eight games, he was averaging 8.9 points, behind junior wing player Trey Ballengee (9.1).

"(Golda has) played AAU for me for four years, so I know Andrew's game probably better than he knows it at times," Beard said. "When he's locked in, he's as good as any big in the area. The biggest thing is he's running the floor in transition. When you're 6-8 and you're running the floor as well as a guard, you're very hard to guard. He's gotten a lot of layups in transition, and that puts a lot of pressure on (opposing players), so when they come down and want to play halfcourt defense, they want to play behind. If you're going to play behind him, he's going to get a bucket. When he's scoring from everywhere, it brings everyone's game up. When he owns the paint, it allows us to be more aggressive on the outside, and we can run."

Golda has been contacted by most of the Division II and III programs in Ohio as well as from other neighboring states and also has received interest from Division I programs such as Central Florida, Marist, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Bucknell, Princeton and Pennsylvania.

He's also considering being a student at Miami University.

His sister, 2015 Jerome graduate Lauren Golda, also played basketball at the prep level and is attending Ohio State.

"She played basketball all four years at Jerome and truly taught me what hard work and perseverance is all about," Andrew said. "Both of my parents have been extremely influential on my basketball and are my biggest fans."

In addition to the contributions of Ballengee and Golda, Jerome has six players averaging between four and seven points.

The team chemistry that has been on display is something both Beard and Golda believe is a positive.

"Guys are sharing the basketball," Beard said. "Guys are making shots and don't care who makes them. When we're really good is when we pressure the ball defensively, and then on offense everybody's moving around and sharing (the ball)."

Swim teams building for postseason

The boys and girls swimming and diving teams will travel Saturday, Jan. 13, to Branin Natatorium in Canton for the Northeast Classic.

On Jan. 5 at New Albany, the boys team won 102-68 and the girls lost 117-51.

"We've been busy," coach Patrick Johnston said. "We just got done with winter break training, so the kids are excited to swim some meets again."

The Celtics also will compete in the Dublin Classic on Jan. 20 at Dublin Recreation Center before the OCC-Cardinal meet Jan. 27 at Thomas Worthington.

There are four divers in the program, including defending league champion Alyssa Heinlen, a sophomore, and junior Hayley Jacobs who lead the girls team.

Competing in diving for the boys are freshmen Ryan Chowdhury and Joey Haas.

Johnston has been pleased with the progress he's seen, particularly from a group of sophomore boys swimmers that includes Austin Davis, Reno James and Ian Smith.

They've complemented a senior group that features three who have committed to compete in college in Grant Carpenter (Ball State), Grant Cicci (Miami) and Westin Fishel (John Carroll).

Senior Lauren Cooper, who has committed to Akron, junior Brenna Cooper and sophomore Maya Geringer have been the top girls swimmers, according to Johnston.

Wrestling team making progress

First-year wrestling coach Matt White likes the progress his program has been making this winter.

"The coaching staff has been receiving compliments from alumni and parents that the team is looking stronger than in past years," White said. "We're young and still in the building phase, but we're headed in the right direction."

On Jan. 4, Jerome lost to host Coffman 74-6 and fell to Scioto 58-15 to drop to 1-2 in the OCC-Cardinal. The Celtics opened league action Dec. 14 by losing to Delaware 45-14 but beat Thomas Worthington 59-9 on Dec. 21.

Lane Williams (132 pounds), Ezra Strickland (145), Cole Whitt (120) and John Huber (182/195) have been among the early standouts, according to White.



Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:


*Jan. 12 -- Home vs. Scioto


*Jan. 12 -- At Scioto. The Celtics lost to the Irish 39-34 on Dec. 5.

Jan. 16 -- At Logan


Jan. 11 -- Worthington Kilbourne Beauty & the Beast

Jan. 13 -- McGee Invitational at Coffman

Jan. 17 -- At Coffman with Delaware, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby and Hilliard Davidson


Jan. 12 -- Hunting Valley University School in Martin Luther King Tournament at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania

Jan. 13 -- New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic and Cincinnati Moeller in Martin Luther King Tournament

Jan. 14 -- TBD in Martin King Tournament


Jan. 13 -- Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton


*Jan. 11 -- At Worthington Kilbourne

Jan. 12-13 -- Marion County Tournament at Marion Harding

*League contest