With much of the same cast returning from 2016, the Dublin Coffman High School boys golf team became an OCC-Central Division title contender last fall.
Despite losing six players to graduation, the Shamrocks again are fielding an experienced lineup as they eye another battle with Upper Arlington atop the league standings.
Coffman opened the four-round league tournament Aug. 7 at Turnberry, shooting a 304 to place second behind UA (303).
"We've got a lot of solid guys and we had good tryout scores, probably better than we've had in the past because we were more consistent," third-year coach Scott Sutherland said. "I didn't have anybody in my top six that had big numbers and we had some consistent numbers in the mid- to upper-70s. Last year, we had issues of guys having a bad day and guys that would go low, but when they were off, they were off. This year, we're going to have more consistent guys that I can count on for good scores as opposed to hoping we can get four good scores and not have to take a bad score."
In the opening round of the league tournament, senior Matt Sopko led with a 73, followed by junior Sam Sellman (76), senior Spencer Eiselt (77), junior Brett Whitis (78) and junior Jacob Hazen (80).
Senior Blake Whitis also should be a key contributor.
Hazen had the team's best scores during tryouts.
In the second round of league play Aug. 13 at Denison Golf Club, Coffman shot 326 to finish third behind UA (299) and Hilliard Davidson (319) as Sellman led with a 79.
Last season, Coffman placed fourth at the Division I sectional at Clover Valley to edge Scioto by one stroke for the final district berth and then shot 328 to place seventh at the 12-team district tournament as the top two teams advanced to state. Blake Whitis shot a 78 to finish five strokes from advancing to state.
Sopko is coming off a season in which he averaged 78.8 in OCC-Central play to make second-team all-league. Blake Whitis (79.0) also made second-team all-league and Eiselt (80.3) and 2018 graduate Drew Shipley (84.8) both were honorable mention all-league.
"We've got some pretty solid guys and I had a really good showing from two freshmen that will be our No. 1 and 2 on the varsity B, so I'm excited," Sutherland said. "We've got about 18-20 big tournaments and we travel a couple times."
Girls golfers expect to make impact
With last year's OCC-Central Player of the Year heading his lineup, seventh-year girls golf coach Randy Patton believes he could have one of the top 10 teams in Ohio.
The only player who is not back from last season when the Shamrocks placed third in the Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial and sixth (339) in the nine-team district tournament at Cooks Creek as the top two teams advanced to state is 2018 graduate Jooho Oh.
Senior Maria Howard returns after posting a league-best 75.5 average for Coffman, which opened league action Aug. 8 by placing third (329) behind New Albany (301) and Upper Arlington (322) in the first round of the six-team league tournament at Royal American.
The second round was Aug. 15 at Cooks Creek.
"I look for a really good year out of the 'Rocks," Patton said. "The girls are excited and I'm excited. If we use our experience, we've got a chance to go a long way. We've got five girls back, including the Player of the Year in our division of the OCC, and I've got a couple sophomores that are really good. I like who we are. I just want us to improve throughout the year."
Senior Olivia Brickey, junior Jenna Lynn and sophomores Ava Guilliams and Annika Manjunath also are returnees.
Manjunath shot a 67 during one of the team's tryout rounds. Guilliams was one of the team's top players during last year's regular season but missed the postseason with an injury.
Manjunath shot a 74 to tie for second and Howard carded a 79 in the opening round of the four-round league tournament.
Coffman went 16-4 in the OCC-Central last year to place second behind UA (18-2), and Patton expects New Albany also to be a league-title contender after it went 9-11 to place third.
Coffman opened Aug. 6 by placing third (317) in the Gahanna Invitational behind New Albany (295) and two-time defending state champion Olentangy Orange (309).
"The thing I like about this team is that we've got five girls that can break 80 and a couple that can break par," Patton said. "I told the girls, 'Let's just make sure we're in the conversation in early October.' It's a great group, and they seem to enjoy being around each other."
Tennis team gets boost from youth
The girls tennis team had three new players in its lineup when it opened Aug. 15 at Wellington, including one freshman.
Last season, the Shamrocks went 10-9 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Central to place second behind UA (5-0) after winning the league title in 2016.
"We had some good freshmen show up," seventh-year coach Brett Hundertpfund said.
"One wound up on varsity and the rest are sitting on the (junior varsity), and my assistant and I were pleasantly surprised. With a lot of my returnees, you can tell they played a lot over the summer. We had a couple open spots on varsity, so we had a couple people who were on the j.v. last year that they've obviously put in a lot of work and earned spots on the varsity team, so it's cool to see that."
Junior Claire Feit was expected to be at first singles for the opening match.
Seniors Lena Caruso, Alex Kapustin and Anya Shah and junior Hannah Qin also are returnees.
Sophomores Cassi Shough and Ria Singhal and freshman Geetha Anne are others on the team.
Sophomore Lalasa Nagireddy, who played first singles much of last season but did not compete in the postseason, transferred to Jerome in the offseason.
Caruso and Qin lost in sectional quarterfinals and Feit lost in the first round in singles at sectional while the doubles teams of Kapustin and 2018 graduate Meredith Ainsworth and Shah and 2018 graduate Darien Blackwell both lost in sectional quarterfinals.
"I like how the girls seem to be coming together so far," Hundertpfund said.
"We've got a lot of personalities. All the girls get along and we've got a lot of good talent and a good schedule. We're playing in some good tournaments."
Aug. 4 -- Cincinnati Sycamore Invitational at Blue Ash
Aug. 6 -- Olentangy Liberty Invitational at Denison Golf Club
Aug. 7 -- OCC-Central at Turnberry
Aug. 9 -- New Albany Invitational at New Albany Links
Aug. 10 -- Mount Vernon Invitational at Chapel Hill
Aug. 11 -- Youmans Classic at Oakhaven
Aug. 13 -- OCC-Central at Denison Golf Club
Aug. 14 -- Dublin Invitational at Golf Club of Dublin
Aug. 18 -- Cincinnati Moeller Invitational at Walden Ponds
Aug. 27 -- Centerville Invitational at Yankee Trace
Aug. 29 -- OCC-Central at Apple Valley
Sept. 1 -- Pinnacle Classic
Sept. 8 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 10 -- Golden Bear Invitational at Zanesville Country Club
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Darby Creek
Sept. 15 -- Trojan Invitational at Findlay Country Club
Sept. 22 -- Upper Arlington Masters at Scioto Country Club
Sept. 26 -- Olentangy Liberty at Kinsale
Sept. 29 -- Jerome at Hickory Hills
Oct. 6 -- Wedgewood Showcase
Aug. 6 -- Gahanna Invitational at Jefferson
Aug. 8 -- OCC-Central at Royal American
Aug. 10 -- Panther Invitational at Turnberry
Aug. 13 -- Newark Catholic at The Virtues
Aug. 15 -- OCC-Central at Cooks Creek
Aug. 18 -- Midwest Classic at Skyland Pines
Aug. 20 -- Centerville Invitational at Yankee Trace
Aug. 22 -- Jerome, New Albany and Olentangy Orange at Muirfield Country Club
Aug. 25 -- New Albany Fall Classic at Cooks Creek
Aug. 29 -- OCC-Central at Mentel Memorial
Sept. 4 -- New Albany Invitational at New Albany Country Club
Sept. 6 -- New Albany, Olentangy Orange at Blackhawk
Sept. 11 -Olentangy Liberty at Scioto Reserve
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Westchester
Sept. 15 -- Toledo St. Ursula Invitational at Highland Meadows
Sept. 18 -- Olentangy Liberty at Marysville Golf Course
Sept. 20 -- Upper Arlington Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 22 -- Marysville Invitational at Darby Creek
Sept. 24 -- Hilliard Davidson at Marysville Golf Course
Sept. 25 -- New Albany at New Albany Country Club
Sept. 27 -- Newark Catholic at Marysville Golf Course
Oct. 6 -- Pickerington North Fall Classic at Cooks Creek
Aug. 15 -- at Wellington
Aug. 16 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
Aug. 17 -- vs. Cincinnati Ursuline
Aug. 18 -- Columbus School for Girls Invitational
Aug. 21 -- vs. Westerville North
*Aug. 23 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson
Aug. 25 -- Watterson Invitational
*Aug. 28 -- at Westland
Aug. 29 -- at Pickerington North
*Aug. 30 -- vs. Marysville
*Sept. 4 -- vs. Central Crossing
*Sept. 6 -- at Upper Arlington
Sept. 11 -- at Olentangy
Sept. 12 -- vs. Columbus Academy
Sept. 13 -- at CSG
Sept. 15 -- Lexington Invitational
Sept. 18 -- at Scioto
Sept. 20 -- at Upper Arlington B
Sept. 24 -- at Watkins Memorial
Sept. 25 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 27 -- vs. Watterson
Oct. 2 -- vs. Bexley
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Aug. 22 -- At Jerome with Scioto
Aug. 17 -- At Olentangy Liberty
Aug. 18 -- Home vs. Olentangy
Aug. 17 -- At Olentangy Liberty
Aug. 22 -- At Olentangy