With more than 100 competitors out, there are options aplenty for the Dublin Coffman High School boys cross country team's lineup.
What the Shamrocks don't have an infinite amount of is experience to build around junior Alex Dediu, who joined 2018 graduate Lucas Bons at the Division I state meet as individuals last season.
Bons placed sixth (15 minutes, 34 seconds) and is now competing for Brigham Young. Dediu was 114th (17:02.9).
Senior Cameron Hull, junior Colin Gagne and sophomore Nate Brown also have returned after competing in the postseason last season, although Hull has been recovering from an injury and Brown didn't compete Sept. 1 in the Asics Hot Summer Bash at Hilliard Davidson.
Coffman finished 12th (270 points) at the 14-team meet at Davidson behind the champion and host Wildcats (65) as Dediu was fifth (16 minutes, 5.33 seconds) and Gagne placed 59th (17:48.74).
"We graduated three of our top five, and that's always tough," 39th-year coach Chad Biegler said. "We've been working on it. We have some kids that ran pretty well last year, so we're hoping they're going to step up. It'll be an interesting season. It's obviously sort of a rebuilding year, but I think we'll be better than a lot of people think we'll be."
Seniors Evan Burton and Ream Gebrekidan, juniors Noah Lowers, Shashwat Rao and Jacob Rust and sophomores Dylan Segieth and Mitchell Yeater also competed in the Hot Summer Bash.
Senior Alex Hess is another runner who Biegler believes could contribute.
"Some of our freshmen have really good potential," Biegler said.
"A couple of them I think can be pretty good, so we've got to get them going. We've got a boatload of sophomores."
Girls cross country pack growing
The addition of a strong freshman to go along with the return of four of its top seven runners has the girls cross country team in position for a strong season.
On Sept. 1 in the 11-team Hot Summer Bash, Coffman placed third (87) behind Davidson (30) and Springboro (83) as sophomore Abby Scherer was seventh (19:31.77) and freshman Madeline Erwin took 13th (19:57.33).
"I feel like we've got a pretty solid top six," fifth-year coach Greg King said.
"From a training standpoint, it looks like we should be a little better than last year. If we stay healthy, we should be a top-10 team at the regional."
Seniors Leah Jablonski and Madelaine Scherer and junior Emma Niswonger are other key returnees.
Senior Alexa Stout, juniors Lydia Ainsworth, Willow Hayward, Katherine Kinzeler and Grace Marsalek, sophomores Abby Collier, Natalie Conrad and Claire Gibson and freshmen McKenna Leonard and Kasey Stammen are others looking to contribute.
The biggest loss to graduation was Ellie Weber, who finished 26th in the Division I regional meet last season and is competing for Ohio State.
Field hockey team working on cohesion
One of the messages Jeff Goliver has attempted to send to his players since taking over as field hockey coach this fall is that the positions they're playing aren't nearly as important as how the team fits together overall.
"In the past, if they were on defense, they didn't play offense, and if they were on offense, they didn't play defense," Goliver said. "Positions are open. I'm trying to get them to embrace the idea that team comes first and we all need to play a role on the team to be competitive."
Goliver took over during the offseason for Caren Leslie, who headed the program the past eight seasons.
After going 4-12 last fall, the Shamrocks were 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division before playing Olentangy on Sept. 5. They beat Columbus School for Girls 2-0 on Aug. 22 for their first victory.
Goliver's daughter, 2015 Coffman graduate Emily Goliver, was a goalkeeper who plays for Miami University's club team.
He helped coach the Shamrocks' goalies the past three years and has a returning starter in goal this fall in sophomore Lauren Finley.
Juniors Mia Citino and Emma Kruse both scored one goal in the win over CSG.
The only seniors in the program are Alexis Frantz, Anne Saucier and Helen Widman.
Junior Reese Collins also is a key returnee.
Also on the team are juniors Ashley Crotty, Ella Haney, Ainsley Hartman, Jada Kleinholz, Lydia Koehler, Ava Scott, Maddie Villella and Xiaocai Way and sophomores Ellie Esterer and Becca Saucier.
"It's a fun group," coach Goliver said. "You always wonder how seniors are going to approach a change, and in some ways, it was good that I was an assistant goalkeeper coach. It's always good that they've seen you before you walk into the room, but it's different and they've embraced the changes in formation. As a team, we've focused on taking the positives of the program and making sure we build on those."
Golf teams prep for final OCC round
The boys and girls golf teams both will compete in the final round of their respective OCC-Central Division tournaments Wednesday, Sept. 12.
The girls, who will be at Westchester, are third in the league through three rounds at 10-5, behind New Albany (15-0) and Upper Arlington (11-4).
In the third round Aug. 29 at Mentel Memorial, the Shamrocks shot a 322 to place second behind New Albany (292) and ahead of third-place UA (329) as Maria Howard shot a 77 and Annika Manjunath carded a 78. Manjunath is third in the league in average at 74.7 and Howard is tied for fourth at 75.0.
The boys team is second in the league through three rounds at 11-4 behind UA (15-0) heading into the final round at Darby Creek.
In the third round Aug. 29 at Apple Valley, Coffman shot a 322 to place second behind UA (313) as Sam Jellman was medalist with a 75 and Matt Sopko shot a 77.
Through three rounds, Sellman is third in league average at 76.7 and Sopko is fourth at 77.0.
Aug. 22 -- Dublin Preview at Jerome
Aug. 25 -- Pickerington Classic at Pickerington North
Sept. 1 -- Asics Hot Summer Bash at Hilliard Davidson
Sept. 8 -- Mason Invitational
Sept. 15 -- Otterbein Invitational
Sept. 22 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster
Sept. 29 -- Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Bradley
Oct. 6 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington
Oct. 13 -- OCC-Central meet at Davidson
Aug. 20 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
Aug. 22 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls
*Aug. 27 -- at Thomas Worthington
Aug. 29 -- vs. Bexley
*Sept. 5 -- vs. Olentangy
Sept. 10 -- vs. Lancaster
*Sept. 12 -- vs. Jerome
*Sept. 17 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin
*Sept. 19 -- at Olentangy Orange
*Sept. 26 -- at Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 29 -- at Dayton Oakwood and at Kettering Fairmont
Oct. 1 -- vs. Hilliard club team
*Oct. 3 -- at Scioto
Oct. 8 -- at Hartley
*Oct. 10 -- vs. Upper Arlington
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 8 -- St. Charles Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 10 -- Gdovin Memorial Invitational at Zanesville Country Club
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Darby Creek
Sept. 6 -- New Albany and Olentangy Orange at Blackhawk
Sept. 11 -Olentangy Liberty at Scioto Reserve
Sept. 12 -- OCC-Central at Westchester
Sept. 8 -- At Copley
*Sept. 11 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson
Sept. 8 -- At Gahanna
Sept. 11 -- Home vs. Jerome
*Sept. 6 -- At Upper Arlington
Sept. 11 -- At Olentangy
Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy
*Sept. 6 -- At Westland
Sept. 7-8 -- Louisville (Ky.) Invitational Tournament