Since Dublin Jerome High School opened in 2004, the girls soccer team consistently has enjoyed postseason success.
The Celtics made state tournament appearances in their inaugural season as well as in 2007, have captured six district championships and have finished as district runners-up three times.
Jerome continued that tradition this fall by reaching a Division I regional semifinal, where it lost to Watterson 3-1 on Oct. 30 at Westerville Central to finish 15-4-1 overall, and junior midfielder Riley Mullady doesn't see it ending anytime soon.
"We set increasingly high standards each and every year, which results in the further growth of our program," Mullady said. "The Jerome soccer program is well known every year around the state and I have no doubt that we'll be able to execute at our level for years to come."
In the regional semifinal, Jerome fell behind by two goals in the game's first few minutes before senior defender Sam Poptic scored to cut the deficit to 2-1 with 35 minutes, 10 seconds remaining. However, the Eagles added another score with 14 minutes left to complete the scoring.
A turning point during the season took place after Jerome lost to Upper Arlington 4-1 on Sept. 18. The Celtics closed the regular season by going 5-0-1 and went on to beat Hilliard Darby 3-2 in two overtimes in a district final Oct. 27 as junior forward Sophie Magilligan scored the winning goal.
"We definitely had to make the choice as a team to rise after that loss (to UA)," coach Kelly Brothers said. "We shook it off and looked ahead to the goals we set for the season and kept moving. I'm proud of the girls for how they responded."
The Celtics are losing 10 seniors, led by Poptic, Bailee Bowers (midfielder), Claire Hollern (defender/midfielder), Mackenzie Malone (defender), Mackenzie Potts (defender), Emma Sears (forward), Bronwen Sears (defender/midfielder).
Emma Sears, Poptic and Mullady all were named first-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division, as Jerome went 7-0 to win its eighth consecutive league title. Bowers, Bronwen Sears and Magilligan were second-team all-league, Malone was special mention all-league and junior goalkeeper Natalie Coontz was honorable mention all-league.
Others eligible to return include juniors Kristen Francis (midfielder/forward) and Elyse Muresan (midfielder) and sophomores Sydney Browning (defender/midfielder), Kirsten Mitchell (midfielder) and Nicole Ogden (midfielder).
"This year we had (10) contributing seniors that have greatly impacted our program their four years," Mullady said.
Cook preparing to run in state meet
Junior Elliott Cook of the boys cross country team is preparing for the Division I state meet, which was moved from Nov. 3 to Saturday, Nov. 10, because bad weather caused flooding conditions across the course at National Trail Raceway.
Cook was runner-up at the regional meet Oct. 27 at Pickerington North, where he posted a time of 16:02 to finish behind Pickerington North's Matt Duvall (15:54.6).
It will be the third state appearance for Cook, who placed 43rd (16:19.9) last year after finishing 46th (16:07.5) in 2016.
Cook's state race is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
"My preparation changed quite a lot," he said, referring to the state meet being pushed back a week. "My coaches and I had to brainstorm different ways to approach this week of training. Overall, I think adding a week won't affect much of my strength because the last two weeks have been setting me up for states."