Having earned all-Ohio honors at the Division I state boys cross country meet a year ago, Dublin Coffman High School senior Lucas Bons had high aspirations for his third state appearance.

Having earned all-Ohio honors at the Division I state boys cross country meet a year ago, Dublin Coffman High School senior Lucas Bons had high aspirations for his third state appearance.

With enough energy left to pass three runners in the last mile, Bons surpassed his own expectations, however, by placing fifth of 186 runners in 15 minutes, 16.3 seconds Nov. 5 at National Trail Raceway. The top 25 finishers earned all-state honor and the top 15 reached the podium.

Bons finished 75th as a freshman and 21st last season.

"It's a lot better than I could have expected, so I was really happy with it," he said. "(Making the podium has) been my dream for a long time, so I'm going to be really happy."

Bons was the second-highest finisher among central Ohio competitors. Liberty Township Lakota East junior Dustin Horter won the title in 15:02.8, while Pickerington Central junior Matt Scrape was state runner-up (15:08.1).

"A lot of the top 10 guys are in my region, so I got to race them all season and I wasn't as nervous coming in," Bons said.

Also competing at state was Ellie Weber of the girls team. The junior placed 105th (19:48.1) of 178 runners as Hilliard Davidson senior India Johnson won the title (17:28.6).

Weber passed 13 runners in the final mile to finish in nearly the same time she did as a freshman in 2014 when she helped the Shamrocks advance to state as a team. She was 81st that season in 19:45.25.

"I felt very happy with my performance (this season)," Weber said. "While it didn't turn out place-wise as well as I'd hoped, I was happy with my time. I'll never forget the intensity of the race from the gun. It was taken out extremely fast and I'm hoping to use this experience for next year. The intensity of the crowd was amazing, which helped me keep my tempo."

Volleyball team heads back to state

The girls volleyball team moved another step closer to what it hopes is its first Division I state title when it beat Gahanna 25-12, 25-15, 25-22 in a regional final Nov. 5 at Worthington Kilbourne.

The Shamrocks now get a rematch of last year's state championship match when they face Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at Wright State University.

Last season, Coffman had to settle for the runner-up trophy for the third time when it lost to Mount Notre Dame 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 in the state final.

The Shamrocks, who beat DeSales 25-23, 25-15, 25-19 in a regional semifinal Nov. 3 at Kilbourne, are 24-3 while Mount Notre Dame is 16-10.

The winner plays Brecksville-Broadview Heights or Cleveland St. Joseph Academy in the state final at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Wright State.

"We wanted to get (to state) again and prove that we can do it," sophomore Riley Wagoner said. "After losing all of the seniors we did, people thought we'd be a completely different team this season. (Being at state) is exciting. It kind of gives you a college feel."

Against Gahanna, Wagoner had 23 kills and 10 digs, Jenn Schulze had 38 assists and 15 digs and Jacy Sheldon had 10 digs.

Coffman hasn't lost a game during its current 15-match winning streak.

"I told everyone at the beginning of the season that we could make it back to the final four just based on our defense," coach Mary Anne Souder said. "Just to see our middle hitters, (sophomores) Carmen Haefke and Kaitlyn Kopyar, really come on has been really fun. (Senior) Gabby McCloy really stepped in today when we needed her to and Riley has been averaging 20 kills a match, which is kind of unbelievable for a sophomore."

Boys soccer team losing nine seniors

The boys soccer team won its sixth consecutive district championship and went on to reach a Division I regional final, where it lost to St. Charles 3-1 on Nov. 5 at Hilliard Bradley to finish 17-2-2 overall.

Coffman, which lost in a regional semifinal a year ago, is losing nine seniors after setting the program record for wins in a season.

"I'm super proud of what we've accomplished," first-year coach Brian Stoddard said. "We had a great senior class that did everything we asked of them as coaches. We had some good kids who will be difficult to replace."

The Shamrocks went 5-0 to win the OCC-Central Division, ahead of Upper Arlington (3-1-1), Marysville (3-2), Hilliard Davidson (2-2-1), Westland (1-4) and Central Crossing (0-5).

Seeded second in the district tournament, Coffman beat 39th-seeded Columbus West 8-0 on Oct. 22, 28th-seeded Groveport 9-0 on Oct. 26 and 13th-seeded Olentangy Orange 4-3 on Oct. 29 at Westerville North to win a district title.

Coffman earned a season sweep of Jerome with a 6-3 win in a regional semifinal Nov. 2 at Gahanna after beating the Celtics 3-0 on Sept. 15.

Among the seniors were first-team all-league selections Matt Kiley (defender/midfielder), Andrew Pfeiffer (midfielder/forward) and Matt Stritar (defender), second-team all-league picks Rain Miller (defender), Iori Nakajima (midfielder) and Joey Rudolph (defender/midfielder) and honorable mention all-league selection Jon Ashbrook (defender).

Junior forward Luke Kiley had 27 goals and was named OCC-Central Player of the Year. Junior Noah Paoletti (defender) made second-team all-league and junior Nick Turner (defender/midfielder) was special mention all-league.

Also eligible to return are juniors Thomas Fuchik (forward/midfielder), Matt Stritar (defender) and Jack Wallberg, who was one of the team's goalies along with senior Andrew Ebeling.

"We have six or seven starters coming back for us and three of our four in the back," Stoddard said. "We have an excellent opportunity to be back (in a regional final) next year."

Girls soccer team showed 'resilience'

The girls soccer team endured injuries to several key players, including not having last year's district Player of the Year, junior forward Abby Steiner, or last year's starting goalie, senior Mikayla Buckley, for the entire season.

Despite also not having senior forward/midfielder Kaylin Daniels for most of the season and having others miss time as well, the Shamrocks only lost by two goals or more three times all season.

Coffman finished 4-6-8 overall and third in the OCC-Central at 2-1-2, behind Davidson (4-0-1) and Marysville (3-0-2) and ahead of UA (2-3), Central Crossing (1-3-1) and Westland (0-5).

Among the Shamrocks' top performances was a scoreless tie Oct. 4 against Gahanna, which was a regional runner-up.

"It was a little bit of a tough pill to swallow having Abby be out all season, but the girls competed and never gave up," first-year coach Costa Kolarides said. "Stat-wise, it wasn't the greatest, but we were in every game and showed a lot of resilience."

Coffman was seeded 19th for the Division I district tournament and opened with a 4-0 win over 37th-seeded Licking Heights on Oct. 18 before falling 3-0 at 18th-seeded Westerville North in a second-round game Oct. 20.

The Shamrocks are losing seven seniors, including Hayley Devine (forward), Mia Bouska (defender), Clare Proctor (midfielder), Ayla Whitman (defender) and Ally Williams (defender). Devine made honorable mention all-league.

Steiner headlines the list of expected returnees. Others include juniors Haruko Tanaka (defender) and Izzie Vaccari (goalie), both of whom were first-team all-league.

One of five freshmen who contributed, Simone Rivard-Roberts (forward) had five goals and two assists and made second-team all-league, as did sophomore Zoe Wesp (midfielder) and freshman Emma Barthel (midfielder).

Freshman Kinsey Crabtree (midfielder) had four goals and one assist, freshman Ashleigh Burris (defender) was a key player all season and freshman Kendra Siefker (midfielder) was a starter at season's end.

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