The Dublin Jerome High School girls soccer team couldn't wait to get started this season.
After winning at least a share of six consecutive league championships and coming off a Division I district title run last fall, the Celtics feature experienced players in their sophomore, junior and senior classes in addition to having two freshmen on varsity.
Jerome was 2-0 before opening OCC-Cardinal Division action Aug. 29 against Worthington Kilbourne.
"During open fields and camps, they all performed during the preseason," third-year coach Kelly Brothers said. "They've responded in a way that's as good as I've seen since I started coaching here. We want to get further. How we did last year is not enough."
Jerome went 14-4-2 overall last season, losing 1-0 to eventual state semifinalist Pickerington North in a regional semifinal. The Celtics won the league at 6-0.
Among the top returnees are seniors Madison Burrier (midfielder) and Abbie Laufersweiler (def-ender/midfielder), who have committed to Marquette and Duquesne, respectively.
Sisters Bronwen Sears (midfielder/defender) and Emma Sears (forward) lead the junior class, and Isabella Francati (defender) and Riley Mullady (center back/midfielder) are sophomores who were key players a year ago.
The other seniors are Megan Brehmer (forward), Rachel Butler (forward), Caitie Harty (forward), Maddie Palmer (defender) and Jess Walsh (goalkeeper).
Emma Sears had 17 goals and Butler scored 10 to lead the offense last season. Burrier and Emma Sears were first-team all-league, and Butler and Walsh made the second team.
Bailee Bowers (midfielder), Corinne Bryan (midfielder), Liz Forbes (goalie), Claire Hollern (center back/midfielder), Mackenzie Malone (defender) and Sam Poptic (defender) are other juniors while Sophie Magilligan (forward) is a sophomore.
Freshmen on the team are Sydney Browning (defender) and Nicole Ogden (midfielder).
In a 4-0 win over Olentangy Orange on Aug. 22, Magilligan had two goals, Butler had one goal and one assist, Malone scored one goal and Emma Sears added one assist.
Then in a 5-2 victory over Watterson on Aug. 24, Butler had two goals and one assist, Bronwen Sears scored two goals and Emma Sears added one goal.
Forbes started in goal during the first two games.
The biggest losses to graduation were defender Ryann Harris, who was first-team all-league and defender Mya Howard, who made the second team.
"We've got really good senior leadership," Brothers said. "They've got a very good work ethic and attitude. It's particularly impressive this year. This team is ready to step up."
Boys soccer team
looks for more titles
Coming off back-to-back league and Division I district championships, the boys soccer team has nine seniors and a talented sophomore class intent on continuing the tradition.
The Celtics, who went 15-6 overall, won the OCC-Cardinal at 5-1 and lost to Coffman 6-3 in a regional semifinal, were 1-0-2 before opening league play Aug. 29 against Kilbourne.
They opened with 1-all ties against Cincinnati Sycamore (Aug. 19) and Olentangy (Aug. 22) and then won 4-2 over Orange, a district runner-up a year ago, on Aug. 24.
"I feel like it's going to be a really strong team," 14th-year coach Nate Maust said. "We're just trying to find our rhythm. I felt like we had a good preseason, but we're not clicking on all cylinders yet. We've got a really good group of senior leaders and a sophomore group that is probably the largest group we've had in a long time."
Leading the way are seniors Chris Dowling (midfielder), Trevor Johnson (defender), Erik McGwire (goalie) and Carter Patchett (midfielder/forward). Dowling was first-team all-league last fall, and Patchett made the second team.
The other seniors are Sean Lipps (defender), Reese Overberg (midfielder/forward), Justin Skinner (forward/midfielder), Blake Wyse (forward) and Zach Ziolo (forward).
Also on the team are juniors Alex Chou (midfielder), Luke Fassett (midfielder), Tre Herndon III (midfielder), Nathan Obert (defender) and Matthew Stein (forward) and sophomores Young Mu Lee (midfielder), Jacsen Luthy (defender), Connor Moser (defender) and Antony Yang (midfielder).
The biggest loss from the 2017 senior class was defender Ben Beuerlein, who was OCC-Cardinal Player of the Year.
"All of the seniors are strong and are going to contribute," Maust said. "Based on what we have, we should be in a district final and be able to compete at the regional level. I know we can defend and possess the ball really well."
Volleyball team gets
started under Hinds
After struggling to a 6-17 finish last season, the girls volleyball team got a new coach in the offseason in Steven Hinds.
Originally from California, Hinds started the Zenith volleyball club in 2008 and also has coached at Capital University.
He replaced Doug Mangette, who led the program for three seasons.
"The seniors have been great," Hinds said. "Everybody has embraced everything we've talked about. We've tried to change the culture with physicality and conditioning and they've not fought it. The between-the-ears part is where we're a work in progress, but we're inching along."
The Celtics are 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal. They began league play by losing to Kilbourne 24-26, 25-27, 25-16, 25-10, 15-12 on Aug. 22 and fell to Thomas Worthington 25-14, 25-18, 25-20 on Aug. 24.
The senior class is comprised of Anya Bertke (outside hitter/right-side hitter), Stephanie Cline (libero), Jessica Holtcamp (defensive specialist), Taylor King (right-side hitter), Mackenzie Mangette (middle hitter) and Maddie Prenger (setter).
Leading the junior class are Kendall Poach (middle hitter) and Shefali Srinivasan (setter). Poach led in blocks (26) and Srinivasan led in assists (343) and was second in digs (163) last year.
Others on the team include juniors Priscilla Cho (defensive specialist) and Katie Herceg (outside hitter) and sophomores Kylie Carpenter (defensive specialist), Tess Hollern (right-side hitter/outside hitter), Katie McKibben (outside hitter) and Isabella Palmer (right-side hitter/outside hitter).
"We want to be better than we were last year and keep taking positive steps forward," Hinds said. "We've got talent."
Aug. 19 -- at Cincinnati Sycamore
Aug. 22 -- at Olentangy
Aug. 24 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
*Aug. 29 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
Aug. 31 -- vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 5 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
Sept. 7 -- at Gahanna
Sept. 14 -- vs. Dublin Coffman
Sept. 16 -- at New Albany
*Sept. 19 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
Sept. 21 -- at Olentangy Liberty
*Sept. 26 -- at Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 30 -- vs. Cleveland St. Ignatius
*Oct. 3 -- vs. Delaware
Oct. 5 -- vs. Westerville Central
*Oct. 10 -- at Dublin Scioto
Aug. 22 -- vs. Olentangy Orange
Aug. 24 -- at Watterson
*Aug. 29 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Aug. 31 -- at Olentangy Liberty
*Sept. 5 -- at Thomas Worthington
Sept. 9 -- vs. Strongsville
Sept. 12 -- at DeSales
Sept. 14 -- vs. Dublin Coffman
*Sept. 19 -- at Hilliard Darby
Sept. 21 -- vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 26 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
*Oct. 3 -- at Delaware
Oct. 5 -- at Westerville Central
Oct. 7 -- vs. Lebanon
*Oct. 10 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
Oct. 12 -- vs. Pickerington North
Aug. 19 -- vs. Marysville and Pickerington North
*Aug. 22 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
*Aug. 24 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
*Aug. 31 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
*Sept. 5 -- at Hilliard Bradley
*Sept. 7 -- vs. Delaware
Sept. 9 -- at Granville with Newark
*Sept. 12 -- at Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 14 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Sept. 16 -- Worthington Kilbourne Invitational
*Sept. 19 -- at Thomas Worthington
*Sept. 28 -- at Hilliard Darby
*Oct. 3 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
*Oct. 5 -- at Delaware
*Oct. 10 -- vs. Dublin Scioto
Oct. 14 -- Logan Elm Invitational
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, field hockey and girls tennis teams:
Sept. 2 -- Hot Summer Bash at Hilliard Davidson
*Aug. 31 -- At Lancaster
*Sept. 6 -- At Olentangy Liberty
*Aug. 31 -- At Hilliard Bradley
*Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Delaware