Trevor Grady appreciates what he and the Dublin Coffman High School boys basketball team are experiencing this season.
A Dublin resident for most of his life and the younger brother of former Shamrocks basketball player and football standout Griffin Grady, the 6-foot-6 post player is one of five seniors leading the team's resurgence this winter.
After finishing just 13-11 last season, Coffman is 12-1 overall and was ranked third in the Division I area coaches poll and seventh in the state poll last week.
"I grew up watching this team," Trevor said. "Having a chance to be one of those guys, it's been pretty fun. It's been going pretty well so far. We've had a good start to build on."
Trevor got to play with his older brother in 2015-16 when Griffin was a senior. That season, the Shamrocks went 22-4 and were district runners-up.
While Griffin is about three inches shorter than Trevor and now plays football for the University of Wisconsin, Trevor has followed in the footsteps of his mother, Keyburn Grady, who played basketball in college at Massachusetts.
"(Griffin) gives me encouragement to be a leader and be physical," Trevor said. "(I've tried to be) a lot more active from the defensive end and try to help the young guys know where to be."
The Shamrocks are 4-0 in the OCC-Central Division heading into their game Friday, Jan. 19, at home against Hilliard Davidson. Their league game against Upper Arlington on Jan. 12 was postponed and has been rescheduled for Feb. 3.
Grady, who was named honorable mention all-league last season, is averaging six points for a team that has five players averaging between 10 and 16 points.
Sophomore guard Dominiq Penn is averaging a team-high 16 points, but senior forward Nick Carlson and juniors Luke Bartemes (guard), Will Hunter (forward) and Derek Van Vlerah (wing player) also have played key roles.
"We have a team of very focused guys, and nobody is more focused than (Grady)," coach Jamey Collins said. "Every drill, every word we say in practice, he's on every word. At the end of last year, it kind of started and it's really carried over for us. He shoots the ball very well, defends very well, everything across the board, he's been outstanding.
"Just being around the kids every day has been outstanding. They're just a really focused group. They play well together and get along really well. Our leading scorer won't care if the third-leading scorer shoots a shot. Even if it doesn't go in, they're still going to give it to him."
Hockey team finding form
The hockey team is starting to resemble what Justin Taber was expecting when he took over as coach in the offseason.
The Shamrocks went just 10-20-1 last season and are 3-16-4 overall thus far this winter, but Taber believes many of the rough moments that took place earlier this season have begun to smooth over.
"It's not so much getting guys to work hard, it's more about Xs and Os now," Taber said. "They're really coming together. The pace of play is significantly different. Practices have been really good the last two weeks and that's going to carry over in the games. Getting good habits will start to carry over."
Although Coffman has been much more focused on the process than the results, it did get a boost Jan. 13 when it played both Upper Arlington and Cincinnati St. Xavier to 3-all ties in the Mark Rasmus Memorial Invitational at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania.
Sophomore forward Keegan Hoover had a hat trick against UA, which needed overtime to beat the Shamrocks 4-3 on Dec. 8 despite being in the top division, the Red Division, of the Capital Hockey Conference.
Coffman is last at 1-7 in the five-team CHC-White, which is the middle division of the three-division league.
"Scores aren't necessarily indicative of the way games are going," Taber said. "We played great (in a 6-4 win over Olentangy Orange on Nov. 30). It's been a pretty diverse crew of guys who are scoring. We haven't been getting (wins), but we've been playing significantly better.
"I think we're night and day from the start of the year. We just need to capitalize on some chances. We need to get better at winning battles in the corner, getting shots on net and keep finishing our hits."
According to Taber, sophomores Bo Sung King and Tomohiro Sakon have been leading the defense.
"We're definitely really close to where we should be," Taber said.
Girls basketball team building depth
Behind 37 points from junior guard Jacy Sheldon, the girls basketball team beat Toledo Rogers 68-42 in the Classic in the Country on Jan. 15 at Berlin Hiland.
The Shamrocks were 13-1 overall and 5-0 in the OCC-Central before facing Upper Arlington on Jan. 16. They return to league play Friday, Jan. 19, at Davidson for a rematch of a game they won 79-43 on Dec. 7.
Sheldon was last year's Division I district Player of the Year when she averaged 23.1 points and 6.5 assists, and she's been even more spectacular this season, averaging 26.9 points and six assists with two 40-point performances through 14 games.
She's also been getting help, as senior guard Dana Axner was the area's unofficial leader in 3-point shooting percentage (56 percent), senior forward Lilly Edwards has been shooting better than 57 percent from the floor and Axner and junior forward Kaitlyn Kopyar both are averaging more than four assists.
Sophomore Juliana Burris scored 12 points in an 89-56 victory over Marysville on Dec. 12 and has provided further depth at guard.
Last week, Coffman was third in the Division I area coaches poll behind Newark and Pickerington Central and fifth in the state poll.
Gymnasts hit season's midpoint
The gymnastics team's McGee Invitational was postponed Jan. 13 because of bad weather and may not get rescheduled.
On Jan. 11, the Shamrocks scored 97.8 points to finish behind Jerome (129.4) and host Worthington Kilbourne (128.35) and ahead of Scioto (92.05).
Senior Bethany Hurt won the all-around with a 36.85 after taking first on floor exercise (9.45), vault (9.1), balance beam (8.7) and uneven bars (8.6).
Coffman finished eighth (97.325) in the 18-team Wolfpack Invitational on Jan. 6 at Kilbourne, behind champion Hudson (136.75), as Hurt won beam (9.45), floor (9.225) and bars (9.0) as well as the all-around (36.67).
Wrestlers open league action
The wrestling team opened OCC-Central action Jan. 11 by beating visiting Central Crossing 51-19.
Jimmy Baumann (106 pounds), Kyle Murray (113), Ben Yost (145), Leo Alvarez (152), Parker Bauman (182), Liam Mason (195), R.J. Carpenter (220) and Eric Feng (heavyweight) all won by pin.
On Thursday, Jan. 18, Coffman travels to Marysville for a key league match. Last season, the Shamrocks beat the Monarchs 29-27 and went on to finish 5-0 in the league, ahead of the runner-up Monarchs (4-1).
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson. The Shamrocks beat the Wildcats 61-43 on Dec. 8.
Jan. 23 -- At Olentangy Orange
*Jan. 19 -- At Davidson. The Shamrocks beat the Wildcats 79-43 on Dec. 7.
Jan. 23 -- Home vs. Orange
Jan. 19 -- Buckeye Valley, Jerome, Scioto, Thornville Sheridan, Upper Arlington Washington Court House Miami Trace and Worthington Kilbourne at Trics Academy
*Jan. 19 -- St. Charles at Chiller Dublin
*Jan. 20 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Northland Ice Center in Cincinnati
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 20 -- Dublin Classic at Dublin Recreation Center
*Jan. 18 -- At Marysville
Jan. 20 -- Jeff Arndt Classic at Amanda-Clearcreek