The Dublin Jerome High School boys golf team is heading to the Division I state tournament for the fourth year in a row.
The Celtics, who won their seventh state title a year ago, shot a 293 on Oct. 9 at Apple Valley to capture their second consecutive district championship, finishing well ahead of runner-up St. Charles (309).
The Cardinals edged third-place Olentangy Orange (313), as the top two teams and top two individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to state Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.
Olentangy Liberty’s Grant Smeltzer and Central Crossing’s Caleb Davern both shot a 71 to advance as individuals. Smeltzer earned medalist honors by beating Davern in a one-hole playoff.
“I’m looking forward to (state),” said Davern, who will be making his third state appearance. “I didn’t play my par-5s well, played them over-par today. I made a couple putts early in the day. That helped a lot. I wasn’t hitting the ball that well going into the week, so I knew I was going to have to grind out here and I was able to put up a pretty good score.”
Jackson Chandler led Jerome with a 72, followed by Mason Wagner and Ethan Snyder (both 73), Tyler Groomes (75) and Ryan Miller (80).
The Celtics won last year’s state title with a course-record 607.
“I try to keep my guys as humble as possible and remind them that we can’t take this for granted,” Jerome coach Taylor Harle said. “I tell them to enjoy the experience and just play their game and act appropriately. A lot of things I’m trying to teach my guys go beyond golf and to be grateful to be in this position.”
Reece Yakubov led St. Charles with a 75, followed by Oliver Mauntel (76), Vince Campagni and Jason Zehala (both 79) and Michael Shyu (82).
The Cardinals will be making their third state appearance under coaches Tod Hecht and Brian Unk. They also qualified for state in 2014 and 2016.
“This means a lot,” Unk said. “We’re young. We have one senior (Mauntel) who’s our (No.) 5 man. We have two sophomores and two juniors, so the only one in our top five who has played (at district) before is Reece. We had four rookies playing.”
Rounding out the team scores were Gahanna and Liberty (both 317), Pickerington North (320), Dublin Coffman (322), New Albany (323), Pickerington Central (325), Upper Arlington and Hilliard Davidson (both 328) and Westerville Central (332).