The results the Dublin Coffman High School hockey team has been striving for have slowly started to take place this winter.
Having the right attitude has helped in that progression, according to senior forward Cam Andrews.
"We're not as cocky as we were last year," Andrews said. "We've kind of been coming into it with a different mindset, staying with teams, and we just need a little more at the end to keep up. But we're getting there for sure."
After finishing last in the five-team Capital Hockey Conference-White Division last year, the Shamrocks have been much more competitive in the middle division of the CHC this season.
Coffman is 5-13 overall but improved to 4-6 in the CHC with a 4-3 victory over Thomas Worthington on Jan. 6 at Chiller North as Nick Schepflin scored the game-winner with 33 seconds left in overtime. The day before, the Shamrocks lost by the same score to Watterson.
Led offensively by senior forward Alek Willis and Andrews, Coffman has been shut out just once in league action. The Shamrocks will try to avenge a 10-0 loss Nov. 30 to Jerome on Friday, Jan. 11, at Chiller Dublin.
Willis has scored 16 goals.
Defensively, Gavin Schiefferle, Evan Mitchell, Tali Berzins and Brycen Levings have been among the leaders, according to coach Justin Taber.
"We've come a long way," Taber said. "We finally just decided it was time to bear down. We're working hard and I think they're starting to get rewarded, which is good."
Andrews believes he and his teammates have gotten more comfortable in their second season under Taber.
Andrews, whose father, Greg Andrews, played for Ohio State in the mid-1980s, also helped the boys lacrosse team go 21-2 and reach a Division I state semifinal last spring.
"We're starting to get used to (Taber's) system and guys are buying in and understanding their role," Cam Andrews said. "I just try to stay positive and teach the young guys what I've learned the last couple years, teaching them to keep their heads up no matter what happens.
"Hockey was always my first sport after my dad played hockey. I had some friends that started playing lacrosse and I picked it up in about third or fourth grade. I think they complement each other. Once you get the skating down, it's a similar game."
Boys basketball team looking to stay hot
The boys basketball team began the week preparing for what looked to be two of its biggest tests to date.
On Jan. 8, the Shamrocks visited Pickerington North, which entered that game at 8-1 despite losing three players to graduation who now are playing collegiately.
Coffman next will play Friday, Jan. 11, at Upper Arlington, which it lost to twice during the 2017-18 regular season before avenging those defeats in a Division I district final.
The Golden Bears were 7-1 overall before playing Olentangy on Jan. 8, including beating Eastmoor Academy 56-54 on Jan. 5 at The Challenge at Africentric. They are 4-0 in the OCC-Central.
UA senior forward Max Martz, who has committed to Pennsylvania, has been out since late December with an injury. Against Eastmoor, junior forward Jake Warinner had 19 points and senior post player C.J. Karsatos, who is 6-foot-8, scored 13.
The Shamrocks were 9-0 overall before playing North. They also are 4-0 in the OCC-Central.
After beating Liberty Township Lakota East 70-58 on Dec. 28 and Proctorville Fairland 73-50 on Dec. 29 in the Stephen Gussler Invitational at Thomas, Coffman returned to league play with a 77-40 victory over Central Crossing on Jan. 4 and then beat Dayton Ponitz Tech 75-50 on Jan. 5.
"It's hard to get games (during the holiday break), so we're just happy to be filling in the schedule," coach Jamey Collins said. "We're very grateful for Thomas Worthington to host (the Gussler Invitational). It gets us a couple local games, so if you have family in town they can get to see the boys play and you get two games."
Junior wing player Luke Bartemes made four 3-pointers and finished with 23 points to lead the way against Central Crossing, and Bartemes and senior forward Will Hunter both scored 16 against Ponitz Tech.
Through nine games, junior guard Dominiq Penn was averaging a team-high 19.4 points, followed by Bartemes (16.7), Hunter (11.4), senior wing player Derek Van Vlerah (9.5) and senior guard Grant Yeater (7.5).
Swimmers begin season's second half
The boys and girls swimming and diving teams will compete Friday, Jan. 11, and Saturday, Jan. 12, in the Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
On Jan. 4 at Upper Arlington, the boys lost 92-78 and the girls lost 90-80.
For the boys, Zak Birnbrich won the 100-yard butterfly (52.92 seconds) and tied for first in the 50 freestyle (22.33), Will Randall was first in the 200 free (1:46.09) and 100 free (48.92), Ethan Shaw won the 500 free (4:49.54) and Brendan Oshida was first in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.14).
Winning for the girls were Kristyn Sabol in the 200 free (1:56) and 100 fly (58.6), Ellie Andrews in the 200 individual medley (2:09.38) and 100 breast (1:06.14), Hannah Bailey in the 50 free (24.45) and 100 free (51.56) and the 400 free relay (3:34.89).