The demeanor senior guard Jacy Sheldon typically exhibits when she's competing for the Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team fluctuates between the occasional laugh with teammates and showing little to no emotion.
Despite that, the always passionate Sheldon settles into a game after catching a glimpse of the often-smiling face in the crowd of her 11-year-old sister, Emmy, who has Down syndrome.
For those wondering if Sheldon, who will end her prep career as one of central Ohio's all-time greats, has a competitive streak despite her demeanor, the answer is an overwhelming yes.
There just are few people who get to see it.
"Usually after she makes a mistake or a girl will maybe get the best of her in a possession, she'll come over and she kind of makes a comment under her breath like, 'I should never let that happen,'" coach Bryan Patton said. "Her demeanor and facial expressions are pretty much the same, but I see her as ultra-competitive. She just doesn't wear her emotions on her sleeve like some of the better players around here sometimes do. You never know whether we're up 20 (points) or down 20 because she's playing the same way. I've never felt like we're out of a game with her."
The 5-foot-9 Sheldon displays elite speed and shooting skills that have created so many matchup problems for opponents the past few years that the number of losses Coffman has with her on the roster can be counted on two hands.
The Shamrocks improved to 12-1 overall and 6-0 in the OCC-Central Division with a 62-52 win over Upper Arlington on Jan. 11 and are 84-10 since Sheldon joined the program in the 2015-16 season.
"I'm really competitive, which a lot of people are kind of shocked by because of how nice I am off the court," Sheldon said. "I'm nice on the court, but I really want to win when I'm out there and get my teammates involved, get my teammates up if we make a bad play."
The offensive numbers Sheldon continues to compile are evidence of the entire package she possesses.
The runner-up for Ohio Ms. Basketball last season, she is trying to become the first three-time ThisWeek Super 12 captain, which spans back to 1994 and includes eventual WNBA players such as Helen Darling and Alexis Peterson.
Sheldon entered this season as Coffman's all-time leader in steals (372) and field goals (619) in addition to being the program's all-time leading scorer, and this winter she has added all-time program leader in assists to her resume.
Sheldon scored 21 points against UA and has 1,991 for her career. She is averaging 26.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and six assists after averaging 26.3 points last season. She also is shooting 57 percent from the floor despite being among central Ohio's leaders in attempts and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
Sheldon was offered a scholarship by Ohio State in June 2017 and signed to be a part of the Buckeyes' 2019 recruiting class last November. She joined a recruiting class that includes two-time Ms. Basketball honoree Kierstan Bell of Canton McKinley, who has more than 2,500 career points.
Bell and Sheldon will face off Saturday, Jan. 19, in The Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland in one of the featured games of the three-day event.
According to the OHSAA website, Sheldon needs 221 points to move into 25th on the state's all-time scoring list. The only other players from the Central District to have eclipsed 2,200 career points were Jonathan Alder's Lauren Prochaska (2,695, 2003-07) and Wellington's Lorenda Haynes (2,222, 1999-2003).
"It's not really something I pay attention to," Sheldon said. "It's mostly game-to-game focus and my teammates.
"We have a big game in The Classic in the Country against McKinley, so we're excited for that game. We (also) want to win our conference again."
Sheldon moved to central Ohio in 2015 along with her family -- which includes her brother, Ajay, a freshman on the boys basketball team -- when her father, Duane, made a career change and became Coffman's athletics director.
Duane Sheldon coached boys basketball at Middleburg Heights Midpark for five seasons, compiling a 78-42 record that included a 21-2 finish in 1998-99 that set a program record for wins. He then served as an assistant men's coach at Baldwin Wallace for three years before heading the Heidelberg men's program from 2002-08.
In his last stop before moving to Dublin, he compiled a 98-83 mark in seven seasons as the men's coach at Baldwin Wallace. That's the same college where he played basketball and his wife, Laura, competed in women's track and field.
"The reality was that I wasn't going to be able to see (Jacy) play (if I continued coaching)," Duane said. "When you're coaching in college, we go out every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday to recruit at night, so I wouldn't have been able to see (Ajay) play (either). We knew what kind of a great school (Coffman) was and (the athletics director position) was open.
"We love it here. It's a good place. It's a little different from Cleveland, but it's kind of worked out."
Emmy was diagnosed with Down syndrome the day after she was born. She's in third grade at Bailey Elementary and has participated in basketball and volleyball camps for children with special needs.
Jacy is considering studying exercise science or special education in college.
"I'm really close to Ajay and Emmy, but she's pretty much my best friend," Jacy said. "She's always smiling, always happy. She's a trooper. She goes to all of our games and we're really close. Seeing her makes you a little more comfortable."
Duane remembers noticing Jacy's athletic ability when she was in second grade while the family was living in Tiffin. That year, she won an obstacle course contest that included fifth-grade boys and girls.
"She is just a freak genetically," Duane said.
When the family moved to Dublin, Duane mentioned to Patton that his daughter was "pretty good."
It was something that had to be seen to be believed.
"He said I wanted you to know my daughter's pretty good," Patton said. "I've heard that before, but she came in and you kind of knew from the get-go that she had perfect form and release. I knew this girl was the real deal."
Gymnasts return to league action
The gymnastics team will compete Monday, Jan. 21, at home against Central Crossing, Franklin Heights and Westland in OCC-Central meets. Jerome and Scioto also will be in attendance.
On Jan. 12, the Shamrocks finished 16th (78.475) in the 17-team McGee Invitational at Jerome behind champion Mentor (139.525). Lauren Delfunt scored an 8.0 on vault and 27.2 in the all-around, Jordan Jones scored 7.7 on vault and 26.625 in the all-around and Lex Lewis and Lexi Dempsey also competed.
Wrestlers open league action
The wrestling team opened OCC-Central action Jan. 10 by beating Central Crossing 71-6.
Coffman continue league competition Thursday, Jan. 17, at home against Marysville, which was league runner-up last season at 4-1 behind the Shamrocks (5-0).
The Shamrocks will compete in the Jeff Arndt Classic on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Amanda-Clearcreek.