Five regular-season matches followed by what they hope is a long postseason is all the competition that remains at the prep level for Dublin Coffman senior boys golfers Jacob Hazen and Sam Sellman.
After coincidentally taking up the sport several years ago, the duo, who are leading the Shamrocks this season, have been lifelong friends.
They also happen to live on the same street.
"Jacob and I have been friends since kindergarten and both just happened to take up the same sport," Sellman said. "We love playing practice rounds together. We'll go and try to beat each other."
Coffman, which has one other senior in Cameron Seery, entered the fourth and final round of the OCC-Central Division tournament Sept. 11 at Darby Creek with a chance to forge a share of the league championship with Upper Arlington.
Through three rounds, the Golden Bears were 14-1 in the league and the Shamrocks were 13-2.
Hazen had a 76.3 league average, followed by Sellman (77.3), Seery (79.3) and sophomores Ryan Seidensticker (82.3) and Klay Redman (84).
Coffman was the OCC-Central runner-up each of the past two years.
"The season has been good so far," coach Scott Sutherland said. "We've played fairly consistent golf, highlighted by our second-place finish (Aug. 10) at Oakhaven for Olentangy's tournament called 'The Youmans Classic.' We shot 299 that day. We have had very good play from Jacob."
Hazen carded a 70 in the second round of the league tournament Aug. 12 at Denison Golf Club to earn medalist honors, as the Shamrocks shot 304 to place second behind UA (302).
Coffman won the third round Aug. 28 at Apple Valley with a 321.
"(UA) won the first two OCC matches, but we won the (third) one at Apple Valley," Sellman said. "It's been a good battle. We knew they were going to be a decent team. They shot four really good scores at Turnberry (Aug. 6), but we kept it together at Denison and really came together nicely at Apple Valley."
Both Hazen and Sellman are considering competing at the college level. In the meantime, they are hoping to help the Shamrocks battle for a state berth after finishing seventh at district each of the past three seasons.
"We've had a really good season so far," Hazen said. "We have a lot of young talent with two sophomores. Our coach has said that this is the best putting team that he's had, so that's definitely one thing we've improved on as a team. All of us have worked really hard to get to this point."
Girls golf team having strong year
During the four rounds of the OCC-Central tournament, the girls golf team averaged 323, including shooting a 312 on Aug. 14 in the second round at New Albany Links.
The Shamrocks would have won the OCC-Ohio and OCC-Buckeye titles and would have been runner-up in the OCC-Cardinal with those scores, but they placed third in the OCC-Central at 12-8 behind New Albany (20-0) and UA (16-4).
New Albany is the defending state champion and averaged 292.5 in league play, and the Golden Bears averaged 311.3.
In the final round of the league tournament Sept. 4 at Blacklick Woods, Coffman shot a 320 to finish behind New Albany (286) and UA (311).
"New Albany probably is the best the state has ever seen in girls golf," coach Randy Patton said. "Nobody's really close to them. We're close to Arlington. Jerome has beaten us once and we've beaten them (a few) times, but (the matches have) been close."
Junior Annika Manjunath averaged 74.8 in league play to finish fourth in overall average among players who competed in each of the four rounds.
Freshman Ellie Lim averaged 80.8, senior Jenna Lynn averaged 82.8 and junior Ava Guilliams averaged 84. Sophomores Megan Kestner and Jessica Steller also saw league action.
"We're just trying to not let the bad shots get to us too much," Manjunath said.
"We tend to get down on ourselves when we have a bad hole, so staying level-headed and finishing strong (is our focus)."
Girls soccer team begins league play
After beginning OCC-Central action Sept. 10 at home against Hilliard Davidson, the girls soccer team continues league action Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Westland.
In between those games are matchups Saturday, Sept. 14, at home against DeSales and Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Watterson. Entering the week, the Stallions were 1-4-1 and the Eagles -- a Division I state semifinalist last season -- were 2-3-1.
Westland hadn't scored a goal and was 0-4 before facing Marysville on Sept. 10.
The Shamrocks beat Westerville North 4-1 on Sept. 3 to improve to 2-1-2. They played Pickerington North, a regional runner-up last season, to a 1-all tie on Aug. 29.
Through five games, Kinsey Crabtree, Simone Rivard-Roberts and Catherine Zugaro each had scored two goals and Addie Vaccari had scored one for the Shamrocks, who had given up three goals and posted two shutouts.
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 14 -- Otterbein Invitational
*Sept. 16 -- At Jerome
Sept. 14 -- Trojan Invitational at Findlay Country Club
Sept. 16 -- Liberty Invitational at Kinsale
Sept. 14 -- Toledo St. Ursula Invitational at Highland Meadows
Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Cincinnati St. Xavier
*Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Westland
Sept. 14 -- Home vs. DeSales
Sept. 17 -- At Watterson
*Sept. 18 -- At Westland
Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Scioto
Sept. 14 -- Lexington Invitational
Sept. 17 -- At Olentangy Liberty
*Sept. 18 -- At Hilliard Davidson
*Sept. 12 -- At Central Crossing
*Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington