While she was still a middle school student, Ash Abhang saw a posting on Facebook that changed her priorities.
In addition to posting celebration photos from some of its six Division I state titles, the Dublin Jerome girls golf team's page on the social media site mentioned that there would be two openings in its lineup for the 2016 season.
Abhang had limited experience in a sport led mostly by year-round players with years of coaching but decided to work toward the making the team.
"I used to swing the club a little bit when I was younger, so I knew what golf was, but I wasn't like, 'Let's go play tournaments,' " said Abhang, a senior who had played soccer for nine years before turning her focus to golf. "It's been really fun. I've seen myself excel a lot more in this sport than in other sports I've played and I've met a lot of great people."
Both Abhang and the Celtics' program have benefited from her choice.
Abhang and classmate Caitlin Yant each made the team as freshmen and helped Jerome place fifth at state in 2016. They also were members of the Celtics' lineup in 2017 when the team placed fourth at state.
This season, with Abhang and Yant again among the key players, Jerome won its 15th league championship in 16 seasons.
"It's been good," Abhang said. "I'm a senior so it's my final year and I'm just taking it as it rolls. It's been going a lot better than last year. Obviously, everyone gets better every year, but I feel a lot more solid with my irons. All my long shots, my short game, everything is really improved."
Abhang, who is hoping to play collegiately and has been considering programs such as Dayton and Cincinnati, had a 76.8 average in the four-round OCC-Cardinal Division tournament to finish runner-up to Delaware's Hayley Dye (74.5).
Freshman Audrey Ryu finished third in the league with a 79.3 average, sophomore Emma Sparling was fourth (81.8) and Yant was fifth (82) as Jerome's top four players all earned first-team all-league honors.
Sophomore Diva Sony averaged 84.3 to make second-team all-league for the Celtics, who finished 26-0 in OCC-Cardinal play to finish well ahead of co-runners-up Delaware and Hilliard Darby (both 20-6).
"I've worked a lot on my chipping and trying to get longer off the tee, which I think has helped because I can just use a wedge and try to stick it," Abhang said. "We're all working so hard to try to get (to state) in our final year. We're excited."
Jerome, which placed fifth at district last season, will compete in a sectional Oct. 1 or 2. The tournament drawing is Sunday, Sept. 15.
"(Abhang) has kind of reeled in her emotions," coach C.D. Butcher said. "She's really competitive, so sometimes she's harder on herself than she needs to be, but she's learning to put shots behind her and refocus, and that's keeping her consistency where it needs to be.
"She and Caitlin, the two seniors, have just done a great job. Our ceiling is really high; we're just not there yet. We know that if things come together that you can never count us out."
Tennis team adds to OCC title streak
With a 4-1 victory over Scioto on Sept. 5, the girls tennis team clinched at least a share of its 16th consecutive league championship.
The Celtics were 8-0 overall before facing Olentangy on Sept. 10 and are 6-0 in the OCC-Cardinal heading into their league finale Tuesday, Sept. 17, at home against Thomas Worthington.
Olentangy Berlin was second in the league at 5-1 before facing Thomas on Sept. 11. The Bears lost to the Celtics 5-0 on Aug. 28.
"It's been going pretty well," coach Ken Berlin said. "So far, so good. We're starting to get into the meat and potatoes of the season."
Jerome beat Coffman 4-1 on Sept. 4 behind wins from senior Katherine Wang (first singles), junior Lalasa Nagireddy (second singles), senior Reagan Resor and junior Arya Dudipala (first doubles) and senior Kavya Alagappan and freshman Ella Oleson (second doubles).
Senior Sumedha Vadlamani and Sudi Pelluru also have been key contributors for the Celtics, who advanced to the semifinal round of the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I district tournament with the win over Coffman.
"We had some injuries to some players that we're working our way through," Berlin said.
"Wang played the majority of last season at second singles with some first singles as well. She's picked up her game and has definitely been solid at No. 1 for us."
Postseason nearing for boys golf team
The boys golf team looked to clinch its 16th consecutive league championship when it competed in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Cardinal tournament Sept. 11 at Denison Golf Club.
The Celtics were first in the league at 20-1 entering the final round, ahead of second-place Berlin (18-3). In the third round Aug. 28 at Darby Creek, Jerome shot a 309 to place second behind Berlin (303).
Through three rounds, Ethan Snyder was second in league average (73.5) but had only played in the second and third rounds. Tyler Groomes and Brett Podobinski both were averaging 76 and Jake Yarbrough was averaging 76.3.
The Celtics have five regular-season events scheduled before competing in a Division I sectional Oct. 1 or 2. The tournament drawing is Sunday, Sept. 15.
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, field hockey, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 13 -- Spartan Invitational at Michigan State
*Sept. 16 -- Home vs. Coffman
Sept. 14 -- Findlay Invitational at Findlay Country Club
Sept. 16 -- Olentangy Liberty Invitational at Kinsale
Sept. 12 -- At Gahanna
*Sept. 17 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
Sept. 14 -- At New Albany
*Sept. 17 -- At Darby
Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
*Sept. 12 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne
*Sept. 17 -- At Thomas Worthington