For the second consecutive season and the fourth time in five years, the Dublin Coffman wrestling team is headed to the Division I state dual tournament.
The Shamrocks would like to make more of an impact than they have in their previous appearances when they compete Sunday, Feb. 16, in Ohio State's St. John Arena.
No central Ohio program has won a dual at the state tournament, which began in 2013. Last season, seventh-seeded Coffman lost to second-seeded and eventual champion Lakewood St. Edward 60-15 in a quarterfinal.
"The keys to performing well at St. John would start with keeping a confident mindset," said junior Jimmy Baumann, who competes at 132 pounds. "This year we will likely be ranked a five or six seed (and) no other Central District team has been ranked above a seven seed. We also need to start off with that fire that we've had recently. ... If we wrestle to our potential, I believe we will shock some people that a Central District team can perform well at the state level.
"Winning the regional title is always one of our key goals that our team sets out for each season. Having won it back-to-back is something special."
On Feb. 8 in the Region 5 tournament, Coffman beat Westerville South 65-13, Jerome 69-12 and host Marysville 52-9 to capture the championship.
In the title match, Baumann, Rahul Raghuram (106), Corey Crawford (113), Rupert Moore (120), Davante Cooper (126), Erik Arndt (138), Niko Gonzalez (145), Mitchell Broskie (160), Leo Alvarez (170), Nick Copley (182), Seth Shumate (195) and Riley Ucker (220) all were victorious.
"The guys continue to step up in big matches," coach Chance Van Gundy said. "I'm proud of their effort and performance. Regardless of who we draw, it will be a top-notch team and program. That's a challenge you just can't pass up."
Coffman is 4-0 in the OCC-Central Division and already has secured at least a share of the league title entering its league finale Thursday, Feb. 13, at Hilliard Davidson.
Girls team again perfect in league
With a 59-27 win over Central Crossing on Feb. 7, the girls basketball team wrapped up its fifth OCC-Central championship in a row, including its fourth consecutive perfect run through its league schedule.
Coffman has won 46 consecutive league games, finishing 10-0 in the OCC-Central this season.
The Shamrocks are 20-2 overall and are seeded fourth for the Division I district tournament. They have two weeks off between their regular-season finale and their postseason opener Feb. 21 at home against 24th-seeded DeSales or 34th-seeded Licking Heights.
Coffman went through one stretch in early January in which sophomore guard Imarianah Russell was out with an injury but is expected to be at full strength for the postseason.
Freshmen Tessa Grady (guard/wing player) and Jenna Kopyar (guard) join Russell and senior point guard Juliana Burris as being among the team's most productive players.
"(Russell is) a great player and is going to be an (even greater) player," coach Adam Banks said. "When you're planning before your season, your freshmen are kind of wild cards. It's tough to plan for them because you don't know what the transition is going to be like from middle school to high school. (Grady and Kopyar) have both come in and four to five weeks into the season (it was) hard to take them off the court. We're excited for the future, but we're also excited for now."
Swimmers set for district meet
Members of the boys and girls swimming and diving teams are competing in the Division I district meet this week at Ohio State, beginning with boys diving Feb. 12 and continuing with swimming and girls diving Thursday, Feb. 13.
The top six boys divers, the top four girls divers, the top two finishers in each swimming event and 16 at-large berths in each swimming event at district based on times statewide advance to the state meet Feb. 20-22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
On Feb. 8 in a sectional at Kenyon College, the boys finished fourth (245.5 points) of 10 teams, behind champion Jerome (420.5), and the girls were first (398) of 11 teams, ahead of runner-up Jerome (349.5).
For the boys team, Zac Stump finished first in the 100-yard backstroke (52.76 seconds), Ethan Shaw won the 200 freestyle (1:44.11) and was second in the 500 free (4:43.19), Joseph Nadur was first in the 200 individual medley (1:54.83), Will Randall was second in the 100 free (47.26) and the 200 medley relay of Brendan Oshida, Randall, Shaw and Stump was runner-up (1:37.41).
Ellie Andrews won both the 100 breaststroke (1:02.65) and 200 IM (2:06.75), Hannah Bailey won the 100 butterfly (55.29) and was second in the 100 breast (1:04.22), Emma Bowman finished first in the 50 free (24.34), Kristyn Sabol was first in the 100 free (52.11) and runner-up in the 200 free (1:51.43), Ava Warren placed second in the 100 free (53.63) and the 200 free relay of Bailey, Bowman, Sabol and Warren (1:38.07), the 200 medley relay of Andrews, Bailey, Bowman and Gretchen Schneider (1:45.49) and the 400 free relay of Andrews, Sabol, Schneider and Warren (3:34.12) all finished first.
Athletes announce college decisions
Eight student-athletes announced their college commitments during the signing period that began Feb. 5.
Max Brown will play football for Marietta, Connor Coyan will play baseball for Findlay, Mike Drennen will play football for Kentucky, Jacob Hazen will play men's golf for John Carroll, Jenna Lynn will play women's golf for Queens University of Charlotte, Connor Mitchell will play men's golf for Wooster, Peyton Werling will play football for Sienna Heights and Jameel Williamson will play football for Akron.
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman boys basketball and hockey teams:
*Feb. 14 -- At Upper Arlington. The Shamrocks beat the Golden Bears 63-54 on Jan. 10.
Feb. 25 -- Home vs. 35th-seeded Hilliard Darby in first round of Division I district tournament
Feb. 14 -- 13th-seeded Olentangy in quarterfinal of Blue Jackets Cup consolation tournament at Chiller North. Winner plays ninth-seeded Cincinnati St. Xavier, 17th-seeded Scioto or 18th-seeded DeSales in semifinal Feb. 15 at OhioHealth Ice Haus. Final is Feb. 16 at the Ice Haus. The Shamrocks are seeded 12th.