Never being totally satisfied once the Division I district tournament has finished is something Dublin Coffman wrestling coach Chance Van Gundy has learned to accept.
It helps when the Shamrocks get to take the district championship trophy home as they did March 7 at Hilliard Darby. It was their second consecutive district title.
"We wanted more (state qualifiers), of course, but we're happy with having five in the finals," Van Gundy said. "We had a lot of guys persevere. (Winning the team title) back-to-back, that part is fun. You always feel bad for the kids that don't get out so you're never walking out of the Darby gymnasium completely happy, and I've come to grips with that."
The Shamrocks have seven wrestlers heading to the state tournament, which runs Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, at Ohio State, after scoring 174.5 points at district to finish well ahead of runner-up Delaware (127.5) as 40 teams scored.
Last season, Coffman had eight state qualifiers and scored 170 points at district.
Earning district championships were senior Corey Crawford (106 pounds), who enters state at 31-11 on the season; sophomore Seth Shumate (195), who is 43-0; and sophomore Riley Ucker (220), who is 40-8.
Heading to state as district runners-up are sophomore Ismael Ayoub (132, 20-7) and senior Nick Copley (182, 38-8).
The other state qualifiers are junior Jimmy Baumann, who placed third at 138 and is 36-6, and senior Davante Cooper, who was third at 120 and is 29-15.
The defending state champion, Shumate picked up three pins and a win by default at district.
"We got seven guys out, so it was a pretty good performance," Shumate said. "I can't really base it off of my performance the past couple weeks because I haven't really (been challenged), but in practice, I've been pushing myself and a lot of college guys have been coming in and pushing me harder, so I'm pretty confident."
Placing fifth to be a state alternate was sophomore Mitchell Broskie (160), a state qualifier last season who went 4-2 and is 34-9 on the season.
Also competing at district were seniors Erik Arndt (0-2 at 152) and Leo Alvarez (0-2 at 170), sophomores Rupert Moore (2-2 at 126) and Niko Gonzalez (1-2 at 145) and freshman Rahul Raghuram (0-2 at 113).
"The kids battled through," Van Gundy said. "I'm just really proud."
Boys team falls in district semi
The 10th-seeded boys basketball team was within 56-54 with 1 minute, 10 seconds to go against eighth-seeded Newark and had a chance to tie the game at 57 with 52 seconds left, but senior guard Keaton Turner's 3-point attempt didn't fall March 4 in a Division I district semifinal at Watkins Memorial.
Coffman went on to lose to the Wildcats 63-57 to finish 18-7 overall.
"(The Wildcats) did a great job, were prepared and made the plays they needed to make at the end," coach Jamey Collins said. "We got it back to 3 and had a shot to tie, and we had a good shot. Keaton had a top-of-the-key 3-pointer to tie it and that's what we practice, but it didn't go in."
Turner averaged 8.5 points last season but emerged as one of central Ohio's top scorers this winter, averaging 22.5 points and earning first-team all-district and OCC-Central Division Player of the Year honors.
A Wofford commit, Turner helped Coffman tie Marysville and Upper Arlington for first in the league at 8-2.
The only other senior was guard Jess Hains, who was honorable mention all-league.
Junior guards Nash Hostetler (14.5 points per game) and Ajay Sheldon (10 ppg) should be the top returnees. Hostetler was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district and Sheldon was second team all-league.
Junior forward Hammond Russell (5.5 ppg), junior guard Dylan Van Vlerah (4 ppg) and freshman forward Gavin Headings (4.5 ppg) also were key players.
Others eligible to return include junior guard Kaelib Catabay, sophomore guards Aidan Dring and Aiden Schmidt, sophomore forward Daviyon McDonald and freshman forward Braden Daugherty.
"The leadership from our two seniors, they were great," Collins said. "They gave us everything they had. They're going to be successful young men, and that's what this is all about.
"It's just a great group. The hardest part is not getting to see them tomorrow in a practice situation. We've got a good group of guys coming back that really like being around each other and like competing. I look forward to seeing all these guys."
Girls team should return strong unit
In addition to winning at least 20 games for the ninth consecutive season, the girls basketball team captured its fifth consecutive league championship.
The Shamrocks, who also have won 46 consecutive league games, including going 10-0 in the OCC-Central this season, added to those streaks despite having just three seniors in guards Juliana Burris and Jackie Brandon and wing player Ally Machulski.
Fourth-seeded Coffman lost to seventh-seeded Gahanna 52-39 on Feb. 29 in a Division I district final at the Greater Columbus Convention Center to finish 22-3 overall.
"We've got a pretty young team, so all of these moments, they can store these memories and learn from them for next year," first-year coach Adam Banks said.
Burris averaged 12.5 points and was first-team all-league and second-team all-district and sophomore guard Imarianah Russell averaged 12 points and was named league Player of the Year and second-team all-district.
Freshman wing player Tessa Grady averaged 11.5 points and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, freshman guard Jenna Kopyar was second-team all-league and sophomore wing player Tara Flynn was honorable mention all-league.
Juniors Kenzie Bicking (guard) and Megan Breen (forward) and sophomores Taylor Covington (guard), Cassidy Lafler (wing player) and Ellie Vaccari (guard) are others eligible to return.
"(The seniors have) been outstanding the entire year," Banks said. "They were the model of what a senior leader should be: early to practice, the last ones to leave, picking up kids before practice and dropping them off."