Notebook: Moves paying off for Dublin Jerome Celtics girls lacrosse squad

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Senior Katelyn Root's transition from defender to midfielder is one of the moves that has paid dividends for the Jerome girls lacrosse team this season.

A defender during each of her previous prep seasons, Dublin Jerome senior girls lacrosse player Katelyn Root has made a seamless transition to midfielder this year. 

Having players like Root switch positions is among the adjustments the Celtics have made during a spring that has been unlike any of Kendall Gordon’s previous seasons as coach since she took over in 2018. 

Gordon has found herself scoreboard watching in hopes of gauging what’s going on in the area after last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’ve had to change a few things around, but we’re definitely getting the hang of it,” Root said. “We have some young players, too, but we’ve been practicing our plays a lot and everybody is getting used to it.” 

After losing 13-8 to Thomas Worthington on April 20, the Celtics were 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division. 

Root is part of a seven-member senior class that also features attackers Izzy Seikel and Olivia Brooks, defender Ava Czekajewski and goalie Janelle Emmett. 

Seikel has committed to Louisville, which is Gordon’s alma mater. 

“(Seikel is) one of the players who’s just dependable,” Gordon said. “You can count on her for several goals every game and she’s really leading our attack, so we’re really happy with what she’s done so far and we’re excited to see even more.” 

Brooks also has transitioned to a new position after previously being a defender because the Celtics “needed more firepower,” according to Gordon. 

“It’s definitely been a challenge because it’s been a year off, so we were figuring out who were going to be our leaders,” Gordon said. “We had a strong senior class last year, but the seniors this year have really stepped up and we have a lot of new faces on varsity. Now that we’ve gotten a few games under our belt, we’re liking what we’re seeing.” 

According to Seikel and Brooks, building confidence is the path to more success moving forward, along with continuing to work on communication.

"We have a different mentality this year because of everything that was taken away last year, so we have a lot more heart this year,” Brooks said. “I’m definitely a defender at heart, but I switched to attacker to help things out down there. I actually like it, so it’s been fine. For the younger girls, as they get more experience, they’re just going to get more confidence on the field.” 

Nate Brown had 15 goals and 13 assists in the first 10 games for Coffman. The Shamrocks won nine of their first 11 contests.

•Despite having 18 seniors, the Coffman boys lacrosse team entered this season with a limited amount of previous varsity experience as well as a new coach in Dan Warren. 

The Shamrocks endured their first rough patch of the season when they lost 17-11 to Watterson on April 10 and 13-3 to Upper Arlington on April 13, but they rebounded with victories over New Albany (16-13 on April 16) and Olentangy Orange (15-3 on April 20). 

The win over the Pioneers gave Coffman a 2-1 record in the OCC-Central. The Shamrocks then beat Centerville 17-7 on April 22 to improve to 9-2 overall. 

“We’ve not played very well yet consistently for four quarters, so the upside is super high,” Warren said. “We’ve just got to keep working and clean it up. We’ve learned that we can’t rush things offensively and we’ve got to limit our turnovers.” 

Through 10 games, senior attacker Ben Holland was leading the offense with 38 goals and 15 assists, followed by senior attacker Peter Tyack (28 goals, 19 assists), senior midfielder Nate Brown (15 goals, 13 assists) and sophomore attacker Gavin Guetle (16 goals, 11 assists). Guetle sustained a season-ending injury against Watterson, however. 

Senior midfielder O.J. Morris won 168 of his first 209 faceoff attempts. 

Coffman beat Scioto 17-4 on March 19 and will face Jerome on May 1 at home with the Emerald Cup trophy on the line. 

—Jarrod Ulrey

Scioto baseball coach Ryan Longbrake continues to be impressed with his team’s determination.

The Irish were 7-5 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Capital before playing Canal Winchester on April 23, with five of the wins being by comeback. 

Scioto was trailing Worthington Kilbourne 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning before scoring five runs for a 7-6 win April 22. 

“We have a very gritty, scrappy, tough team,” Longbrake said. “(Five of our seven) wins have been come-from-behind wins. We’re playing solid defense, we’ve had great approaches at the plate and our extremely young and inexperienced pitching staff is getting better with every outing.” 

Through 11 games, Scioto had a .327 team batting average led by Conner Peer (.500), Blaze Boryczewski (.438) and Angel Garcia (.400). 

Freshman Bryce Kyees had a 2.33 ERA in six appearances. 

—Frank DiRenna

•About three weeks remain before the three Dublin track and field programs begin competing in the Division I postseason. 

All three schools participated in the Joe Lenge Dublin Classic on April 17 at Coffman. 

In the boys meet, the host Shamrocks were fourth (67), Jerome was sixth (51) and Scioto placed 10th (19) of 12 teams behind champion Gahanna (134). On the girls side, Coffman and Jerome tied for fourth (73) and Scioto was 10th (20) of 11 teams behind champion Upper Arlington (145.5).

The Coffman girls took the top two spots in the 800 meters, with Kylie Feeney winning (2 minutes, 19.68 seconds) ahead of Abigail Scherer (2:21.64). 

Placing second were Abigail Collier in the 400 (1:00.18), Emily Yoshino in the pole vault (11 feet) and the distance medley (12:39.8) of Feeney, Scherer, Samantha-Rane Miller and Olivia Oiler. 

Winning for the Jerome boys was Silas Kayuha in the 110 hurdles (14.8), while the Jerome girls got first-place finishes from Raegan Ernst in the 300 hurdles (45.89) and the 1,600 relay (4:05.91) of Audrey Cook, Chloe Friedman, Maya Fuller and Sam Melican. 

Placing second for Jerome were Sam Ricchiuti in the boys 3,200 (9:45.64), Ernst in the girls long jump (15-6 1/2) and the girls 800 relay (1:49.0) of Ernst, Friedman, Fuller and Lillian Sylvia. 

For Scioto, Trevor Page won the boys 1,600 (4:31.13) and the girls 3,200 relay of Audrey Bannister, Natalie Beasley, Maddy Johnson and Selah White was second (10:11.98). 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports