Boys Golf: Dublin Jerome plans to make another title run

JARROD ULREY
julrey@thisweeknews.com
Jerome's Jake Yarbrough hits off the 14th fairway during the season's first OCC-Cardinal tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry. The Celtics, who have won the last three Division I state titles, shot 296 to place first.

While working the last several years at The Range in Dublin, Joe Flynn has had opportunities to interact with numerous members of the three-time defending state champion Dublin Jerome boys golf program.

The Celtics' head-coaching position became available in the offseason after Taylor Harle served in that role the past three years, opening the door for Flynn to take over.

"I run a business in Dublin called The Range and I know a lot of the kids from there," Flynn said. "They brought it up to me that (I) should (pursue the coaching job) and I kind of always wanted to secretly do it."

Flynn understands the program has always had what he calls "very high expectations."

The Celtics have won nine Division I state championships in 16 seasons, with league titles coming in each of those years since the school opened in 2004.

During the program's four rounds of tryouts entering this season, 12 of Jerome's competitors averaged 80 or lower.

The competitor with the best score during tryouts was junior Brett Podobinski, who was the team's No. 6 player last season.

Senior Tyler Groomes, the defending state individual champion and an Ohio State commit, finished with the fourth-best score during tryouts.

Senior Jake Yarbrough is the other returning competitor who made the varsity -- the "Green" team -- last season and again this fall.

Senior Ryan Miller and junior Ethan McDonald round out the top five, and senior Jack Kuhlman is another who could see action.

Jerome shot a 607 to win last year's state title, with Groomes carding a 142 to earn medalist honors.

During the opening round of the OCC-Cardinal Division tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry, Jerome shot 296 to place first as McDonald led with a 72, followed by Miller (73), Groomes (75), Podobinski (76) and Yarbrough (79).

The Celtics competed in the second round Aug. 12 at Apple Valley. League action continues Aug. 26 at Denison Golf Club and concludes Sept. 9 at Darby Creek.

"These kids are good," Flynn said. "To have an undefeated season, that's the absolute goal. We're going to be playing against the best teams in the state so we're definitely going to get challenged, but I feel extremely confident in our lineup. We have the biggest target on our back going for four (state titles) in a row."

Irish start strong in league play

With the nucleus of the team being underclassmen, Scioto has already enjoyed its best round in three years.

The Irish opened play in the four-round OCC-Capital tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry by finishing second (326) behind Delaware (314).

Scioto's team score was its lowest since 2017 when it shot a 291 in the final round of the OCC-Cardinal tournament.

"Realignment is wonderful for us," seventh-year coach Todd Hardesty said. "We have Delaware, which is very good. Big Walnut is good. We have Westerville North and Westerville South. North is a lot like us. They should be young and should be better. We love it in this new division. We're playing to win. We're talking about a championship."

Sophomore Jack Gawronski earned medalist honors (74) in the opening round.

"Jack had a great tryout (with) three scores in the 70s," Hardesty said.

Sophomore Alex Rath (82), junior David Perry (85), sophomore Ellessar Petros (85) and junior Wyatt Bowen (89) also competed.

"It's a big opportunity considering we're one of the only sports that's able to play right now," Bowen said. "When I heard coach say we're on for this season, it was a huge relief and a big joy."

Scioto played in the second round Aug. 12 at Darby Creek. It will compete in the third round Aug. 26 at Denison Golf Club and close league play Sept. 9 at Apple Valley.

"We're just happy to be out here," Hardesty said. "Every kid from every school should be saying that."

The Irish have already improved on last season's league record when they went 1-27 in the OCC-Cardinal. Gawronski led the team with an 86.75 league average.

"We're very young and we have a lot of potential to grow from last year," Gawronski said.

Senior Gavin Smith rounds out the team.

-- Frank DiRenna

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Shamrocks fielding younger lineup

After his team won Division I sectional champion-ships each of the past two seasons, fifth-year Coffman coach Scott Sutherland has simpler goals for what will be a more inexperienced lineup this fall.

"Since I have a fairly young team, I think my hopes are really just to improve every week," Sutherland said. "I want to get the kids to have that opportunity to have the season, so my perspective has changed with all of this as it has any who are coaching high school sports. I'm not super concerned with results. I'm just hoping to get these kids playing competitive golf."

Coffman finished second (17-3) in the OCC-Central last season behind Upper Arlington (19-1). Those two teams are now in a realigned OCC-Central with Olentangy Liberty, which finished fifth in last year's state tournament, as well as Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Davidson and Olentangy Orange.

Junior Klay Redman, who carded a 79 at sectional at Darby Creek as Coffman shot 299 and then had an 82 at district at Apple Valley, is the top returnee.

He averaged 83.0 in the league to earn second-team honors.

Another returnee is junior Ryan Seidensticker, who averaged 82.33 while playing in three of the four rounds of the league tournament. He earned honorable mention all-league.

Junior Drew Keyser and freshmen Ryan Schiefferle and Luke Warner round out the top five. Junior Gabe Guthrie and freshman Julian Myers also could see time on varsity.

Coffman opened OCC-Central action Aug. 6 by finishing third (321) behind Liberty (296) and Orange (308) at Denison Golf Club. The second round was Aug. 12 at Turnberry, with the third round Aug. 26 at Apple Valley and the final round Sept. 9 at Darby Creek.

"I've got some freshmen that I have to get to know," Sutherland said. "Their eyes are going to be wide open when they play some of the golf courses we play, but they're pretty impressive. We're really excited about them. It's a promising future for Coffman golf.

"I'm also excited for the juniors I have on this team, too. We always hope to do as well as we can in the OCC, but our OCC got really difficult with Liberty, Orange and Arlington, and Davidson probably has the best player in the area (in senior Zach Burton)."

-- Jarrod Ulrey

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports

At a glance

COFFMAN

*Coach: Scott Sutherland, fifth season

*Top players: Drew Keyser, Klay Redman, Ryan Schiefferle, Ryan Seidensticker and Luke Warner

*Key losses: Jacob Hazen, Connor Mitchell, Cameron Seery and Sam Sellman

*2019 OCC-Central standings: Upper Arlington (19-1), Coffman (17-3), Hilliard Davidson (12-8), Marysville (8-12), Central Crossing (4-16), Westland (0-20)

*2019 postseason: First at sectional, sixth at district

JEROME

*Coach: Joe Flynn, first season

*Top players: Tyler Groomes, Ethan McDonald, Ryan Miller, Brett Podobinski and Jake Yarbrough

*Key losses: Ryan Norkin and Ethan Snyder

*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Jerome (27-1), Olentangy Berlin (22-6), Hilliard Bradley (20-8), Delaware (19-9), Hilliard Darby (11-17),

Worthington Kilbourne (8-20),

Thomas Worthington (4-24), Scioto (1-27)

*2019 postseason: First at sectional, first at district, first at state

SCIOTO

*Coach: Todd Hardesty, seventh season

*Top players: Wyatt Bowen, Jack Gawronski, David Perry and Alex Rath

*Key loss: Chris Bryant

*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Jerome (27-1), Berlin (22-6), Bradley (20-8), Delaware (19-9), Darby (11-17), Kilbourne (8-20), Thomas (4-24), Scioto (1-27)

*2019 postseason: 15th at sectional

Scioto junior Wyatt Bowen stretches before teeing off on the first hole in the opening round of the OCC-Capital tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry. The Irish finished second.