Dublin Coffman has holes to fill on heels of school’s best season ever

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Dublin Coffman Shamrocks

The 2007 season represented the most successful season in school
history at Coffman. The Shamrocks reached the state semifinals for the
second time ever, but the 13 wins were a school single-season record. Coffman returns three starters on offense and five on defense.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

OL Keenan White (6-3, 235, Sr.), RB Jared Phillips (6-1, 205, Sr.), RB Shaun Jones (5-9, 178, Jr.), DL Nick Friedman (6-1, 270, Sr.), DL Austin Crawfis (6-5, 255, Sr.), DL Stephen Mazur (5-10, 240, Sr.), ILB Evan Mulkey (6-1, 225, Sr.), DB Bryan Vranic (5-9, 170, Sr.).

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 13-1, State Semifinialist

The 2007 season represented the most successful season in school history at Coffman. The Shamrocks reached the state semifinals for the second time ever, but the 13 wins were a school single-season record.

And it ended in heartbreaking fashion as Coffman ran out of time in the red zone against eventual state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier on the wrong end of a 10-7 score in their state semifinal match-up.

That was not all that was lost. Coffman also bid adieu to a highly decorated senior class that featured a flock of major college signees, including OT Mike Adams (Ohio State), WR Jake Stoneburner (Ohio State), QB Zack Stoudt (Louisville), WR/KR Trey Fairchild (Syracuse) and LB Steve Gardiner (Michigan State).

Mark Crabtree, beginning his eighth year as the Coffman coach and 14th as a varsity head coach, does bring back three starters on offense and five on defense, though.

“It’s obvious we had some guys that you can’t replace,” Crabtree said. “It would be difficult if we harped on it. What I like about the guys coming up is they have been waiting for their turn. They have had to wait for their turn. For a lot of them, this is their opportunity to show people what they have.

“We are not letting down in any shape or form with our expectations. I think there could be some good surprises.”

Phillips and Jones give Coffman a good 1-2 punch at running back.

“Phillips was our starter most of the year until he hurt his shoulder in a playoff game,” Crabtree said. “Jones came in as the starter for our last couple of playoff games.”

The Shamrocks need a replacement for Stoudt at quarterback.

“We probably have three or four guys who can play there,” Crabtree said. “We will be inexperienced. We have some guys who we think can be good. Obviously, none of them would have the kind of repetitions under their belt where we would go out there and sling it around. We will have to wait and see.”

Outside league play, Coffman will visit Powell Olentangy Liberty and Westerville Central and will host Lima Senior.

“We have not played Liberty before,” Crabtree said. “But we know they have a good program.”

Coffman has been one of the dominant teams in the Ohio Capital Conference over the last several years. But the OCC has realigned for 2008, putting neighborhood rivals in the same divisions.

Accordingly, Coffman’s new OCC division is built around many of the top schools on the northwest side of Columbus. It includes three 2008 Division I playoff teams – Hilliard Darby, Coffman and Upper Arlington – as well as 2006 state champion Hilliard Davidson as well as longtime power Worthington Kilbourne.

“I think it will be good to have those local rivalries and games,” Crabtree said. “People will know each other and that is better than driving across town to play other schools.

“About the only negative thing about our league has been the number of times they have had to switch the divisions around. It’s because they keep adding new schools. But about the time you get comfortable with the rivalries, they pull the rug out from under you and change it around.”

SCHEDULE

Aug. 22 at Powell Olentangy Liberty
Aug. 29 Lima Senior
Sept. 5 at Westerville Central
Sept. 12 Grove City Central Crossing
Sept. 19 at Galloway Westland
Sept. 26 Thomas Worthington
Oct. 3 at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 10 Hilliard Davidson
Oct. 17 at Worthington Kilbourne
Oct. 24 Upper Arlington

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