Getting back to the playoffs Dublin Coffman’s main goal

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Dublin Coffman Shamrocks

After reaching the state semifinals with
a 13-1 season in 2007, Coffman went 7-3 and finished 10th in the region to miss
the playoffs. Mark Crabtree, back for his ninth year at Coffman and 15th season
as a varsity head coach, has six starters back on offense and five on defense and the Shamrocks are thinking playoffs.


Dublin Coffman (7-3)

* Players to Watch – QB Cole Stoudt (6-4, 185, Jr.),
OL Sam Schulte (6-1, 275, Sr.), ILB Brent Buehler (6-1, 218, Sr.), LB Kyle
Frazier (5-11, 225, Sr.), K Kyle Clinton (6-0, 185, Sr.).

* Outlook – After reaching the state semifinals with
a 13-1 season in 2007, Coffman went 7-3 and finished 10th in the region to miss
the playoffs. Mark Crabtree, back for his ninth year at Coffman and 15th season
as a varsity head coach, has six starters back on offense and five on defense.

“I think our players were definitely disappointed about
missing the playoffs last year, but we had nobody to blame but ourselves,”
Crabtree said. “We started out 7-0, but we lost our last three games by a total
of 15 points. We weren’t probably athletic enough to make enough of the plays we
needed to defeat the teams we played at the end of the year. We lost to three
playoff teams there at the end.”

Stoudt, whose brother Zack was the previous starter and a
Louisville signee last year, stepped in as the starter last year as a sophomore.
Stoudt, son of former NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt, is now regarded as one of
the state’s top 20 prospects in the 2011 class. He started all 10 games last
year and threw for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“The first thing we saw with Cole was he does have the
ability to play at this level,” Crabtree said. “As a sophomore in high school,
you never know. He came in and competed against kids two years older than him.
He did a good job being a leader and taking charge. He was not intimidated by
the situation.

“It’s nice to know we have him for two more seasons. He is
mechanically sound and has the ability to make good decisions. His future is
pretty bright.”

Schulte will be looked upon as a leader on the offensive
front.

“Sam obviously has experience as a returning starter,”
Crabtree said. “He is kind of a quiet kid, but he is well respected by his
teammates and has a good work ethic. He brings some toughness and ability. He is
showing signs of being a good, positive leader.”

Coffman opens with Powell Olentangy Liberty with a game at
Ohio Stadium as part of the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Series.

“You kind of take it for granted as it gets closer,”
Crabtree said of the game at the Horseshoe. “We met with the people running the
game and it will be kind of cool. It would be like a college team getting to
play in Ohio Stadium.”

As always, the Ohio Capital Conference Central Division –
with the likes of Upper Arlington, Hilliard Davidson and Worthington Kilbourne –
looms large.

“It’s like a who’s who in our league,” Crabtree said. “It
is kind of top-heavy. Upper Arlington and Hilliard Davidson are traditionally
very good. Darby has been good the last couple of years. Kilbourne has been good
and Thomas Worthington will be much improved.”

A potential problem could be Coffman’s two games against
Grove City Central Crossing and Galloway Westland. Those are two of the four
high schools in the Southwestern City Schools. That district must pass an
operating levy in early August or none of its high schools will sponsor
extracurricular activities this year.

If that levy fails, Coffman and other schools around
central Ohio will be scrambling to fill open dates.

“That situation is kind of out of our hands,” Crabtree
said. “You hope they can pass their levy and be able to field football teams
this fall. But it does impact a lot of other schools if they can’t. We could be
looking at playing a team like Hilliard Davidson twice if that happens because
they would also lose a game the same week.”

Schedule

Aug. 30, vs. Powell Olentangy Liberty (Kirk Herbstreit
Varsity Series at Ohio Stadium), noon

Sept. 4, Courtice (Ont.) Holy Trinity Catholic

Sept. 11, at Columbus Brookhaven

Sept. 18, at Grove City Central Crossing*

Sept. 25, Galloway Westland*

Oct. 2, at Thomas Worthington

Oct. 9, Hilliard Darby

Oct. 16, at Hilliard Davidson

Oct. 23, Worthington Kilbourne

Oct. 30, at Upper Arlington

*-Schools in the Southwestern City Schools district must
pass a levy in early August to be able to sponsor football and extracurricular
activities this school year. If that levy fails, Coffman will look to replace
those opponents.

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