Junior wide receiver Valquez Davis of the Gahanna Lincoln High School football team has been referred to as "Tank" so often this season that even his teachers call him by the nickname.
Friends and family began calling Davis by the moniker when he was a baby because of how big he seemed. Now, at 5-foot-8 and 148 pounds, he may not resemble a tank in terms of his physique, but according to coach John Snoad, his play on the field has lived up to the nickname.
In six games, Davis has rushed for 97 yards and four touchdowns, has 27 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns and has returned 10 punts and 10 kickoffs. He's one of the reasons why Gahanna is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division as it prepares to play host to Lancaster on Friday, Oct. 5.
"Tank is a guy who we know we have to get the ball in his hands," Snoad said. "He does it all and he's cat-quick, maybe 140 pounds soaking wet. He's just so athletic and so quick."
Davis, who had six catches for 110 yards in a 21-7 loss to Reynoldsburg on Sept. 28, became the team's No. 2 quarterback last season behind 2012 graduate Tyler Grassman after Alec Tuohy went down with a season-ending injury in a 31-14 win over DeSales in opening week.
By season's end, Davis had switched nearly full time to wide receiver, but his experience at both positions is something he believes has been a positive.
This year, Tuohy has completed 83 of 136 passes for 1,054 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions and has rushed for 466 yards and one touchdown. Although Davis hasn't attempted any passes this season, most of his carries have come when he has been under center in the Wildcat formation.
Davis' brother, sophomore Vasean Davis, has rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
"Our defense did a good job (against Reynoldsburg), but we couldn't keep our offense on the field enough," Valquez Davis said. "We got in the red zone about six times and didn't finish because we had a couple fumbles and they returned an interception for a touchdown. We just need to cut out the turnovers."
Girls tennis team enjoys regular season
One of the highlights of the regular season for the girls tennis team came on a day in which bad weather forced the cancellation of a non-league match before competition even started.
On Sept. 26 when they were supposed to be playing Worthington Kilbourne, the Lions showed support for former co-captain and 2010 graduate Taylor Ross in her battle with stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Ross, who was diagnosed with cancer in May, attended the match as an honorary captain.
"We had a lot of people, some former players and even the Reynoldsburg girls team come to show support," coach Chris Schwinnen said. "We had some T-shirts made and some wristbands."
The match was rescheduled for Oct. 3 and was moved from Gahanna to Kilbourne. The rescheduled match was the Lions' final match of the regular season before they open the Division I sectional tournament Thursday, Oct. 4, at Upper Arlington. Sectional play concludes Saturday, Oct. 6.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to the district tournament Oct. 12 and 13 at Hilliard Davidson.
In the OCC-Ohio tournament Sept. 29, the Lions placed third with 15 points, behind Pickerington Central (35) and host Reynoldsburg (16).
Gahanna, which went 5-2 in league dual matches, finished second in the overall standings with 45 points behind Central (77, 7-0). Before Reynoldsburg and Groveport played in a dual match that had been rescheduled for Oct. 3, Pickerington North (42, 5-2) was third in the final league standings, followed by Reynoldsburg (36, 4-2), Lancaster (3-4, 34), Grove City (2-5, 17), Newark (1-6, 5) and Groveport (0-6, 3).
In the league tournament, Emily Merickel placed second at second singles, Kiara Shaw was third at first singles, Kathryn Lee placed third at third singles and Cara Monico and Andrea McCloud placed third at second doubles.
At sectional, Shaw, Riley Crowe and Hannah Sobul are expected to play singles and Merickel and Elizabeth Sullivan and Monico and McCloud will comprise the doubles teams.
"With everything we've had going on with injuries this year, to get second in the league definitely blew my expectations," Schwinnen said. "We had a pretty good (league) tournament and I thought we had a fantastic draw (for the sectional). Shaw is the fourth seed (in singles) and Merickel and Sullivan are the fourth seed (in doubles) as well, and the other girls have winnable matches."