Two-sport standout Jacob Borcila says a solid work ethic, a love of competition and a strong support system have been his keys to success with the Westerville Central High School boys soccer and football teams.
As one of the top goalkeepers in central Ohio, the senior has helped lead coach Dave Pence's soccer team to a record of 6-2-3 overall and 2-0-1 in the OCC-Buckeye Division.
Borcila is in his third season as the kicker and punter for the football team, playing for former coach John Magistro for two years and first-year coach Brent Morrison this fall. The Warhawks fell to 3-2 with a 14-13 loss at Gahanna on Sept. 21 and open league play Friday, Sept. 28, at Olentangy Liberty.
For the season, Borcila is 5-for-7 on field goals and 15-for-16 on extra points, with a punting average of just under 37 yards.
"I'm a product of the people around me and there are a lot of great people around the football team and there's such a positive attitude around it," Borcila said. "I'm friends with every single one of these kids. I love all the football players no matter how many there are. I love every single one of my soccer teammates and no way would I be here without them."
Borcila first was introduced to soccer at 3 years old in the Westerville Amateur Soccer Association. He began playing at the club level at age 6 and started playing goalie at 11.
At Central, his freshman season was abbreviated after he broke his left arm during preseason training. He returned late in the season, but was moved to forward.
He took over in goal for his sophomore season and has been a fixture at the position since.
As a sophomore, Borcila helped lead the Warhawks to the OCC-Buckeye title at 4-1 and was named first-team all-league.
Last season, he was first-team all-district and all-league and second-team all-state.
Borcila holds several program records in soccer, including saves in a season (109 in 2017), shutouts in a season (9 in 2017, tied), career shutouts (20), fewest goals allowed in a season (13 in 2017) and career saves (246).
"He's always had quick reflexes and his positioning has always been good," Pence said. "You knew he had something when he was a freshman, but I'm not sure if we knew he was going to be this good."
Borcila first tried out for the football team as a sophomore.
"I have no regrets. I love it," he said. "My mom told me they needed a kicker and I always had a big leg for my size. She said you're athletic enough and kicking will be easy for me. She pushed me to try it and I really liked it. ... My parents (Remus and Jenny) are so supportive of me. They're my No. 1 support system."
Borcila earned second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district honors last season as a kicker and punter.
A typical day for Borcila begins with attending classes until about 1 p.m. before heading to Otterbein to practice kicking and punting. He then returns to school for football practice before taking a short walk to join the boys soccer practice, as both teams share the main field at Central.
"Jacob has become a student of the game," Morrison said. "He goes out there and he's coaching up holders and long snappers. He goes to camps and showcases. He picks up things and brings them back to the guys. It's been pretty neat to see him emerge as of the leaders on our team."
Borcila said growing from 5-foot-7 as a freshman to 6-1 1/2 now has helped in his development.
Pence and Morrison agree that communication and having support from both coaches have been keys to Borcila juggling both sports.
"I love it," Pence said. "Every year I ask if there is anyone who wants to kick the football. I'm a firm believer in kids should do as much as they can in high school, be as part of as much that they can. You go through high school one time and do as much as you can."
Borcila has received several offers to play both sports in college, but remains undecided.
"Soccer is the sport I've always loved," he said. "Football has grown on me. I don't know where I'm going to go, what I'm going to do in college yet. I haven't decided, but my opportunities are leaning the football way in terms of better opportunities."
He credits kicking coach Adam Tanalski, who lives in Buffalo, for his success in football.
Borcila also excels in the classroom, earning a 3.96 GPA in his junior year.
"He's an amazing student and the way he balances both soccer and football and then on top of that being able to maintain the GPA that he does, it's incredible the stuff that he does," Morrison said.
Borcila hopes to lead both teams on a postseason run.
"A district championship in soccer and go far in the football playoffs, if that's the perfect ending, I'll take it," he said.
Girls soccer team defeats Berlin
The girls soccer team was 6-4 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Buckeye before playing Olentangy on Sept. 25.
The Warhawks defeated Olentangy Berlin 3-0 on Sept. 18 as Alex Michaelson, Kate Schimmel and Megan Schimmel scored and goalie Taylor Hickman had four saves.
Hickman had six saves in a 3-0 loss to Olentangy Orange on Sept. 20.
Girls volleyball team reaches .500 mark
The girls volleyball team rebounded from a three-game loss to Liberty with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-11 win over Licking Heights on Sept. 24.
The Warhawks, who are 8-8 overall, fell to 1-3 in the OCC-Buckeye with a 25-11, 25-11, 25-14 loss to Liberty on Sept. 20.
Riley Kindall leads Central in kills (147) and aces (32). Mallory Mahoney leads in digs (198), and Jordan Plas (194) and Hayle Tillman (185) lead in assists.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 29 -- Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Bradley
Oct. 3 -- Backwoods 2-miler at Thornville Sheridan
Sept. 29 -- Dublin Jerome Honorary Invitational at Tartan Fields
Oct. 2 -- Division I sectional at Darby Creek. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.
Oct. 2 -- Division I sectional at Westchester. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek.
Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington
*Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Thomas
*Oct. 2 -- At Liberty
Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Thomas
*Sept. 27 -- At Westerville North. The Warhawks defeated the Warriors 23-25, 25-12, 18-25, 25-23, 16-14 on Sept. 4.
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Olentangy Orange. The Warhawks lost to the Pioneers 25-12, 25-14, 25-18 on Sept. 6.