With just 13 players on the roster for the Gahanna Christian Academy boys soccer team, senior Nick Thomas realizes he will be looked upon for big contributions.
He doesn't mind the extra expectations.
The Eagles were 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the MOCAL entering last Tuesday's game against Mount Vernon Academy. They had lost their last two, including to Fisher Catholic 1-0 last Saturday.
"Coming down toward the end of games it's been hard," Thomas said of the team's lack of depth. "If we've been down by a goal or two at the end of games it's been harder to come back. It's been harder to close out games."
Gahanna Christian will return to action Friday when it visits Wellington.
The Eagles beat Horizon Science 3-0 on Sept. 12 and Veritas 4-0 the next day.
"We're doing pretty well," Thomas said. "Everyone is giving it all they have on the field. We only have 13 players, so we're very short on subs. I've been impressed with the way some of the people have been playing."
Thomas, a defensive midfielder, has enjoyed success at the offensive end as he had three goals entering last Tuesday. He is a fourth-year varsity player and third-year starter.
Thomas also excels in basketball and baseball. He's a small forward in basketball, his favorite sport.
He not only enjoys the sports at Gahanna Christian, but also the close-knit feeling of the school.
"I like it," he said. "You get to know mostly everyone in your school. It's a comfortable environment."
Thomas has a 3.7 GPA and hopes to attend Ohio State, where he plans to entering the athletics training program.
•Girls volleyball coach Nate Kirk entered the season hoping his team at least could earn a .500 record.
The Eagles entered the final stages of the season on target to top that mark.
Gahanna Christian was 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the MOCAL before its match against Mount Vernon Academy last Monday.
"I think we'll end the season either .500 or above," Kirk said. "That is kind of where I was aiming."
The Eagles will return to action today when they play host to Tree of Life.
Gahanna Christian beat Grove City Christian 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 on Sept. 18 and Granville Christian 17-25, 25-20, 25-12, 16-25, 15-8 last Saturday.
"We had a little bit of a losing streak, but we're winning again," Kirk said. "We've been up and down.
Kirk pointed to the strong play of Kelsey Chatman and Alissa Kirk, his daughter, as keys to the team's success.
"I'm pretty happy because the games that we lost weren't that bad," Kirk said. "We didn't do very well against Columbus Academy (25-13, 25-11, 25-23 loss Sept. 12), but we had an off night. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the scores. We're doing OK."