Chris Thomas and David Turina have known each other for, well, almost forever. Growing up, they played pickup soccer together. They played together at Greely High in Cumberland. They played together on the Coastal Soccer Club, now known as Seacoast Maine.
So maybe it isn’t entirely surprising they found themselves together at the college level, too. Both play at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass.
Thomas is a senior center midfielder, Turina a junior back.
“Yeah, I kind of followed Chris’ path,” said Turina. “I went one year of postgrad, just like he did. Then when I was looking at schools, I actually talked to Chris before I even told him I was interested in Wheaton.”
It made the transition to college a little easier for Turina to know someone on the team. It makes rides home a little easier.
And, said Turina, “We’ve played together for so long, we know where each other is on the field. That gives us an advantage.”
What makes the story even more interesting is that they are also both captains, elected to be leaders of a team that features 10 freshmen.
“It’s truly an honor,” said Thomas, who has three goals and six assists in his career. “I get to take this leadership role and we have a lot of young guys who need a role model.
“That’s important on and off the field, because this is not just about playing soccer year-round.”
It’s about maturing into young men. And Thomas said he and Turina like that role.
“We thrive off that pressure, to be held up to a higher standard,” he said.
And they’re not the only former Seacoast Maine players who are captains in college. Senior midfielder Taylor Gorman of Freeport (North Yarmouth Academy) is captain at Brown, senior back Ryan Burnham of North Yarmouth (Greely) is captain at Northeastern and Sam Kaplan of Brunswick is captain at Amherst.
“I’m not surprised,” said Turina. “I played with all those kids and they were all leaders when I was with them.”
Wheaton Coach Matt Cushing said all those players reflect the success of the Seacoast Maine program.
“That program can play with anyone in the region,” he said. “I don’t look at them as Maine kids, I look at them as good soccer players.”
Thomas, said Cushing, “is a super great kid and kids look to him to spur us on a little bit. He’s waited his turn behind some good players, now it’s his turn to show up and lead us.”
Turina, said Cushing, “has started since the minute he got here.
“He’s very fast, good on the ball and is now being asked to do a little more in terms of leadership. And he’s stepped up.”
While the Lyons are only 1-2-1, Cushing sees a lot of potential. The schedule is stacked at the beginning and the younger players are starting to catch up.
“We’re starting to get it,” said Turina, who has two career assists. “We’re starting to work as a team.”
“We’re trying to look at the big picture,” said Thomas. “We can’t live in the past. We’ve got to look forward now and work to improve every day in training.”
Sophomore Tom Quentin of Saco (Thornton Academy) was the second Bentley University runner to cross the finish line in a recent invitational meet at St. Anselm College. He completed the 8,000-meter course in 29:02.7, 24th overall.
• Andrew Martens, a freshman from Biddeford, is a member of St. Michael’s team.
• Sophomore Emily Attwood of Cape Elizabeth finished 27th for Middlebury in the recent Dartmouth Invitational.
Providence College sophomore Brittany Ross was named Big East offensive player of the week after she scored four goals to help the Friars to a 2-1 week.
• Junior back Nikki Kimborowicz of Biddeford has two assists for Sacred Heart University.
Senior forward Tony Yeboah of Portland (Deering) is off to a good start for Hobart. He has two goals and one assist and was recently named Liberty League co-offensive performer of the week.
• Senior back Andrew Vasilauskas of Ocean Park has appeared in one game for George Fox University in Newberg, Ore.
• Junior back Matt Peabody of Brunswick has one assist for Brandeis.
Senior forward Teal Bryan of North Yarmouth (Greely) and junior back Shannon Doherty of Scarborough (Cheverus) are on the roster at St. Michael’s.
Bryan, who has 11 goals and seven assists in her career, has one assist in the first four games.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: