Nichols, the winner of the last two Monsignor Martin Athletic Association regular seasons and defending playoff champion, would seem to be off to a slow start this season. The Vikings stand 2-3 after Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over winless Aquinas Institute of Rochester at the Strauss Truscott turf field on the Amherst Street campus.
It might be a bit presumptuous to talk about trouble for coach Chris Walter’s team, however.
First, look at the quality of the opposition the Vikings have faced so far. The three losses have been to Clarence (4-0-1), Grand Island (5-1) and East Aurora (3-1). That’s a combined record of 12-5-1 for the public school teams that have taken the measure of Nichols.
Then, look at the returning talent to the Vikings’ team that was ranked first last year among Class B schools in New York State.
Center back, Alex Kompson, the All-Catholic Defensive Player of the Year last year as a junior, is considered All-America caliber by some college recruiters. He led a defense that allowed only seven goals in 13 games last season.
The senior class also has standouts Thomas Enstice, Anthony Rambino, Lawton Zacher, Yamato Takabe and Michael McHale. Rambino and Enstice were first-team All-Catholic and scored the goals in the Vikings’ 2-1 victory over Canisius in the 2020 league playoff championship game. McHale was a second team All-Catholic selection.
Enstice scored both goals for Nichols in Tuesday’s victory. Colton Christian, another senior, and Kompson had the assists.
Walter has a strong right-hand man and former collegiate head coach Rudy Pompert, who joined the staff in August.
Tuesday’s loss was the third straight for Aquinas, which plays as an independent in Section V. Aquinas lost to Pittsford Mendon (2-1) and McQuaid Jesuit (4-0) in its two previous games.