By Matt Ensor, Graduate Assistant from VCU's Center for Sport
Make no mistake about it; C.J. Gehin-Scott is a product of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The native of Chesapeake, Va., had already built an impressive soccer résumé when he graduated from Hickory High School. By that time he'd played for the Virginia Rush U-18 Nike team, he had earned Southeastern District Player of the Year honors and led the Hickory Hawks to four consecutive district championships.
So it would seem appropriate that playing collegiate soccer wasn't just an interest for him, but a formality.
"I've played soccer my entire life and it was one of those things that I didn't decide to do," Gehin-Scott said. "I knew that's what I was going to do. It wasn't thinking of it as something I wanted to do, it was seeing it as the next step."
VCU entered the picture for Gehin-Scott's services in part because of their impressive Colonial Athletic Association run in the early 2000s. That particular stretch saw the Rams win three consecutive CAA regular season championships, which helped finalize the decorated high school player's move to the Black & Gold.
Since his arrival in Richmond, his game would set the tone for his Ram career and propel him into a mainstay in the VCU starting lineup. Gehin-Scott played in all 20 games as a freshman with 18 starts. His sophomore season featured a highlight of his career when he scored the game-winning goal against conference rival Old Dominion.
After another season of double digit starts as a junior, Gehin-Scott took on a new role for the Rams. New Head Coach Dave Giffard turned to the three-year starter to take on a leadership role. Not only did that mean naming Gehin-Scott co-captain, but Giffard also entrusted him with extra responsibility. The responsibility to help pass along to the 18 new players on the team the expectations of what a VCU Soccer player is supposed to be.
"First of all they're exemplary student-athletes," Giffard said of his two senior captains, Gehin-Scott and Thomas Hupper. "They're very honest and they bought into the mentality of the things we preach here full force. They're guys we would love to have longer."
So far, his play has supported Giffard's praise as Gehin-Scott scored the game-winning goal in the team's Labor Day match against Coastal Carolina. It was also the Rams' first victory of the season.
While soccer has always been a big part of his life, he enjoys getting away from the game in his free time. He sums up his favorite free time activity in one word: "Relax." This usually means spending time with friends and his Siberian Husky mix.
These activities also help him think about what he wants to do after his career at VCU ends this season. Once it does conclude, the senior admits he has entertained the thought of relocating to Europe to extend his career.
"I spent a month in the summer before last with a club in Germany," he said. "I did some training over there with their youth program. I would like to possibly go back over and see what would happen professionally with that club."
Until he finally closes the book on his career at VCU, Gehin-Scott still has a lot of chapters to write this season.