Hereford High senior Ted Demiris had several opportunities to play lacrosse for Division I schools.
The universities of Notre Dame and Vermont and Providence College were the programs that showed the most interested in him.
"ESPN Rise had him as one of the top faceoff guys in the country," Hereford coach Brian King said about Demiris.
But Demiris had more important priorities: He wants to be a pilot, which limited his college options to three unique schools.
"I was mainly looking at service academies, so I didn't pursue other opportunities," Demiris said. "I have wanted to fly ever since I was a little kid."
That's why the Parkton resident chose the Naval Academy over the Air Force Academy while also getting a lot of interest from West Point.
In Annapolis, he will be able to continue playing the sport he loves while laying the groundwork for eventually going airborne in either the Navy or Marine Corps.
A requisite four-year military obligation is just fine with Demiris, who carries a 3.75 grade point average.
After all, several of his family members have served in the military.
"My uncle (Harry Demiris Jr.) went to the Naval Academy and my grandfather (Harry Demiris Sr.) served in the Air Force," said Ted Demiris, who expects to earn his civilian pilot's license by the end of the month. "My uncle is still really involved in the academy. The academy has always been in my life and I have always been attracted to it."
The Mids should enjoy having the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Demiris at the faceoff X, considering he won an eye-catching 79 percent of his draws in his first year as a starter.
That success came after Demiris won 72 percent as a sophomore while splitting time with standout Vince DePaola.
Demiris wants to expand his role with the Bulls in 2012 by playing more on the offensive end of the field.
To that end, he has been competing for the Roughriders, a Howard County-based high-caliber club team.
Nevertheless, King can't afford to take that risk.
"All our guys are valuable, but he is the one (faceoff) guy," King said. "And he is so good. I would lose sleep over him getting hurt."
King said Demiris dominates because he focuses so sharply on details.
It pays off every time he battles an opponent for the ball.
"He is more of a technician who understands every little aspect of the faceoff," King said. "He is non-stop (all about) faceoffs and he analyzes all that stuff. There is nothing mediocre with him. He is all in. He walks around the hallways with a whistle blowing (signifying the beginning of each draw) on his ipod."
The Indiana native, who played one year for Hereford rec and a season on the Hereford junior varsity before joining the varsity, is certainly proving his doubters — who thought he was too small — wrong now.
"My size was a big concern," said Demiris, who won a regional wrestling championship this winter. "I had some (college) coaches say (to King) that they were 'concerned about my size.' I guess I have proven my point. My size hasn't affected my play."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun