When Hereford boys lacrosse coach Brian King elected to start Joe Seider as a freshman in 2010, he knew his decision would raise some eyebrows.
First-year players just didn't start that often for the Bulls.
"After we won our second state championship, the questions were, "What are you going to do at attack?," King explained. "I said, 'We are going to play the freshman and we are going to make it work."
What the questioners didn't know and King did is that Joe Seider was no typical freshman.
"He scored 50 goals," King said. "I don't think anybody really gets 50 goals out of a freshman."
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Sparks resident did even better as a sophomore, totaling 40 goals and 35 assists to help the Bulls to their fourth straight Class state championship.
He followed that up by being selected to be a member of the elite Baltimore All-Stars underclassmen team at the on the Under Armour All-American Lacrosse Classic at Towson University earlier this month. The team, coached by King, featured only one other public school player — Fallston defenseman Zach Esser — on a roster dominated by Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference performers.
"It's just a huge honor to even play on the team," Seider said. "It's always great players who go to private schools that play in this game. They are just amazing players."
Seider said the Under Armour honor will only make him a better player.
"It definitely makes you work harder," Seider said. "Everybody is going to expect me to do more and more for Hereford. There's definitely more pressure to do well."
King said that while it was too much to expect Seider to be an All-American-caliber player early in his high school career, a tremendous work ethic helped him develop rapidly.
"To be honest with you, I thought Joe was going to be good, but I was almost expecting a step backward before he went forward," King said. "Not because of a sophomore slump. All the eyes were going to be on him. Instead of drawing a third defenseman, he was going to draw the one or the two. I was pleasantly surprised how good he was his sophomore year."
King said Seider's calm demeanor— which improved when he became a starter on the Hereford basketball team last winter — and his coachability and confidence are among his biggest assets.
"What makes Joe special is his poise," King said.
Seider credits 2010 Hereford graduate Rustin Bryant for helping him develop as a player on and off the field. Bryant was an Under Armour All-American and now plays lacrosse at the University of Maryland.
"I have known Rustin my whole life," Seider said. "Watching him mature and just kind of play through him helped me a ton. I talked to Rustin a lot of about recruiting. He has helped me out a lot."
The list of colleges recruiting Seider is a long one. Seider, who carries a 3.4 grade point average, has unofficially visited Towson, Villanova and Penn State universities.
"He is being pretty heavily recruited and he has options," King said. "A day doesn't go by where a Dartmouth, a Cornell, a Penn State, a Maryland calls me and asks me about Joe."