No matter which of the three sports Sammy White played at Dulaney High, coaches marveled at her ability to be the best player on her team while also making her teammates better.
“She is kind of a coach’s dream player and she really does encourage the players around her to be better, just by setting the example and talking them up and encouraging them to rise to the occasion,” Dulaney lacrosse coach Kristi Korrow said.
“She’s very unselfish and she knows that when she succeeds the team succeeds. She’s that type of player. That’s what her focus has always been and I think that is what makes her so successful.”
Her success in athletics earned her the distinction of being the Towson Times Female Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, White only played soccer and lacrosse in 2021 and admitted not playing basketball was tough.
“I really missed basketball,” she said. “I was really sad when I found out we weren’t going to be able to play.”
In the final home game of the regular season during her junior year, White, who averaged 23 points per game, scored her 1,000th career point.
White did get to play an abbreviated soccer season and full lacrosse season in 2021.
Already committed to playing lacrosse at Northwestern University in 2022, she was one of only two seniors, along with Emily Mowbray, on the roster for the Lions.
“Me and Emily Mowbray really tried to step up and be those leaders for the younger girls,” White said.” It’s kind of like that internal drive and it’s like wanting to be better even if you are the best one on the field. It’s wanting to be better than you were yesterday, so it’s putting in the extra work and making sure like, ‘Oh, I didn’t make that shot last time, I’m going to make sure I think next time and I’m going to make that shot.’”
White led the Lions in scoring, ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers and wasn’t afraid to mix it up to get the ball.
“She is not one to shy away from the dirty work and she thrives on doing all of those things,” Korrow said.
The senior midfielder was selected to play in the Under Armour All-America senior game, which will be held on July 31.
At Dulaney, losers of only three games all season, White’s highlight win was an 18-5 triumph over Walt Whitman in the state quarterfinals.
“That was really my favorite win because we kind of went into it and we usually have a really easy ride to states and that game is really our biggest competition, so we kind of went into that game a little more on our toes,” said White, noting the Lions won the first six draws and scored the first three goals.
“We came to play and it was really fun to see everyone come together and we just played so much like a team and it was such an amazing game and I really think that helped us for Broadneck.”
Dulaney lost to Broadneck 11-8 in the state semifinals in her final high school game.
“She was definitely an incredible player for us and it was so fun to just watch and fun to coach her, so she will definitely be missed,” Korrow said. “I can’t wait to see what she does at the next level.”
White recently competed against girls her age at a Northwestern University lacrosse camp for commits and prospects at the Evanston, Illinois campus.
“Getting to play with the other girls and stuff was very good, it was fun,” said White, who admits she has more work to do to compete at the next level.
“I definitely need to work on my fakes and my shooting and I’m a strong dodger, but my cutting needs work,” she said. “My stick skills are probably my biggest weakness at this point, just like being comfortable with my stick. My athleticism has definitely carried me to this point, but there is stuff I have to work on if I want to excel at the next level.”
Although her soccer career is over, White left an everlasting impression on Dulaney head coach Maurice Boylan.
“I was at McDonogh for 20 years and I’ve had some unbelievably awesome, awesome players and she has fit right in with those same girls that were players of the year and All-Americans,” Boylan said. ‘Whatever accolades they got, she is as good as any of them. She is just a helluva kid and we are going to miss her. There are players like Sammy who are irreplaceable.”
White had four goals and two assists for the Lions in seven games, but her total value was measured by more than statistics.
“She is a game changer,” Boylan said. “Between her work rate, her eagerness to do whatever, play whatever or mentor other players.”
Boylan awards practice points each day with three points for a team win and one point if they tie and White took them seriously.
“I always made sure my team would win the practice points. It was almost like practice meant more than the games,” said White, who had the most practice points at the end of the season. “It really helped me to be competitive in the games and I think my competitive spirit helped my teammates really push during practice and that really translated into our games.”
“She is a winner,” Boylan said. “She is driven and motivated by the competition to be her best every time she is out on the field, whether it’s practice or games and that is the mentality she has and anything less than that is unacceptable and the players that play with her know that.”
Boylan has no doubt if she wasn’t dedicated to playing lacrosse in college she could excel in another sport.
“If she dedicated herself to soccer, she could play at any level. If she dedicated herself to basketball, she could play basketball,” he said. “She is just an awesome athlete.”
And she is a player the coach will miss seeing on the practice field in August.
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“I love that kid. I’m going to miss her with all my heart,” Boylan said.