Think of the Howard High School boys lacrosse team's offense, and senior attackman Scott Frye automatically comes to mind.
That's because Frye, the Howard County Sun's Player of the Year, seemed to have a hand in every Lions score this season.
"Everybody knew about Scott, and he still came up with big numbers," said Howard coach Dan Ross, whose Lions posted a 12-2 record and won their first county championship in seven years.
The Lions couldn't have done it without Frye, whose passing and shooting were as consistent as they were effective. He led the team with 33 goals and led the county with 48 assists. And on a team that often struggled offensively -- the Lions averaged 10.3 goals and failed to score 10 goalsin nine games -- Frye was doubly valuable.
He either scored or had an assist in every game, and his fingerprints were on 56 percent ofHoward's goals. What's more, Frye finished third on the team with 143 ground balls, an astounding total for an attackman.
Frye had numerous big games, but none was bigger than his two-goal, three-assist effort in Howard's 7-4 victory over Mount Hebron that helped the Lions win the county title. Frye scored two goals and dished out two assists in the final 12 minutes to spark a 6-0 run. He went on to score 17 goals and add 29 assists against the county. No other Howard playernotched 10 assists for the season.
Besides setting the tone offensively for the Lions this season, Frye also quietly set a standard bywhich future attackmen will be compared at Howard.
Frye set a school scoring record with 193 points. He broke Michael Rice's year-old record of 179 against Liberty last month. He also wound up with 102 career goals, becoming the first Howard player to reach 100. And Frye had at least one assist in every varsity game he played during the last three years.
Unfortunately, Frye was part of a season that tooksome bitter turns for Howard. The Lions started 10-0, then lost goalie Milton Lee following a serious car accident. Howard proceeded to lose two of its last four games, then barely missed qualifying for the3A/4A playoffs.
One of Frye's teammate, senior defenseman Joe Wilson, then received his second straight High School All-America award and his second straight Player of the Year award from the league's coaches.
Nothing against Wilson -- who has earned every ounce of recognition in his terrific, four-year career -- but we think the coaches overlooked Frye.
Frye rarely got to enjoy the spotlight. The night he broke the school's scoring record against Liberty, the Lions suffered their first loss of the season and were still reeling from Lee's life-threatening accident. When Howard missed the playoffs by a fraction of a point, Frye didn't have a chance to flash his skills whenit would have counted most.
We're happy to give credit where it belongs.