When South Carroll senior defender Geof Weisenborn first picked up a lacrosse stick in his freshman year, he didn't think of getting a college scholarship or even making the All-County team.
He had played football since the fourth grade and always thrived on the contact. Some friends told him about the similar contact in lacrosse and he figured it would be a good way to keep in shape during the spring.
It wasn't long before lacrosse replaced football as his No. 1 sport.
"My first year, I had a hard time with my stickwork and it took some time just learning the game and all the rules," said Weisenborn.
"The toughest thing was being restricted to your own area; that took some time getting used to. Then I began playing in the summer and winter while still playing football in the fall. That's one reason I picked it up so quickly."
He earned All-County honors as a junior -- his first year at varsity -- and is a sure bet to repeat.
As was the case with football, where he played fullback and outside linebacker for South Carroll, Weisenborn says nothing is better than one-on-one confrontation.
"I've always loved contact," he said. "There's nothing better than a nice, solid hit to set the tone."
There's plenty more to Weisenborn's lacrosse game than his strong checking. Defense long has been the foundation of many successful seasons at South Carroll, and the 6-foot-2, 185-pound captain is the starting point this year.
"He's just a complete player," said South Carroll coach Gene Brown.
"He has a great ability to shut down opposing attackmen, is excellent getting ground balls and starts a lot of things for us from the back. He's the leader of our defense and that's been the strength of our team all year."
Now the sturdy defender is looking to finish his high school career on a high note before he tests his skills in college at UMBC. The Cavaliers open the state 4A-3A playoffs today against Poly.
The Cavaliers are 11-1, their only loss coming against Centennial -- a team they may see in the region finals if they defeat Poly. Weisenborn likes the Cavs' chances.
"Right now, it looks like our team is at its peak and this is when you want that," he said. "The offense is working real well together and making a lot of things happen and the defense has jelled and is very solid."
Brown said going into the season the defense was a slight concern with its new mix of players. But those doubts disappeared early.
"Matt Wilson and Jay Kable have played great and we're very strong in goal with both Chris Nave and Clay Arthur," Weisenborn said. "They've all played a major role on the defense and deserve as much credit as me."
"Things really starting coming together early and it didn't take long before we knew what one another was going to do or where we'd be."
And South Carroll's tradition of rugged defense didn't hurt any, either.
"It just makes you want to work that much harder," Weisenborn said. "It gives you something to strive for and you just want to keep up the tradition."