Scott Vane's main ambition in life right now is to attend the Naval Academy and possibly play two sports.
How fitting that is.
If there were ever a high school athlete who epitomizes everything good the Academy stands for, it is Scott Vane.
Vane is considered one of the top leaders in the Severna Park High boys soccer program, never gives up easily, is always thinking on the field, has been praised for his character off the field and has a zest for life that is refreshing.
In short, Vane has refused to let the Falcons go down with a whimper this season in boys soccer.
He has picked the team up after a 2-3 start and led it to the state Class 4A East Region championship game tonight against Meade at Chesapeake at 7 o'clock.
The striker has scored eight game-deciding goals this season.
One more win and the 11-4 Falcons are in the final four and two victories from a state 4A championship.
Quite a turnaround for a soccer team that has played most of the season in the shadows of second-ranked Chesapeake and its high-profile scorers Ryan Frommelt and Rich Kuhn.
Frommelt, Kuhn and company have turned a lot of heads in Anne Arundel County and the Baltimore area by beating 11th-ranked Severna Park three straight games, dating back to last season.
The latest Chesapeake victory cut deep to the hearts of Vane and the Falcons, coming by a 3-2 score in double overtime Oct. 24 in the Anne Arundel County championship game at Arundel.
However, in the best tradition of the Naval Academy, Vane has never abandoned ship.
"Those three losses to Chesapeake were hard to take but we've had the good fortune to make the region finals," said Vane, who has 13 goals and eight assists.
"One of the main reasons for our turnaround is that the field has been opened up a lot for our whole team since other teams have played a deep sweeper on me and double-marked me."
That strategy even helped free Vane for the only goal last Saturday night in a 1-0 victory over Calvert in the 4A East semifinals.
"I wound up getting free and Bernie Edwards sent me a perfect pass for the goal," said Vane. "It all started when Grant Shaklee dug the ball out of the corner, gave it to me, I gave it to Bernie and he got it back to me for the score."
But of all the heroics for Vane this season, he goes back to a regular-season game against Annapolis to find the most satisfying goal of his career.
"There were 11 seconds left in the second overtime and nobody had scored the entire game when Jimmy Traylor found me with a pass and the ball ended up in the right corner of the net," said Vane.
However, don't confuse any goal with Vane's biggest soccer thrill at Severna Park.
"Every time I step on the field, it is a big moment for me," he said. "Who's to say I won't get hurt and never play again. I play every game to the fullest.
"I'm not the fastest or the most physical guy out there. I use the mental aspect and think two to three steps ahead of what the other guy is going to do."
That kind of anticipation has enabled Vane to score 28 goals in three seasons, ranking him in the top five goal-scorers of all time at Severna Park. Brian Peterson is No. 1 with 40 goals.
"I've been coaching at Severna Park for 22 years," said Don Gregg. "And he's one of the best leaders I've ever had on and off the field and we've had some good ones who've gone on to the Academy. If the Naval Academy doesn't get him, they will lose a great leader. Scott has incredible intensity and a strong will to win."
Vane said he will know by the second or third week of January if he'll receive an appointment to the Academy.
"I'm excited about it," he said. "The Academy is a great place to attend. I'm thinking about trying to play soccer and baseball if I go there.
"I've been in contact with the baseball coach and hope to talk to the soccer coach soon."
As a right-handed pitcher and second baseman for the Falcons last season, Vane had a 5-0 record and hit .442.
"I like baseball better but I've had such an enjoyable soccer season that it's made me consider playing both sports at the Academy," he said.