Q&A; -- Billy McNamara, Mount Hebron, lacrosse

The Baltimore Sun

As the goalie on the lacrosse team and a top defender in soccer, Mount Hebron senior Billy McNamara has enjoyed an incredible ride in the past year. It started last spring in the lacrosse playoffs when the Vikings avenged losses to county rivals Glenelg and River Hill before defeating Urbana to win the program's fourth state championship. In the fall, McNamara was the defensive anchor on the Vikings' unbeaten state championship soccer team. A two-year starter on both teams, McNamara is hoping to close out his high school career with another title as the Vikings (9-5) prepare to defend their state crown. For the season, he has a 6.2 goals-against average with a .670 save percentage. McNamara, who has a weighted 3.2 grade point average, is set to play lacrosse at Salisbury University with plans to major in education. He would like to become a high school lacrosse coach. McNamara also enjoys fishing and snow skiing.

Does one of the state championships rank higher than the other?

The biggest one of the two was lacrosse last year. I guess because it was the first one and it was really cool to work really hard in practice, pull together and beat the two teams we lost to in the regular season. That was the most special state championship, even though in soccer we went undefeated and it was really cool, too. But lacrosse, playing in front of everyone at UMBC, seeing the huge crowd with all our supporters was special.

What was your biggest save as goalie?

It came in the state championship game against Urbana last year. We were up one goal with two or three minutes left and a kid had a one-on-one with me and I stuffed him. Then we went down the other end and scored. We controlled things from then on. It was huge. It's a one-on-one save and you're not expected to make that save, but once you do, it gets everybody pumped up.

How did you decide on Salisbury?

That was the only school I visited. In June, the coach called me up and I visited and loved it. I didn't even apply to other schools. When I went for my visit, I stayed with a kid who played lacrosse at Mount Hebron two years ago. All the guys are just real cool, a tight-knit group and it just seemed like a place I wanted to go. It's not like the Division I level where I could have gone -- some of the smaller D-I schools -- because it's not as big of a commitment. It's more like ... relax in the fall, work on your own -- which I really like -- and come in shape and everything when it's time to play. The coach expects that.

What would you like to do in education?

I think I want to teach math or history and maybe come back and coach lacrosse in high school. I'm definitely better at math -- that's one of my stronger subjects; I have always caught on to that quickly. And I'm really intrigued by history. I work really well with younger kids. I took a leadership class last year and enjoyed working with middle school kids. We taught them about high school and what to prepare for. I think I can teach a lot of kids what I know about lacrosse.

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