FINKSBURG -- It isn't often a fullback in soccer gets the opportunity to play the front line.
So when Finksburg's Tim Schauermann got the chance, he was more than willing to seize the moment.
Schauermann, a senior at McDonogh School in Baltimore, has been the starting left fullback for the past two seasons under coach Bill Seal.
But as the playoffs rolled around, McDonogh was hit with a number of injuries up front and Schauermann was asked to play forward.
"It was great to play up front and run around up there," Schauermann said.
He made the most of his opportunity, scoring the only McDonogh goal in a 2-1 loss to eventual Maryland Scholastic Association champion Calvert Hall and did it in typical fullback fashion.
After he was taken down dribbling down the sideline, McDonogh was awarded a free kick outside the penalty box.
"It was a chip in the box, and I went up with the keeper and headed it.
Both the ball and keeper went into the net," Schauermann said.
Schauermann has been playing the game since he was in first grade.
He started on a Westminster recreation team and played on a traveling team the following year.
"Sports have come naturally to me, and my soccer skills developed over the years," he said.
After playing on the junior varsity his freshman and sophomore years, he moved up to varsity his junior year and played nearly every minute the past two seasons.
"He really grew as a player over the years. He really came into his own last year and continued to improve this year," Seal said.
While he did have that memorable moment offensively against Calvert Hall, Schauermann's forte at McDonogh has always been defense.
Though usually stationed at left fullback, injuries to other players have also dictated moves to the stopper and sweeper positions.
"I enjoyed playing stopper (center defender) the most. You have the most freedom to run around and become more involved in the offense," Schauermann said.
Over the years, though, Schauermann has developed a sense for the defense.
"Playing defense, you realize you're the last line and must discipline yourself not to rush to the player but try to force the error," Schauermann said, "I'm not real big, but I like to try to intimidate. And slide tackling is a good way to let the opponent know you are there."
McDonogh began the season by winning the first 13 games, but finished the season at 14-3-2 after several key injuries. The solid record was due largely to a stingy defense that allowed only 11 goals on the season.
"It was a great season. We had a young team that scored a lot of opportunistic goals, and our defense always kept us close," Schauermann said.
Schauermann's contributions did not go unnoticed. He received the Coaches' Award -- given to him for the improvement he made over the year.
"He was a major contributor," Seal said. "He was a very steady, rugged competitor who was very durable and made very few mistakes. He is a generally quiet person, but had his own persona on the field that kept things pretty loose."
With his high school soccer career behind him, Schauermann looks forward to the college ranks.
"I would like to play in college," Schauermann said. "I haven't chosen a school yet. I'm interested in physical therapy and choosing schools around that."
Schauermann said he enjoys attending McDonogh and notes the benefits of going to the school.
"I've been going there since the first grade. The classes are really small, and it gives a family-like atmosphere," he said.
Besides playing soccer, Schauermann is on the McDonogh golf team and also enjoys snow skiing.
A golfer since the sixth grade, Schauermann has played for McDonogh the past three years -- the last two as a starter -- and will likely start again next spring.
"He will probably be our third or fourth starter this year," McDonogh golf coach Wright Abbot said. "He has been very consistent over the years and can hit the ball a long way."
His hobby through the years has been skiing, which he has been doing since second grade. This winter, he is looking to be a junior ski instructor at Ski Liberty in Fairfield, Pa.
But of all the sports he participates in, soccer comes first.
"I like it because it's a team sport, but an individual can still stick out. I also find it very challenging and competitive," he said.