GETTYSBURG, PA. — Lynn and Brenda Mayer of Sykesville purposely sat smack in the middle of the bleachers Wednesday afternoon as Gettysburg College squared off against Western Maryland in men's lacrosse.
To their left was the Gettysburg bench, while the visiting Western Maryland squad was on their right.
In the 10 years their three sons -- Kevin, Jeff and Steve -- havebeen playing lacrosse, never had they come across a situation like the one Wednesday's matchup presented. It was a double treat of sorts.
Steve was sporting his home white No. 14 jersey for Gettysburg while his older brother, Kevin, wore No. 30 in Western Maryland's visiting green.
It was the first time any of their sons were matched upagainst one another, aside from their friendly backyard confrontations over the years.
"I told them both to go out and play the best game they've ever played," their father, Lynn, said.
Kevin, a 24-year-old senior majoring in business/economics at WMC, was the first ofthe trio to pick up a lacrosse stick when he was in eighth grade.
"One day after lacrosse practice, when he first started, he came home and said, 'It's just like football without pads and you can hit players with your stick and everything,' " Brenda said.
Jeff, 22, andSteve, 20, were quick to follow and it wasn't long before lacrosse was the talk of the household.
"At the dinner table -- through appetizer, dinner and desert -- the conversation always centered around lacrosse," Brenda said.
All three enjoyed successful careers at Liberty High under former coach Bill Gibson (none played together there)and each continued playing in college.
"Without the Mayer brothers, the Liberty program would not be where it is at today," Gibson said, "They were all captains for me, and I'm extremely honored to having had the opportunity to coach them."
Jeff graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, last spring and now is a rental manager for a truck-leasing company in Toledo, Ohio.
In his senioryear at Wittenberg, he led the North Coast Conference in scoring with 40 goals and eight assists in eight games. Those numbers earned himsecond-team All-Conference status.
Kevin, who also played football at Liberty, is in his second year at WMC after attending Catonsville Community College.
"He came in last year and made a major contribution for us at the midfield position and is doing even more this season," Western Maryland coach Mike Williams said. "He's a tough player who's not afraid to mix it up and comes to play everyday."
Stevetransferred from the University of Delaware and has stepped right into a starting position as a sophomore at Gettysburg.
In seven games this season, he has scored six goals and added 12 assists for the Bullets, who are ranked third nationally in Division III with a 6-1 record.
He credits much of his success to his older brothers.
"They've probably helped me out more than anyone. I've learned an awful lot from them in our backyard," Steve said.
And while they all share the same last name and the joy of the game, all have attained success on the field with their own unique styles.
"They all play thegame differently." Lynn said, "Kevin is probably the fastest of the three, while Jeff is overpowering, knocking people down, and Steve ismore of a finesse player."
One thing they do share is their parents' support.
The Mayers can be found in the stands during all of their sons' games, and on the rare occasion two are playing at the same time, one parent goes to one game and the other parent goes to the other.
"My father has been incredible," Jeff said. "He has always gone out of his way to get to every game, and mom has always been right there behind him. It really helps."
In case you're wondering, the older brothers obviously taught Steve well, as he shined with one goal and two assists as Gettysburg beat Western Maryland.
All the Mayers were winners on that special day.