Brian Peterson rode into Severna Park from Dallas in 1988, just in time to become the first ninth-grader to start for the Falcons' varsity soccer team.
Tomorrow the left-footed sharpshooter enters Severna Park's match at Northeast-AA (7 p.m.), needing only three goals to break the Falcons' career mark. Rodney Long had 40 in three seasons (1981-83) at Severna Park. Peterson got two more against Southern-AA on Tuesday, raising his season total to seven and career number to 38.
The Falcons' senior also surpassed the Falcons' career assist mark Tuesday, dropping a looping pass to the head of Michael Crawford for his 16th career assist. Ironically, Crawford's brother Sean (1986-89) had shared the old mark of 15 with Dennis Alviani (1977-79).
So much for the history lesson. Peterson, who has labored as a midfielder on the state select squad for three years in the offseason, is leaving a legacy for all future Falcons.
As a freshman, he was a front-runner for the kick-and-run Falcons. He can still sprint with the quickest backs, but his style is more team-oriented these days.
"Playing for the state team has helped me improve tremendously," said Peterson. "The short-passing game is much harder to develop. Kick-and-run is high school soccer."
With Peterson frequently flashing into the middle as trigger man, more and more Falcons are getting involved in the offense.
"We're just running crossing patterns," he said. "If I get the ball in the middle, the defense is on me and I'm looking to get it to the open man. If Peter [Swede striker Peter Joergensen] gets the ball, I'm looking to get to the far post and he'll be looking for me or anyone who is open."
It's obvious Peterson enjoys his role in the short-passing style, but his scoring and the team's success have not suffered. The Falcons are 5-0 and gunning for a fourth straight Anne Arundel County title.
With Peterson in the lineup, coach Don Gregg's Falcons have gone 53-8-1 and twice have been state finalists.
If there is a down side to the Severna Park success story, it's that the Falcons have not won a state championship since 1983 when they went 14-0-2 and shared the title with Bowie.
Peterson would love to add that notch to his gunbelt before riding off into the sunset next June.
"My dad has been transferred to Atlanta, so I'll probably try to play for a college in the South," he said. "I have friends here and in Dallas, and family in Texas and California. I'm looking at USC [University of Southern California], too."
Richmond, Creighton and Towson State also have shown an interest, but his decision will come later. First, he's got a school record to shoot for.