Ford is man in the middle for Towson

May 01, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Making the players around him better isn't something Towson midfielder Spencer Ford tries to do -- it just happens.

And as a result, Towson's trophy case just happens to be getting more and more crowded.

In his three years at Towson High, Ford has epitomized the term "gamer," helping the Generals win back-to-back 1A-2A state titles in boys lacrosse, as well as a state championship and two region playoff berths in boys soccer.

On the lacrosse field this season, Ford has adjusted to the transformation from set-up man to finisher. In eight games -- all victories -- the 6-foot, 165-pounder has scored 27 goals and made 23 assists while helping the two-time defending state champions' winning streak grow to 38 games.

"Spencer is a soccer fanatic, he plays all year around, but he's never realized how good he could be on the lacrosse field," said Towson coach Randy Dase. "His speed and quickness are unbelievable. Sometimes it's unbelieveable how he can pick up a loose ball with five guys battling for it, but he does and before you know it, the ball is off and the nets have been dented. That's Towson lacrosse."

And that's one of the reasons Ford transferred from Boys' Latin to Towson before his sophomore year.

Since transferring, Ford has helped his team accrue a 51-1 record. However, his work is hardly finished.

"The way Spence goes is the way Towson goes this year," said Dase, who saw his team's confidence go skyward after Thursday's 11-5 win over No. 13 Dulaney that featured five goals and an assist by Ford.

"I know that's a lot of pressure to put on one guy but he's been the backbone of our club offensively and ground-ball wise for the last three years and this year he has really become a team leader."

Towson assistant coach John Offerman admires the numbers Ford has produced in his three seasons on the varsity, but one of his fondest memories of Ford happened over three years ago, on a play Ford himself probably doesn't even recall.

"It was his first game against Dulaney and he made a pass while flying off the field on a ground ball that was going out of bounds," Offerman said. "He didn't get the assist on the play but that play he made on the sideline still stands out in my mind."

Another thing Offerman remembers is the final score: Towson 11, Dulaney 7.

With the wins come the individual accolades. After leading the Generals to the state lacrosse championship last season, Ford was named second-team All-County.

"We've had a lot of great players at Towson over the years and Spencer is one that has had a profound impact on the program," said Offerman. "He can control the game from the restraining line and beyond.

"He has a great sense for the open field and knows how to play in unsettled situations. He's very dangerous because he can not only score but create situations and exploit other teams' weaknesses."

In between homework and victories, Ford works part-time at a food stand in White Marsh Mall where he's learning responsibility while earning some spending money. Right now, he envisions himself playing both soccer and lacrosse in college next fall at either UMBC or Towson State, but his immediate goals are an undefeated record and a third consecutive state title.

"We have a great tradition but that's because Coach Dase knows how to win and he works us to death," said Ford. "Before we played Perry Hall [earlier this month], all we kept hearing was how good they were and how bad they were going to beat us. We knew we could beat them, so we just went out and played our game."

A game Towson won, 11-3.

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