Vikes' Carver stands tall on lacrosse field

April 06, 1995|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

Dan Carver is described by his Mount Hebron lacrosse coach Warren Michael as "a warrior among kids two times his size."

At 5-foot-4 and 135 pounds, Carver definitely is one of the smallest players in the league. But he's not afraid of being hit, and he gets the job done.

In Mount Hebron's first four games -- three of them victories -- the senior attackman scored 11 goals and had four assists. He had 19 goals and 13 assists last season.

"People describe me as a scrappy player," Carver said. "Opposing players try to intimidate me, but I ignore it and use my size to my advantage."

He plays crease attack, and because of his size he can often hide among taller, bigger players.

"Opponents are always losing me, and then I sneak out and score," he said.

Carver scored four goals in the first half against North Harford this season, and that prompted Hawks coach John Grubb to put his best defenseman on Carver in the second half. Carver ended up with five goals and one assist in the 12-8 Mount Hebron victory.

Michael said: "In the second half their coach pointed to Danny and told his players, 'There goes that little guy. Get him.'"

At South Carroll, Carver delivered a body check against a 205-pound defenseman that popped off the Cavalier player's helmet. The player didn't get up for a couple of minutes.

"He didn't play any more that game," Carver said. "But normally I'm at the other end of hits. I always try to jump right back up and shake them off. I've never gotten injured."

His teammates respect him so much that he is one of the tri-captains. He's a verbal leader who likes to get his team fired up, and when things aren't going well, he keeps them from getting down.

"He was so small when he came out last year that I didn't think he could help us," Michael said. "But he's a great rider, likes to hit and check, and he's all over the place with his hustle. He has a great work ethic. He's a coach's dream player."

His second-best scoring game this season was four goals and two assists against Westminster. Mount Hebron won that game so easily that Carver sat out the second half.

Carver developed his work ethic as a swimmer during 11 years of competition for the Catonsville YMCA team.

His older brother, Joe, swims for Gettysburg College and won the Centennial Conference Division III championship a month ago.

"I was an average swimmer. I used to swim just to stay in shape for lacrosse. This is the first winter I didn't swim," Carver said.

Instead he played in two indoor lacrosse leagues -- one in Cockeysville and one in Eldersburg.

Last fall he played in an outdoor league in Overlea. And last summer he played in the Hero's League and made the all-star team for high school A players.

"I never get tired of playing," he said.

He's played lacrosse in the Catonsville Lacrosse League (formerly St. Mark's) since he was 5 years old along with Viking attackman Ben Savage.

Carver is upset that his team didn't play better last Saturday against Mount St. Joe -- a school located not too far from his former Catonsville neighborhood. Mount Hebron suffered its first loss, 9-8, in overtime. Carver scored just one goal against the No. 9-ranked Gaels.

"We can play much better. We had an off-day," he said.

Carver's goal for this season is team-oriented. "I just want us to play together as a team and make it to states," he said.

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