Versatility is Stromberg's strong suit Hebron defenseman plays soccer and basketball

April 09, 1996|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron's Mike Stromberg has a chance to earn nine varsity letters in three sports before he graduates next year.

That would be an unusual accomplishment in these days when many top athletes choose one-sport specialization.

This spring, Stromberg is a long stick defenseman for the Vikings' lacrosse team. Last winter, he started at point guard for the basketball team. And last fall, he was a first-team all-county and honorable-mention all-state defender for the soccer team.

"I enjoy all three sports," Stromberg said. "I guess my best sport is soccer, but I like lacrosse a lot."

Stromberg developed some of his enthusiasm for lacrosse from his older brother, Matt, who played on Mount Hebron's 1991 state title team and now is playing as a red-shirt junior at Towson State University.

In Mike's first two seasons, he played midfield, but was switched to defense this season. The stick skills he developed at midfield are serving him well on defense, however, enabling him to clear easily and scoop up a lot of ground balls.

"Mike was kind of awkward at midfield but is great at defense. Some guys are much better with a long pole. I don't know why. But he's one of them," coach Warren Michael said.

Stromberg had a personal high of nine ground balls in the second game of the season against Mount St. Joe.

"I've never had a defenseman get nine ground balls. That's just awesome. He picks up ground balls as well as any defenseman I've coached," Michael said. "And he plays the transition game like a midfielder. That's why he already has two goals. "

Stromberg is 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, and has good speed and athleticism to go with his knowledge of the game.

Stromberg's top thrills in lacrosse have been beating Centennial in triple overtime last season, and making it to the state championship game, where the Vikings lost to Arundel.

In basketball, the game he remembers most was beating Oakland Mills. The Vikings also beat county co-champ Atholton. He averaged seven points and four rebounds.

"The whole season stood out in soccer, but beating Oakland Mills, 1-0, was the top thrill," said the Vikings' sweeper who won a lot of head balls. It was the first time Mount Hebron ever beat Oakland Mills in soccer.

Mount Hebron experienced its finest soccer season, going 6-1 in the league and 8-4-1 overall. The Vikings gave undefeated county and state champion Centennial its toughest game before losing, 5-3, in the regional quarterfinal.

He's played soccer since he was five , but didn't play basketball until third grade and picked up lacrosse in the eighth grade.

His eighth-grade Cobra lacrosse team lost in the state semifinals and he broke his arm playing lacrosse that summer, but he didn't get discouraged.

Stromberg's youth basketball team won the BNBL A Division championship with a team that included several current Centennial basketball players.

He also played youth-league baseball, but gave up that sport for lacrosse.

Stromberg carries a 3.57 cumulative grade-point average and is waiting the results of the SAT.

He also participates as a school peer mediator, and is a member of the Vikings Service Club and the National Honor Society.

Pub Date: 4/09/96

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