Gregg Edell of Glenelg possesses one of the worst traits normally associated with any athlete. He's slow.
Not tortoise slow. But slow enough so that opposing coaches don't think they have to do anything special to stop the senior attackman, who has set several school assist records.
"I may not be the best athlete, because I'm slow," Edell said, "but I have good field vision, and I'm working on my speed and footwork and trying to get stronger."
While the opposing defense focuses on faster players, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Edell uses that field vision and his superior knowledge of the game to quietly slide, shuffle and inauspiciously position himself to do a lot of damage.
The end result? Edell has turned what might have been a liability into a positive offensive weapon. His slowness is his shield of invisibility.
Edell is a key reason Glenelg is in second place, one game behind Mount Hebron. The Gladiators play the Vikings the final game of the regular season.
Edell holds school records for assists in a game (seven), a season (53) and a career (127).
As a sophomore playing his first varsity season he scored 17 goals and had 43 assists, and his team shared a three-way county title.
Last season he scored 23 goals and had 53 assists.
This season in nine games he has 22 goals and 31 assists.
He has twice in his career made seven assists in a game, including Thursday's 16-8 victory over Atholton, a team that was in a first-place tie with Mount Hebron at the time.
He scored a career-high six goals against Howard this season.
"The team was having trouble scoring this season, so the coaches asked me to try and score more," Edell said.
Head coach Rick Kincaid thinks that if Edell goes to the net more often it will open things up for teammate Beau Pich.
"Gregg is one of the most unselfish players I've ever been around, so we had to tell him to go to the hoop more," Kincaid said. "He makes good choices and has the confidence now to direct the offense. He's a finesse player who is attentive to what we ask, and he's got the green light to call plays out on the field."
Edell's biggest thrill was an overtime victory against Mount Hebron his sophomore year. He scored the winning goal, and the victory clinched a tie for the title.
He's the son of Maryland lacrosse coach Dick Edell, which has helped him learn the game.
"My dad worked with me in the beginning, but I've learned most it from my high school coaches," Edell said. "[Assistant coach] Jim Huelskamp especially helped me my sophomore year, and I learned a lot from other players, the Cordisco brothers and Chris Forespring."
It also has helped that he grew up watching Maryland lacrosse games from the bench, and that he started playing rec lacrosse in the fifth grade.
But he also played soccer for about eight years until high school, and he played baseball in rec leagues through this year, but not in high school.
"I'm not that good a baseball player," he said.
The only other sport besides lacrosse that he has played in high school was golf. He alternated as the fourth man last fall.
He's probably not the best-known athlete in the Edell family.
His older sister, Kristin, played three sports at Glenelg and was the school's female athlete of the year. She played for Maryland the year the women's team won a national lacrosse championship.
Another sister, Lisa, played volleyball and basketball for Glenelg.
"And my younger sister, Erin, is the best athlete in the family. She's in the seventh grade and plays everything," Edell said.
Last Wednesday, Edell signed the necessary papers to attend Dartmouth, where he'll continue to play lacrosse. He has a 3.4 GPA, scored 1,450 on the SAT and will major in business or engineering.
Pub Date: 4/28/96