High expectations provide motivation Volleyball: Catonsville's Marci Brewer strives for perfection and demands much from herself as the Comets' leader.

September 28, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Two years ago, Marci Brewer was the only Catonsville girl to play on three state tournament teams.

She started in goal for the Class 1A-2A champion girls lacrosse team, helped the volleyball team to the 2A title game and came off the bench as the basketball team clinched a berth in the final four.

However, Brewer, now a senior, would never mention that to anyone. As late as last spring, she didn't even realize it herself.

Comets volleyball coach and assistant lacrosse coach Debbie Clem is not surprised.

"Other kids read in the paper that they did this or they did that, and they love it," said Clem. "Marci doesn't need that. She doesn't like to take the credit."

Last year, Brewer faced a difficult adjustment as one of the few players to return after a strong 1995 senior class graduated. She shouldered the responsibility well.

"It seemed like everyone thought that since we lost all those players, we were nothing. I didn't think like that at all," Brewer said of last year's basketball season. "It's tough when everyone's always referring back to the year before when it was obvious we were a different team."

But it was the same Brewer. None of her teams returned to the state tournament last year, but not because she didn't try.

"You won't find another player on the court or on the field who works harder," said Clem. "Marci wants perfection out of herself, which is good in a way, but she takes it very had if she doesn't do something she thinks she should have. She's the first one to blame herself, even if it's not her fault."

"I do expect a lot from myself," said Brewer, "but I have gotten better. I know a perfect game is not going to happen, but it's something I still like to shoot for."

More than any other sport, lacrosse has helped her deal with her perfectionist tendencies. Learning to play in the goal in such a high scoring game meant learning to give up goals, learning to accept less than perfection.

"The whole mentality of it is a challenge -- maintaining a positive attitude," said Brewer. "After a couple shots go in, you get a little down, but by the end of my sophomore year, it got a lot better."

She has learned to like lacrosse so much that it rivals volleyball as her favorite sport. Brewer hopes to play one of the two in college.

Over the summer, she and Comets teammate Dani Remeikis spent a couple weeks playing volleyball in Holland as part of the Sports Challenge International exchange program. Her only complaint was that they didn't play enough volleyball.

She took a break from sports long enough for a summer internship at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Working as an exhibit guide and talking with mammalogists and aquarists gave Brewer, who carries a 3.75 grade-point average, some insight into her intended college major, marine biology.

Since school started, however, volunteering at the aquarium has given way to new studies and a new volleyball season.

As a senior, Brewer finds the adjustment much easier.

"It's really not that much different now," she said. "Last year was a major change, because we lost so many people. It doesn't seem like much of a change this year. We have six returning seniors."

But there is one new challenge facing Brewer -- the first injury of her high school career. A painful strained right wrist hasn't kept her out of any matches but has restricted her motion and kept her from hitting with full power.

She doesn't like it, but she has had to take it easy at practice although she's still pushing herself in every game. She just doesn't know any other way.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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