Much of junior Jon Selfridge's success as Glenelg's goalie can be attributed to his laid-back but focused approach

Low-key Gladiator


March 28, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,sun reporter

Glenelg junior Jon Selfridge gets in front of blistering lacrosse shots as the Gladiators' goalie and tries to elude hard-charging defensive linemen as the school's quarterback.

Ask him about his most nerve-racking experience, though, and he shrugs off anything that has happened on the field. Instead, he recalls the time he was center stage in eighth grade.

"I was in a play -- Schoolhouse Rock -- and had to sing two solos in front of the entire school. That was scary. I still haven't lived it down to this day," he said.

It seems that Selfridge has always needed more hours in a day and more days in a year. He is always up to something.

He has stopped frozen pucks playing ice hockey and put on catcher's gear in baseball, sings in the school choir, snowboards, received his share of bumps and bruises riding motocross, plays guitar in a band and loves to cook meals for family and friends.

"When he was little, we used to always say he was trying to fit in a whole lifetime in his first five years," said his mother, Christina. "He always wanted to do everything, try everything, and he still does."

Right now, his attention is on doing his job in the cage for the Gladiators, the defending county champions, who are shooting for another county title and more.

In his first season starting on varsity last spring, Selfridge turned away 60 percent of the 178 shots that came his way in helping the Gladiators go 10-2 with a stingy 6.3 goals-against average. While he had some jitters this time last year as he prepared for his first action on varsity, Selfridge is finding a different kind of pressure this time around.

When asked if he had more responsibilities as a team leader this spring, Selfridge briefly paused, allowing coach Josh Hatmaker to chime in.

"You better answer this one right," the coach said.

"Yes. Was that the right answer coach?" Selfridge quipped.

Said Hatmaker: "As for last year, what he impressed me most with was his poise. He went out every day and tried to get better. That's just the type of kid he is. He just goes with the flow and does his job. Fortunately for us, he does a pretty darn good job of doing it."

Quick and athletic, smart and instinctive, Selfridge is the glue to a defense that also returns seniors Nick Lawson, Andy Curley and junior Mike McCabe. The unit will be the starting point as the Gladiators try to avenge last season's regional playoff loss to rival Mount Hebron, which won a state title.

Curley and the rest know their advantage can be found in the cage behind them.

"Jon is amazing," he said. "Whenever we need the big save, he makes it. And whenever we need the ball cleared in a big situation, he'll get it done. He's confident, and he's a leader for us out there."

Much of Selfridge's success in the cage can be attributed to a laid-back approach that works in his favor.

"He doesn't get flustered, and he's got a short memory -- that's so important in the cage," said Hatmaker, who tagged Selfridge "Johnny Frat Boy" for his low-key approach. "He's able to take it possession by possession instead of living in the past. That allows him to stay focused."

Maintaining a 3.5 grade-point average, Selfridge is not set on a college or a major, but he knows he will get all that figured out soon. For now, whatever comes his way, he'll take on the challenge.

"I still have no idea what I want to do in the future, so doing a little bit of everything and enjoying different experiences will help make my decision," he said.

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