Gavlin, Chapelgate Christian, lacrosse

Q&A -- R.J.

April 18, 2007|By GLENN GRAHAM

A two-sport standout, R.J. Gavlin of Chapelgate Christian Academy has played four years of varsity soccer and lacrosse. As a center midfielder in soccer, he anchored the Yellow Jackets in two straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championships. A goal-scorer in lacrosse -- playing on attack and some at midfield -- Gavlin was the hero in last season's championship game against Cardinal Gibbons, scoring an overtime goal to lead Chapelgate to an 8-7 win. With 21 goals this season, Gavlin has 106 for his career. A highlight off the field for Gavlin came last summer when he participated with a school group that went on a seven-day church mission to Guatemala, where students helped build a playground at a Christian school. Gavlin, who has a 2.7 grade point average, plans to attend Howard Community College before moving on to a four-year school to play lacrosse.

What is the key to scoring goals in lacrosse?

A big thing is placement. I try to watch where the goalie is and find an open corner. It almost becomes natural, and you know what you have to do in different situations. You look for the same things -- a certain mistake from a defender and things like that -- and then try to work around it.

What was it like scoring the game-winning goal in the championship game last season?

We designed a pick-and-roll play that we worked on in practice but never really used it in a game, so we decided to throw it out there. We had a senior bring it down and then I set a pick. The man who was face-guarding me got caught up in the pick and didn't know who to guard. He dropped it over to me and I just caught it, turned and shot. And then I just remember the ref blew the whistle and I really don't remember anything else but everybody jumping on me.

What is your fondest memory from the trip to Guatemala?

The people there were so nice. They have nothing but are willing to give you anything. As soon as you walk in, they give you a hug and give you anything because they are so happy to see you. If you walk by somebody there and don't say hello, they take that as an insult. Here, it's like, you don't say anything to anybody unless you know them.

What did you take away from the experience?

It was great just to know that we were able to help other people and share what we had. We were giving to them and they were giving back everything that they could. When we left, they all cried because they knew we had helped them so much. It was nice to see how much they appreciated us -- you could tell that we actually did help them, and that's the reason we went.

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