Junior middie balances laughs and hard work
The game is tied 6-6 in double overtime against Paint Branch. Blair's defense is getting tired, and it seems as if it's only a matter of time until a Paint Branch Panther will break the tie. Out of nowhere, junior Alex Stewart snags a ground ball and slings it to fellow middie, junior Sean Reilly. Reilly draws two defenders and fires a pass back to Stewart, who hesitates, jukes to the right and sends a shot toward goal. Back of the net, game over, Stewart's stolen a 7-6 victory for the Blazers.Stewart is a native of Toronto, Canada who enrolled at Blair during the second semester of his freshman year. Since then, he has become a devoted member of Blair's hockey and lacrosse teams. Teammates and coaches alike appreciate the tenacity he brings to every game. "We call him the Canadian warrior," assistant coach Adrian Kelly said. "All I've got to say about Stewie is he's a ground ball demon. The man works hard."
Once the clock starts, Stewart plays no games. The first-year varsity starter has been a key member of Blair's middie line all year long, but he has stepped up his play as of late. Most notably, on Wednesday night, Stewart's three goals lifted Blair to its second win of the season. "He's one of our best ball-handlers, and it proved to be true in our double overtime win against Paint Branch," junior defenseman Matt Whitney said.
While he's all business on the field, Stewart is a joker on the sidelines. In light of this particular accolade, Stewart replied, "It sucks. I wanted to be athlete of the year." It is goofball antics like this that keep his teammates loose in the locker room. Stewart's game plan for Friday's game against Walter Johnson, though highly illegal, drew laughs from his teammates. "We're going to use Simeon [Vilmar] to hit every player on the other team, and that's how we're going to win," Stewart said.
Blair, now 3-2 on the season, is counting on Stewart to keep up his solid play. "He's our top groundball guy," Reilly said. "He plays aggressive and gives 110 percent."
Eli Schwadron. Eli (@eschwad) is a chill guy who likes to play basketball, watch TV and eat. More »