Height 6′ 3″
Weight 205 lbs.
When I began writing the story of Mike Simon (Stevenson/Bayhawks) that reminded me that he might not be the only one who has a similar story. Then it came to me that Jeremy Sieverts, even though much more known to the lacrosse world than Simon in the beginning, has traveled the road less traveled to get his shot at making Team USA.
Jeremy Sieverts was a sought after recruit coming out of McDonough High School in Maryland. In 2005, his Eagles ended the season as the number one high school team in the nation. Certainly as a starting midfielder for the MIAA Champions and National Champion team, the destinations for you to pick for college are a plenty. Sieverts decided on heading to Butler, where Stan Ross (former Towson Assistant Coach) had recently set up shop.
Sieverts played for a team that wasn’t receiving the most press, nor was toping the charts. He played and enjoyed his time there, but the door was about to close on that opportunity. Butler had decided that the non-revenue sport of lacrosse was going to cut from its list of varsity sports and Coach Ross was soon looking for employment elsewhere. This also meant that if Sieverts wanted to continue playing, he would have to relocate in a hurry.
As coaches beckoned the services of Sieverts, a local favorite to his home in Maryland showed interest. In a quick decision and even quicker move, Jeremy Sieverts was heading back to the Old Bay state and going to play for the Maryland Terrapins. Given the timing of his move back, he lost fall ball experience with the team and had to quickly gain acceptance into the locker room. Coach Cottle made him feel at home and even gave him his number 20, wise move in showing how much the team was willing to accept the transfer.
From the start of the season, Jeremy Sieverts had proved his worth to his team. The sophomore helped the Terps continue its offense prowless, even though the likes of Joe Walters had recently graduated. Twenty points that year, including 15 goals, is a solid year for a midfielder. His five points in the season finale were a career high.
Junior year, Sieverts evened his point production and produced 18 points for the Terps. His senior season was another success. In three seasons as a Terps, Sieverts enjoyed extensive playing time under Coach Cottle and played in some monumental games. His senior season ended with a loss to the eventual National Champions in Syracuse University.
That summer I had a chance to meet Jeremy Sieverts while working at Johns Hopkins’ Blue Jay Camp. A fun, down to earth character, Sieverts enjoyed teaching the game, always had his lacrosse stick ready to continue working on his skills, and he had a bright future ahead of himself. Now, he wasn’t a well sought after professional but he knew that he had the potential to continue playing at the highest level if he could just get the opportunity.
Next Jeremy Sieverts set off to England to be a player/coach/student in Durham, Englands Graduate Program. As those who check the NCAA job boards knows, this position opens up frequently. A few lucky people have taken advantage of it but rarely does it help produce professional caliber talent. Sieverts would make an exception.
As his time in England ended, his time with the MLL was about to transform. He played sparingly for the Chesapeake Bayhawks and even there it seemed like he might have hit the wall on his playing career. Not the case, and a move to Denver would be the coming out party for Sieverts.
After a trade with the Bayhawks, where Denver sent there star attackman Drew Westervelt back east. The Outlaws received Sieverts as compensation. A trade that seemed unlikely to produce equally, put Sieverts into a position to see the field regularly in Denver.
In two seasons with the Bayhawks, Sieverts played in three games and had four goals. In two seasons as an Outlaw, seeing time as a regular in the midfielder rotation, Sieverts had over fifty goals. Production that put him in a class of the elite players in the game. Fifty-three goals in twenty-seven games had given him the opportunity to become an All-Star in the MLL.
So where does a regular on an undefeated team do as an encore to a record setting season, he goes to practice in the fall back at Maryland to increase his chances at making the Team USA Roster. Making the initial training camp roster is one thing, but making it to the second round of competition and being seen as one of the faces for the youth movement in USA’s youth movement is another.
This past weekend, Jeremy Sieverts took to the field, donning the Red, White, and Blue, for a chance to make the most elite level of the sport. As he walked onto the field, he didn’t bring with him just what you saw in his equipment and jersey. Sieverts brought with him a dedication to the game he loves to play, years of practice when most would have leveled off believing that they were good enough to stay at the highest levels to which they were playing, and a humble heart that warms teammates to him from the first time they step on the field.
I personally go back to Homewood Field, talking with Sieverts about what he wanted to do from then on. He had finished playing at Maryland and the real world was staring down on him. As he talked, it was evident that there was a mission ahead of him. A goal that he had set for himself was within reach, but he just needed to get the first step into the door.
Jeremy Sieverts proves a few things, one in particular. Playing in the ACC, fighting for an NCAA Championship, starting for a perennial contender is not where one’s game ends practice. Take those opportunities afforded to you, as Sieverts did in heading off to England for a year. Most importantly, work towards your goals until you believe that you have done everything in your ability to attain that goal. Just maybe Sieverts will be able to reach his while playing in the World Championship in Denver, his new home in the MLL, and in the name of Team USA.