Kevin Wiesner knows a thing or two about leadership.
The Ocean City High School senior was a captain of the football team last fall. He's also a captain of the lacrosse team this spring.
"I've always tried to lead by example," Wiesner said. "But you have to be vocal. That doesn't always mean yelling at people. It's giving them tips here and there. It's a great bond I'm building with my teammates."
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Wiesner starts on defense at long pole for the Red Raiders (5-5).
"It's cool to be a two-sport varsity athlete," he said.
Wiesner will play football at Ursinus College, an NCAA Division III school in Collegeville (Montgomery County), Pa. Wiesner played linebacker for Ocean City last fall, leading the team with 83 tackles in 10 games.
In addition to his athletic achievements, Wiesner is an honor student with a better than 4.0 grade-point average because he takes advance placement classes.
But his biggest accomplishment might be just surviving in Philadelphia-dominated South Jersey as a fan of the New York Giants, New York Yankees, Brooklyn Nets and New Jersey Devils.
My dad (Oakcrest teacher Kevin Wiesner) is from North Jersey," Wiesner said. "He and my Pop-pop were big New York fans, so they passed it down to me.
In a telephone interview Tuesday night, Wiesner spoke about a number of topics, including why he decided to attend Ursinus.
On being a captain of the lacrosse and football teams: I was the only senior linebacker on the football team, and now I'm the only senior defender on the lacrosse team. I knew it would take more than me to have a good team. I have to give them every tip I can. Some people see (being a captain) as pressure, but I shake it off. They're looking up to you for the good. If you're doing what you're supposed to, they're going to reflect that."
On how he started playing sports: I started playing soccer in kindergarten because that's the only sport I could play. I got into football in the first grade.
On how he started playing lacrosse: I started in the eighth grade. I had played baseball, but I was kind of done with that. I wanted to try something new. Bill Bailey, a family friend, started an Upper Township (lacrosse) program. It was a contact sport, like football. I did it just to pick up another sport. I knew everything I did with conditioning and footwork would help with football, but once I started to get better at stick skills, I started to take lacrosse more seriously.
On becoming a lacrosse defender: I always played defense. When I first started in the eighth grade, Coach Bailey looked at my size and my football career and tried me at defense because that's where he thought I'd be best.
On his decision to attend Ursinus: I wanted a chance to combine great academics with a Division III football career. Ocean City has a couple of guys that go there. They have a great sense of making all the freshmen feel welcome. The team is a family. Everyone is real close.
On his decision to play football instead of lacrosse in college: I debated back and forth. I didn't know which one I was going to pick until my senior football season. I love both sports, but football has always been my number one.
On what he plans to study in college: My major is called health and exercise physiology. I wanted to be an athletic trainer. My dad minored in it in college. He did some (athletic training) at Oakcrest. I walked around with him when I was little with him, and I've seen the trainers that work in my school. I like the profession. I always wanted to combine sports and science and this is a good way to do it.
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