Three torn ACLs later, and Emily Blair can't get away from the lacrosse field. Blair's passion for the game keeps the lacrosse stick in her hand, as she stands on the sidelines cheering for her teammates.
Blair found her love for the sport eight years ago, when she was in the fourth grade. The Mustangs' newest senior fell in love with lacrosse after practicing with friends who already played on competitive teams.
Her lacrosse career started in the midfield, but soon after making varsity at C. Milton Wright, she switched to attack. A determined and strong talent, Blair made varsity her sophomore year.
Blair plays club lacrosse for Northeast Maryland Select (NEMS) and soccer at C. Milton Wright. When not on the lacrosse field, Blair is a member of National Honors Society, Best Buddies Club and student government.
PressBox: What has been your biggest lacrosse challenge and how have you overcome it?
Emily Blair: My biggest lacrosse challenge has been tearing my ACL three times, which led to me missing multiple seasons of lacrosse.
With the support of family, friends, coaches and teammates, I was able to overcome my first two surgeries and get back out on the field. I also think endless hours of going to physical therapy and my determination to get back on the field also helped me overcome this challenge.
PB: What do you think are the most important qualities in a good lacrosse player?
EB: It's important to be quick and aggressive, fundamentally skilled with both hands, easily coachable and someone who can step up and be a leader on the field when their team needs them. I also think it is important that lacrosse players are vocal on the field, because communication is key.
PB: What are the C. Milton Wright lacrosse team's plans for the fall?
EB: With a team full of many athletes, most of the team plays a fall sport, which takes priority over fall lacrosse. As a team, we encourage the girls to stay in shape throughout the fall, until winter, when we have workouts twice a week and girls can play for the indoor lacrosse team.
PB: What teammate have you looked up to or admired the most?
EB: With such highly ranked teams at C. Milton Wright the past couple of years, I've been very fortunate to play with so many talented girls. One player that I have looked up to is Maggie Gallagher, who goes to Penn State. I played with Maggie my sophomore year and loved it. She was a wonderful leader on and off the field and has such a high IQ for the game.
Another player that I've played soccer and lacrosse with at C. Milton Wright is Haley Alexander, who is playing lacrosse at Coastal Carolina this year. Haley is just a wonderful athlete who has always helped me become a better player, and I am so lucky I was able to play with her all throughout high school.
PB: What do you consider your biggest lacrosse accomplishment?
EB: Due to my injuries, I am not going to college to play lacrosse, so my biggest accomplishment would be playing on my varsity lacrosse team and just getting back to playing after my ACL surgeries.
After my second ACL surgery, I worked very hard to get back in shape and was determined to get back onto the field. Unfortunately, after getting back from my second surgery, I was not back long before tearing my ACL for the third time. However, I can say that I am proud of myself for working so hard and being determined to get back on the field after not one, but two surgeries.
PB: How have your injuries made you a better player?
EB: My injuries have affected my game tremendously, but I've learned a lot from being out. After coming back from being injured, I found myself always giving my best at practices and games. I have also found myself coming back from my surgeries and being an even stronger player. Sitting on the sideline during games allowed me to really see what was going on, and I was able to learn many things from just watching.