The other day, someone needed to talk to Michael Keasey on the phone. The boys' lacrosse practice at Corona del Mar High was over.
G.W. Mix, the coach, said it had wrapped up 30 minutes earlier. But he knew where to find Keasey.
Mix told the person wanting to speak with Keasey to wait before calling.
"He shoots a couple of 100 balls after practice," said Mix, long gone from practice, and on his way home. "The easiest way to get a hold of him is to text him and let him know who you are."
Keasey is usually the last player to leave campus after a workout.
While the rest of his teammates practice together for two hours, Keasey spends more time working. It is usually just him, his stick, some balls and the goal.
Keasey, the Daily Pilot Male Athlete of the Week, just fires away until he is happy with his shot. Mix said that usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
Oh, and is Mix happy with Keasey and that shot of his. The junior has turned the shot into one of the most lethal at CdM, which needed a scorer after Mix's son, Ryan, graduated last year.
Is it a coincidence that it was Ryan, who taught Keasey the makeup of a scorer? Nope. It all starts with a work ethic, one that Keasey learned to appreciate while watching Ryan hone his skills when no one was around.
"He used to be the guy shooting by himself," Keasey said of Ryan, who one day last season invited Keasey to join him.
"He took me under his wing and pushed me to be as good as I can be."
Keasey has developed into the Sea Kings' leading goal scorer, a title that belonged to Ryan last season, when he produced 82 goals. Through seven matches, Keasey has recorded 18 goals. He registered three big ones last week in CdM's 8-3 win in the the Battle of the Bay at Newport Harbor.
Ryan, who is at the University of Notre Dame, would be proud with how far Keasey has come. The Sea Kings lost 17 seniors from last season's team, which advanced to the U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Southern Section Division I title game for the second straight season.
Not many starters are around from that squad this year. Keasey is one of three starters back and he has helped CdM get off to a 6-1 overall start and a perfect 4-0 record in Pacific Coast League play.
Keasey, who is humble, credits his teammates for the Sea Kings' early success during what he calls a rebuilding year. He brings up the names of the other returning starters, junior Michael Ortlieb, who moved from attacker to goalie this season, and defender Donald Dalton.
If Keasey could, he would publish the name of every teammate in the paper. That is another quality his coach appreciates.
"He has stepped up," said Mix, who is just as proud of his midfielder's play on the field as he is of his 4.3 grade-point average in school. "We're just happy to have him on our side. He represents the student-athlete really well."
Born: Feb. 2, 1994
Hometown: Newport Beach
Weight: 155 pounds
Sport: Boys' lacrosse
Coach: G.W. Mix
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite movie: "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"
Favorite athletic moment: "Winning in overtime last year against Foothill in the regular season."