Brian Who?By Caitlain Kelley
Who is the midfielder to watch on the Bayhawks?
Sure Peet Poillon leads the team in scoring and Kyle Dixon nails two-pointers like it’s his job (and it is), but Vetter quietly tallies goal after goal while his line mates are heavily covered.
Vetter has easily become the team’s unsung hero, the most underrated player and the second midfielder this season to leave everyone wondering, “Who is this guy?” (Pistol Peet was the first).
In high school, Vetter was a dream recruit on the field. With nearly 100 goals in his final two years at Annapolis High School, the former attack helped the Panthers to the Class 3A-2A state title in his final year. Unfortunately, Vetter’s on the field passion was lost in the classroom and the top lacrosse colleges’ interest waned.
Without many options for post-high school play, Vetter turned to Brighton Academy. Ninety minutes northwest of Portland, Vetter didn’t have much to do except study and lax.
“Brighton really changed me as a person,” said Vetter. “It was a reality check. [I went there] to grow up physically and mentally. I was a little wild in high school.”
After a solid post grad year hitting the books and net, Tony Seaman brought Vetter to Towson. Seaman’s only qualm with Vetter was the sharpshooter’s disinterest in sharing the ball. Having played lacrosse since third grade, sharing has always been a problem for Vetter.
“I started off as a defenseman but every time I got a ground ball or had a takeaway check I went to the goal so they gave me a short stick in fifth grade,” he said.
It didn’t take long for the Tiger to make his mark on the team, making an appearance in all 16 games his freshman year despite nursing injuries from fall ball. Injuries besieged Vetter’s collegiate career from beginning to end.
“I tore the muscles in my lower back the last game of fall ball my freshman year, that still to this day plagues me. I broke/bruised two ribs fall of sophomore year, had ankle surgery my junior year and pelvic surgery senior year breaking three fingers along the way as well as pulled hamstrings and quads,” recalled Vetter. “You name it, I had it.”
The always recovering athlete never let his pain overcome his drive to win. After undergoing pelvic surgery in December before his senior season at Towson, it seemed as though Vetter might not recover in time to hit the field. Taking the season off wasn’t an option; it was his last chance at the NCAA title. Vetter describes his recovery as frustrating with seven days a week of physical therapy, medications and ice baths. When the season started, Vetter was on the field and played in every game his senior year.
After leaving Towson without a NCAA title, Vetter wasn’t ready to hang up his cleats.
“A subpar college career made me hungry to play again,” described Vetter of his decision to play Major League Lacrosse.
Making his professional debut in 2008, Vetter saw one game for the Barrage before moving to the Bayhawks roster. While he played in three games and posted four points last season, Vetter has only recently made a name for himself.
Scoring Chesapeake’s first goal of the 2010 season, Vetter quickly established himself in the league and on the Bayhawks as the number two goal scorer with 19, one two-pointer, in ten games. Even though Vetter missed last weekend’s assault on Chicago, he remains eighth in the league for goals scored.
Finally healthy, the Bayhawks’ star has found tremendous success in the league but it hasn’t been an easy road.
“I was never accused of being a gym rat or having a crazy work ethic in high school and college. I had a very injured and inconsistent career,” said Vetter. “So, I tried on the other hat and it has paid off tremendously.”
To say Vetter works hard is an understatement. The offensive midfielder puts an enormous amount of time and energy into his conditioning.
“I train five days a week at Peak Performance and Wellness in Annapolis with Ryan Morrissey. He’s got lacrosse, he’s got athleticism, he’s got all aspects of working out dialed in,” said Vetter. “I work with the Ravens and Orioles Nutritionist Sue James and go to physical therapy once a week for my back.”
For Vetter, all the work has paid off. With Poillon and Dixon by his side, he’s an extra midfielder with a rocket shot who is often overlooked by the opposing defense. Vetter’s accuracy and abilities to make shots will be key in Chesapeake’s upcoming playoff battle.
Winning the Steinfeld Cup would be the icing on top of a stellar season.
“I can’t wait to compete for the Championship,” added Vetter.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com