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(Enlarge) Katie Schwarzmann of Century High School finished her lacrosse career with the Knights as the county’s all-time leading scorer with 307 goals, and helped pace her team to another state championship. She also played on the Century’s girls basketball and soccer teams. She was equally involved in the classroom, earning a weighted 4.25 grade-point average. (Staff photo by Matt Roth)

In an era of specialization, when many athletes play the same sport year-round, Katie Schwarzmann planned a different outcome for her athletic career.

Schwarzmann is that rare breed of athlete who played as many sports as possible, garnering 12 varsity letters — the most attainable — in three different sports during her four years at Century High School.

While she spent hundreds of hours excelling on the soccer and lacrosse fields and basketball court, Schwarzmann also remembered why she was called a student-athlete, recording a weighted 4.25 grade-point average while taking a steady diet of advanced placement courses.

In her senior year, she became the all-time leading scorer in county lacrosse history and led Century to its fourth state title in the program's seven-year existence.

Schwarzmann's achievements as a top-notch student, and her overall athletic excellence, have earned her the Student-Athlete of the Year award from the Carroll Eagle.

As a lacrosse player, Schwarzmann had no peer in Carroll County. In 2009, she set a county single-season record with 106 goals and added 33 assists. In her final high school game, Schwarzmann netted nine goals in Century's 25-9 triumph over Patterson Mill, of Harford County, to set a state championship game record.

The multi-talented senior closed her four-year career with 307 goals, establishing a county record that may never be broken.

Her athletic exploits aren't limited to lacrosse. Schwarzmann was an accomplished soccer and basketball player who helped her Century Knights teams to several successful seasons. In her final soccer campaign, Schwarzmann scored 14 goals as Century won the county title and reached the state semifinals.

Century's point guard in basketball, she averaged 10.6 points and a county-leading 6.4 steals per game while leading the Knights to their second Carroll County basketball championship in three years.

Schwarzmann's fall and winter seasons were just a prelude to what she would do in the spring. The midfielder passed former teammate Jenny Steadman at the top of the county's career scoring list, then netted the game-winning goal with no time remaining to help the Knights outlast rival Liberty, 15-14, in a thrilling regional final. Easy victories over Loch Raven and Patterson Mill completed Century's 15-1 campaign and allowed Schwarzmann to close out her high school lacrosse career with three state crowns.

"I definitely wanted to play all three sports throughout high school," Schwarzmann said. "Each sport that you play helps you with the next one. It took a couple of weeks to make the adjustment when the seasons changed, but then you're fine.

"Lacrosse was my favorite sport, so I was always really excited when the season started," she said. "When it comes to lacrosse, there's a whole different level of intensity for me."

Her intensity and speed helped Schwarzmann become the first Carroll County student-athlete in recent memory to earn Metro Player of the Year honors in any sport from the Baltimore Sun.

"Katie's speed was such a factor," said Century girls' lacrosse coach Rose Pentz, who has coached several prolific scorers during her seven-year tenure at Century.

"She could kick it into second or third gear, but she also was able to contribute significantly at the defensive end," Pentz added. "Katie's shooting abilities strengthened over the years, but she also led the team in caused turnovers. She did a lot of the dirty work."

Well-rounded off field, too

Schwarzmann showed the same diligence in the classroom. Schwarzmann was one of Century's top scholars.

"She would go straight from lacrosse practice to her advanced placement review sessions," Pentz said. "Academics and athletics were equally important to her.

"Katie is the epitome of the student-athlete," Pentz said. "She is a very strong student who always strives for perfection.

Schwarzmann's schedule would have exhausted most people, but her lacrosse coach was impressed with her ambitious nature.

"Katie has energy that you just can't believe," Pentz said. "She never once complained (about her workload). It was within her to go from season to season. She's modest, a quiet leader who paved the way for others."

A three-sport schedule and rigorous academic workload doesn't leave much time for other extracurricular activities. But Schwarzmann found the time, and took advantage of opportunities to teach basketball and lacrosse to younger players through her role as a counselor at Century's sports camps.

"I really enjoyed working the camps," she said. "You saw the younger kids at all different levels. I enjoyed the interaction with the kids, and got to teach them the sports that I love to play."

Schwarzmann's days of playing competitive soccer and basketball are over, but she will continue her lacrosse career at one of the most storied programs in NCAA history when she suits up for the University of Maryland next spring.

The Terrapins, coached by former Maryland standout Cathy Reese, have won 10 national titles since 1981 and return most of the team that reached the NCAA Final Four in May.

"I have always been a big Maryland fan, and it came down to Maryland and Johns Hopkins," said Schwarzmann, who made her college decision last August, though she hasn't yet chosen a major.

"I went with the school where I always wanted to go."

The youngest child of Lenny and Annette Schwarzmann won't be the first in her family to play collegiate lacrosse. Older sisters Ashley and Lauren both played at Johns Hopkins following outstanding high school careers. Ashley starred at South Carroll, and Lauren was a key player for the 2004 team that won the first of Century's four state titles.

Her older brother, Josh, now a senior at the University of Maryland, played soccer and lacrosse for the Knights.

"When I was younger, I always went to their games and they were my role models," Schwarzmann said of her older siblings. "I learned time management skills from them. I wanted to follow in their footsteps."

Schwarzmann is confident of her ability to make a mark at Maryland, especially since former Century lacrosse standout Kelly Kasper enjoyed a successful career in College Park. But Schwarzmann will definitely miss the school that she's leaving.

"Maryland's such a big place," she said, "and I don't know if I'll ever be as close to my teachers and coaches than I was at Century."

About This Award

Since fall 2007, The Eagle has presented this award to a Carroll County student-athlete at the conclusion of the fall, winter, and spring sports seasons. The publication also presents an overall Student-Athlete of the Year award at the end of the school year. All student-athletes who compete at the varsity level for a Carroll County public school are eligible for the award, which is based on athletic achievement, academic achievement, and a record of good citizenship in the school and community.

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