Lacrosse, a game that dates back to pre-colonial times, might be the first sport ever invented in North America. It is currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts at the high school, college and professional levels. Sports Illustrated magazine called it the "fastest-growing game in the U.S. at every level."
Kevin Grebb, an Arlington native, knows a thing or two about lacrosse. He’s been playing it for eight years and was an all-District player at Yorktown High School. After graduating in 2004, he moved on to Georgia Tech University in Atlanta where he currently plays on a club team.
Grebb is attending Georgia Tech on an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) cadet scholarship. He is majoring in engineering but hopes to someday be a pilot. Grebb told the Arlington Connection about how he balances his busy schedule as well as about the cuts and scrapes that come with the lacrosse territory.
Arlington Connection: How long did you live in Arlington? Did you grow up here?
Kevin Grebb: I have lived in Arlington my whole life.
AC: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
KG: I have one younger brother. He plays basketball for Yorktown.
AC: Where did you go to school in Arlington?
KG: I went to elementary school at Jamestown, middle school at Williamsburg, and high school at Yorktown.
AC: When did you first start playing lacrosse? How did you get involved with lacrosse?
KG: I started playing lacrosse in the 7th grade. A couple of my friends were starting to play around the same time so I started learning with them. One of my friends’ dad was an old Maryland lacrosse player, and he helped out a lot in teaching me the game.
AC: Why did you choose to go to Georgia Tech?
KG: I chose Georgia Tech because of its strong academic reputation in engineering, which is the field that I am pursuing. I also wanted to play lacrosse and Georgia Tech provided that opportunity. Finally, I liked the fact that Georgia Tech is located in a city (Atlanta). I figured that would make the school more diverse.
AC: Have you ever experienced any lacrosse-related injuries? What is the worst lacrosse injury you've ever seen or heard about?
KG: I have only had one serious lacrosse injury. In the fall of 2005, I got an ACL avulsion fracture in my knee. It was a real bummer. I ended up missing the remainder of the fall season and the entire spring season. I spent all spring and summer rehabbing my knee. Besides that, I have experienced the usual bumps and bruises that come with being hit with sticks and getting checked.
AC: How do you juggle your Air Force ROTC duties with your lacrosse schedule?
KG: At times it is pretty tough, but I always seem to manage. College, especially engineering, along with ROTC and lacrosse have really taught me how to manage my time well. I believe that this is an invaluable lifelong skill and I will be able to use [it] for a long time. As long as I use effective time management, and am able to distinguish between time when I need to work and time when I can relax, I will do alright. I also try to take a lighter course load during the season.
AC: Are there other people in the Air Force ROTC that play lacrosse?
KG: There are a couple of other kids who play other club sports, but no other lacrosse players. There was a kid who played lacrosse and did [Air Force] ROTC, but he graduated the year before I got there and is now a pilot in the Air Force.
AC: Do you have a job? If so, what is it?
KG: During the school year I do not have a job. I usually get a job when I go home for summer, though. I have worked at Uno's [in] Bailey's Crossroads, [the] Sports Authority, an engineering firm and various other jobs as well. I receive a monthly stipend through ROTC, so that helps to cover my costs. I do have a job in [Air Force] ROTC and I am the financial manager. This means I control the funding for events that the 80 or so cadets do outside of the actual ROTC allocated time slots. I also do fundraising work is association with this job.
AC: Do you have any interests or hobbies other than lacrosse?
KG: Some of my other interests or hobbies are golf, basketball, poker, [and] hanging out with friends. I also want to get into flying. Hopefully this summer I will be able to pursue getting my private pilot's license.
AC: What is your favorite book?
KG: Anything John Grisham or the Harry Potter books.
AC: What was your favorite restaurant in Arlington?
KG: The Carlyle Grand.
AC: What did you want to be when you "grew up"?
KG: I wanted to be an architect. It's funny how things change. Now I want to be a pilot, or if not that an engineer.
AC: If you could take a road trip anywhere right now, where would it be and why?
KG: California or somewhere in the Rockies. I'd either want to go skiing, or learn how to surf.
AC: Do you miss Arlington? Do you think you'll ever come back here to live?
KG: Yeah I do miss Arlington. It was a good place to grow up. I could definitely see myself coming back to live there.