The irony of being selected as a member South All-Stars in the 18th-annual Senior All-America Lacrosse Game as an injury replacement can’t be lost on Boys’ Latin standout Kyle Foster.
After all, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound close defender lost the last seven games of his final season with the Lakers in the highly competitive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference due to a broken jaw suffered in a 12-5 rout of Loyola Blakefield in late April.
So it’s fitting that the Ohio State commit will be able to enjoy a final chance to represent BL, which finished the season No. 3 in the 2023 Baltimore Banner/VSN 2023 final Boys Lacrosse Top 15 rankings, in the elite event on July 29 at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Field. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPNU.
Foster, who was struck directly in the face on an errant shot during what he called a “freak play” late in the fourth quarter against the Dons, was still able to make a big impact on a team that was in title contention until bowing to No. 1 McDonogh, 8-7, in an A Conference semifinal thriller in mid-May.
After scooping up 28 ground balls, forcing 14 turnovers and scoring a pair of goals in 12 games before the injury, while regularly being assigned to cover the opponents’ top attackman, Foster helped to mentor his team’s defense from the sideline for the remainder of the season.
Foster said that in his absence junior Drew Wehberg played well while logging more time in the defensive rotation.
One of four senior captains, Foster is hardly a newcomer when it comes to taking charge in critical situations.
“Kyle’s presence was felt on and off the field and within our community,” BL Coach Brian Farrell said. “He is going to make an impact at the next level and on any team he joins in life. Kyle is a humble and hard-working young man who is also incredibly talented.”
Foster’s strong suit on the field was pushing transition after winning balls off the ground.
In six-on-six settled defensive sets, his no-nonsense positioning and firm resolve also mightily aided the Lakers’ cause.
“I always just try to stay in front of my guy and keep my feet moving,” he said. “I don’t throw a whole lot of takeaway checks because, when you’re doing that, your feet stop moving — and that’s an advantage for the offense.”
He played his best game of the year in a 16-7 verdict over Severn, holding the Admirals’ dangerous attackman Jacob Todd to a pair of goals, neither of which came when directly facing Foster.
Two games later, however, the trajectory of a shot may have also changed the trajectory of the Lakers’ season.
Foster shrugged off the injury as best he could, despite having his jaw held together by a couple of screws and rubber bands typically used in braces.
“It wasn’t too painful,” he said, noting his jaw had minimal swelling. “It was just kind of awkward and uncomfortable.”
Naturally, he lost 10 pounds during the ordeal, even though his mother would cook pasta that could be put in a blender to make it easier to swallow. A healthy diet of smoothies also helped his nutritional needs.
“The blender was my best friend for six weeks,” quipped Foster, who fully recovered by June 6.
Still, missing those key games took him out of the running to qualify for the All-American game — or so he thought until receiving the invitation three weeks ago.
“After I was injured, I thought I had no chance (to be chosen),” he said. “I am just so honored to play with the best of the best players in the country. I’m looking forward to going out and having fun one more time.”
Three McDonogh players — attackman McCabe Millon, LSM Mac Christmas and fellow close defenseman AJ Marsh — were also picked for the team.
In addition, Johns Hopkins commit Quintan Kilrain, who starts on the Crabs Lacrosse Club’s backline with Foster and Navy-bound Marsh, will participate in the showcase.
“It will be really cool to play with those guys for our last ride together,” Foster said.