Olivier "Oliver" Everts is like a number of teens at Conestoga (Pa.) High. The 13-year-old is a lanky 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds, and he has burst onto the scene of one of his school's athletic teams, dominating in a way no one could have anticipated.
The trick, as pointed out by the Philadelphia Inquirer, is what sport he dominates in: Field hockey, which is traditionally played only by girls in the United States. The freshman with a nose for the goal starts at forward for the Pioneers, and has emerged as the most dominant player in the region, in all likelihood.
Having a boy compete with girls in field hockey is not revolutionary, of course. As Prep Rally has covered more than once in the past, the topic is a highly controversial one, particularly since many boys who play field hockey against girls have been impressive scorers.
That's certainly the case with Everts, who has scored 15 goals in Conestoga's first 13 games. Clearly, Everts has taken to American field hockey like a duck to water.
There's a reason for that: This isn't the teenager's first time playing the sport. Everts and his family arrived in the Philadelphia area this summer from Amsterdam, where Everts had grown up playing field hockey.
"I wasn't used to playing with girls, but it's fun," Everts told the Inquirer. "It's the same thing."
Now, he's playing and traveling with a crew of 40 girls, not 20-30 guys. All those girls are speaking in a foreign language -- though Everts' English is reportedly excellent, as is the case with most Dutch natives -- and speaking for lengths of time that might drive some lesser teen boys crazy.
Luckily, that isn't the case for the recent American arrival, according to his teammates.
"He puts up with 40 girls really well," said midfielder Claire McDugall, who has scored six goals this season and is part of a captain trio with fellow seniors Britta Hjelm (nine goals) and Nicole Stevenson.
"He's around us so much, especially when we have night games. It's just a lot of time. Girls talk a lot, and he just kind of goes with it."
Of course, Everts does much more than put up with his teammates. He also scores for them -- a lot -- a factor which is far more important than his sex to Conestoga backers, and one that may inflame detractors against him if the team advances deep into the postseason.
- the Philadelphia Inquirer