Here's something that no one saw coming in January: The top goal scorer in American high school lacrosse plays in Texas.
Wait, the nation's most prolific attackman is a Texan? Believe it or not, according to the Dallas Morning News, he is.
In fact, Hillcrest (Texas) star Trevor Atkins proved to be a one-man wrecking crew for his school's first-ever state-title-winning lacrosse squad. Across 17 games (including his team's postseason run), Atkins scored an astounding 86 goals. Eighty-six. That's not to mention 22 assists, putting him far and away in the driver's seat to finish as the top-scoring lacrosse player in the country when all states conclude their playoff slate by early June.
Consider those stats again: 86 goals in 17 games. That's an average of more than five goals per game, a year after he scored 82 goals.
Perhaps most tellingly, he exploded when his team was under the most pressure. In the state-title game against Houston (Texas) Clear Lake High, Atkins scored seven goals en route to being named the tournament MVP.
Those gaudy statistics earned the attention of plenty of top lacrosse programs, with Colgate eventually landing the prolific scorer. Still, some have raised questions about Atkins' ability to compete at the next level because he scored his goals in Texas' Division II, which is comprised mostly of smaller schools and newly started programs.
Atkins refutes that notion now, and said he's confident his play in upstate New York will do the same thing on the field come spring 2012.
"Without a doubt, there are great players coming out of DII, but for some reason, people don't seem to realize that," Atkins told the Morning News' Corbett Smith.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity, a chance to show the rest of the country that I'm a legitimate player and that I can play at the highest level."