After playing behind All-American Tanner Fisher last year, Tyler Pace has stepped into a bigger role and a new position with the Barons this season.
"This year I got switched from the midfield to attack,' he said. "I've never played attack before so it was something new. I don't run as much anymore, so I'm more rested to play offense which helps out."
Pace has taken his extra energy and turned in a record breaking performance. He's scored 70 goals and tallied 67 assists as a senior, setting a new school record for points scored in a signle season.
"On the field, you can really see that he's leading the offense," said Blue Ridge senior defender Jared Arntzen. "Those numbers he's putting up are, you know, just numbers. But the way he commands the offense on the field is unbelievable."
"He's bigger, faster, stronger, he's more confident and he's just kind of taken over as the clear leader on both sides of the ball for us," said Blue Ridge lacrosse coach Kyle Gardner. "He's capable of making big plays at any given time, so there's plenty of 'wow factors' this year with Tyler on the field, and hopefully those will continue for the next two weeks."
Pace says there's no big secret to his success, it's just a lot of hard work.
"I just basically lift all winter, all fall, summertime I lift. I practice all the time, play indoor lacrosse."
"Without fail, Tyler Pace will be in the weight room getting better, you know, every day," said Arntzen. "When it comes to practice, he doesn't take a day off. There's not a day when he's like, 'you know I'm having a bad day, had a couple rough tests.' Once he gets on that field, it's all business for him."
Pace will continue his lacrosse career at the University of Denver. The Pioneers are ranked as high as fifth in the country right now, and were number one just a few weeks ago, when Pace signed his letter of intent.
For now, he's more concerned about where his Blue Ridge team ranks, and if they'll be high enough in the latest poll to make the state tournament. They will find out more within the next week.
"To be first in the nation is something special, but not making states is going to be a bigger deal to me than being first in the nation in points, so I'm just waiting on the call."