Junior Julius Mouser, a standout midfielder for the Shipley lacrosse team, has orally committed to play for Rutgers beginning with the 2012 season.
But Mouser's field hockey skills, which have gained him national attention, could have a bearing on his future since he could be playing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Mouser, already a member of the U.S. men's Olympic Development field hockey team, was the leading scorer for the Shipley lacrosse team last season with 55 goals and 28 assists, setting school records for goals and points.
He helped lead Shipley to a 17-3 record, including a 7-0 mark in the Friends Schools League. The 17 wins in a season is a school record.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to play [lacrosse] at a top-level Division I school like Rutgers," said Mouser, 16.
Mouser surprised himself and his family by making the under-19 U.S. men's Olympic Development field hockey team as a 13-year old. There was no under-16 team at the time.
He had gone to California for a tournament with the East Coast Juniors, a team coached by Drexel women's field hockey coach Denise Zelenak.
"When he told me he was going to try out for the under-19 team, I told him to forget it. 'You are only 13,' " said his mother, Vera. "But he made it."
So Mouser has been a member of the men's Olympic Development squad for the last two years.
"They're trying to groom him for the 2016 Olympics," Vera Mouser said.
As a lacrosse player, Mouser was a first-team all-league choice in both 2008 and 2009. In his freshman season, he recorded 20 goals and six assists. He has 115 points in two seasons and has attended the prestigious Top 205 lacrosse camp the last two summers while playing for an elite team in Lower Bucks County. This year, he was selected to play in the Maverick Showcase all-star game in Connecticut and the Philadelphia Showcase Junior all-star game at Episcopal Academy.
"Julius has developed into one of the top junior midfielders in not just the Philadelphia area but for his recruiting class on a national level," said Mark Duncan, Shipley's athletic director and boys' lacrosse coach. "He is a versatile player who can be a factor anywhere on the lacrosse field."
Mouser became interested in field hockey when two older sisters, Amanda and Casey, were playing for Drexel.
"I spent time watching them play," Mouser said. "My mom asked me if I was interested in taking it further."
After making the East Coast Juniors, a team primarily of 19- and 20-year olds, Mouser went with the squad to California to play in a tournament from which the U.S. national teams are selected.
"I went to Vancouver for a tournament with the team and was in the starting lineup," Mouser said. "I even scored a goal."
Now, he's been invited to go to Mexico in February to play for the United States Olympic Development team in a men's tournament.
Asked which sport is his favorite, Mouser was clear.
"If you are going to play field hockey you have to go overseas," he said, referring to the limited opportunities for men to play field hockey in the United States. "I play field hockey for fun. I play lacrosse for the competition."