Tim Kemner is quick to talk about how much he loves lacrosse. It's a point that's easy to understand just by watching him play the game. The Kingsway senior looks as if he's having fun.
He'll bounce shots, sneak around the net, cut through lanes, spin, dive, or rifle shots as strongly as any area player.
Kemner is one of South Jersey's most creative goal scorers - and one of the area's few Division I recruits.
He will play for Monmouth next season, a dream come true, to be sure.
"And the best part about that," he said, "is just that it gives me a chance to play lacrosse for another four years. It's a great honor to be able to play at the Division 1 level, but just being able to play is what I'm most happy about. I love this sport. I've been playing it for nine years. So it's a good feeling to know that it won't end after this season."
A love of the game, Kemner said, is one of the biggest reasons for the success of his Kingsway boys' lacrosse program.
Kingsway has long been one of the most solid programs in South Jersey, regardless of how many starters it replaces each season.
Kemner, a senior attack, was the team's only returning starter on offense this year. But the Dragons (10-7) have appeared in The Inquirer's South Jersey Top 10 every week this season and have been one of the area's most solid offensive units.
"The biggest key to this season has been the guys stepping up around me. We have players who really care and really want this team to be successful," Kemner said. "I've stepped up and tried to be a leader, and I hope I've been successful at that. But it hasn't been all me."
For his part, Kemner is among South Jersey's leading scorers with 53 goals this season. He has 125 for his career.
"Tim leads by example on the field, in the classroom, and in the locker room," said Kingsway coach Sean Dunn. "He's carrying on the legacy of some very good offensive players at Kingsway.
"And what he's accomplished this year has been tremendous."
- Chris Melchiorre