Tanner Short could complain. North Forsyth boys lacrosse went just 28-37 during his four years as the starting goalie. The Raiders won just three area games. He never got to play in the state tournament.
But Short doesn’t complain. He doesn’t because Short got to build something.
"We were some of the first players to get the lacrosse movement going [at North]," Short said.
At the vanguard of North’s feeder program that started out of Bennett Park in 2006, Short and teammates Zach Laird and Mitchell Metrick finally moved on this spring when they graduated. Each signed letters intent to play college – Short to Shorter University, Laird to Young Harris and Metrick to Reinhardt – but they’ll always have a unique connection.
"They really were at the start of this movement thing," said Jill Short, head girls lacrosse coach at North and Tanner’s mom. "At that time, it was like, ‘Who can we get to come out.’ They did really well and bonded."
Short, Laird and Metrick rose through the ranks of North lacrosse together, though Short got there first. He was the program’s starting goalie from day No. 1 and had a breakout season as a junior, stopping 68 percent of shots and helping keep an under-manned Raiders team competitive in arguably the toughest area in the state.
If North had one security blanket the past four years, it was Short in goal. One of the first things new Raiders head coach Don Hilton did after officially being hired was send an email asking for help in finding a new goalie.
"Tanner will have left a legacy for whatever goalie comes next," Jill said.
Now, he’s not alone anymore. Shorter had two freshmen goalies on its roster this past season when it went 7-7 and won its last five games. The Hawks are transitioning from NAIA to Division II.
Tanner said he’s ready to compete.
"All I want to do is make those guys sweat as much as possible," he said.
Jill said North will miss all three – Tanner for his consistency behind goal, Laird for quick shot and Metrick for his speed and decision-making in the midfield.
"They just really tried to lead, just keep the program going," Jill said. "They stuck with it. They didn’t get their heads down. They tried to motivate their teammates. I think at the end of the day it made them grow. … I think that speaks to who they are as young men. I think they’ll represent North great."