Daniel Sterne remembers the game as if it were yesterday.
Three years ago on a rain-soaked field against Downers Grove North, Sterne, now a graduated Batavia senior, proved his worth.
"Danny definitely had the flu that day," Batavia coach Scott Williams said. "[He] spent the entire junior varsity game in the trainer's room trying to get some sleep, stay dry and warm."
Sterne scored at least four goals that evening.
"I thought to myself the whole game [that] I needed to get [out] because I was so sick," Sterne recalled. "But I stayed on and ended up scoring the overtime goal."
In four years, Sterne missed only two games because of injury or illness.
A four-year varsity starter and first-team all-conference selection, Sterne is the Kane County Chronicle boys lacrosse Player of the Year.
Sterne, also a team captain, accounted for 38 percent of Batavia's offense with 41 goals, 14 assists in all 16 games played this season as team MVP.
"[Sterne] really was the heart and soul of our offense," Williams said. "Even though by no means the biggest guy out on the field [5-foot-8, 150 pounds] it really kind of shows you – especially in a sport like lacrosse – you don't have to be 6-3, 215 [pounds] as a high school player to be successful."
Sterne's results on the field speaks for themselves. As a leader, he didn't have much talking to do.
"He was definitely more the lead-by-example on the field kind of guy, as opposed to the rah-rah, loud voice type of captain," Williams said.
Sterne came away most proud of his team's defensive development from the first game of the season on.
"Being a group of guys who never played varsity defense, they played their hearts every game and it showed," Sterne said. "They did amazing at applying what they learned to their game quickly, mentally and physically."
Sterne is attending the College of DuPage, and will not continue to play lacrosse. However, he is scheduling skill practices with some underclassmen. He envisions helping out at Batavia practices next year if his schedule allows.
"Lacrosse has impacted me in many ways, but sports in general for me has played the huge role of appreciating the the time and the little things," Sterne said. "It’s taught me how to be a leader, and encourage people to be the best that can be. I’ve got many memories that will last me a lifetime that I can look back on and be proud of."
It's also taught Sterne that "pain is only temporary."
"If you're working hard for what you love," Sterne said, "then you don’t want to put yourself in the position where you look back and think you could’ve done more, not only for yourself but the people around you."
Kane County Chronicle All-Area Boys Lacrosse Team
Daniel Dickerson,St Francis; Pat Dunlea, St. Francis; Henry Gleamza, Geneva; Zack James, St. Charles North; Zach Kinnas, St. Francis; Austin Lindell, Geneva; Jack Patterson, Batavia; Lucas Segobiano, St. Charles North; Evaisson Schramm, St. Charles North; Sam Sidari, St. Francis; Daniel Sterne, Batavia;