Pickerington North boys lacrosse coach Kurt Restuccio looked forward to Keaton Trout being a cornerstone for the Panthers this spring, largely because he could trust the senior in any spot on the field.
Trout, a Baldwin Wallace recruit and three-time varsity captain, played strictly in the midfield as a freshman but alternated between there and attacker the next two seasons. An honorable mention all-Region 3 selection last year, Trout scored 115 career goals and hoped to head to college with almost 200 before this season was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"If we need a quarterback in the midfield, that's perfect for him. If we need a left-hander in the attack, we'd have him and Ethan Kevelder up top and they're a great combo," said Restuccio, who was in his first season. "In the system we were installing, a lot of our offense comes from the attack. Keaton would know when to go up top and go to the midfield."
Kevelder (50 goals, 16 assists) and Trout (25 goals, 9 assists) formed an effective one-two punch as juniors for North, which hoped to improve this season on records of 6-13 overall and 3-4 in the OCC-Central Division. According to Trout, part of the reason they worked so well together was because Kevelder is right-handed.
"(My being left-handed) helps make the field more diverse. If you have a guy who's a really good righty and a guy who's a strong lefty, it's hard to guard both guys on different sides," Trout said. "It stretches the field. It makes the defense really have to think about where they're going to slide or what they'll do to stop good players on both sides of the field. It really can change the game."
Trout has played every position on the field over the years, although his experience as a goalkeeper came in sixth grade and he said he played defense "maybe a few games when I was a kid."
"I wasn't a fan. I was more into the middy and attack role(s)," Trout said. "Sophomore year, we (had) lost my brother (Landon) and some others (to graduation) so I needed to help us on offense and defense at middy. I felt like I was a strong midfielder and tried to adapt to that role, be a two-way midfielder rather than just an attackman.
"Bringing the ball back on attack is kind of like playing midfielder. You get tired from running back and forth across the field. It is hard. It's harder on your body."
Off the field, Trout was a member of National Honor Society, volunteered at Harmon Middle and Fairfield Elementary schools as well as with Right to Read and within the Pickerington Youth Athletic Association, coached and officiated lacrosse and also was a basketball referee.
Trout committed to Baldwin Wallace in October. He hopes that being in the Cleveland area with potential access to internships with the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians will pay dividends when it comes to his broadcasting major.
"I have a lot more opportunities to get out there and make a name for myself in the big leagues," Trout said.
"He always has a great attitude. He is always trying to get everybody to have that attitude, whether vocally or by example," Restuccio said. "One way or the other, people usually follow in line."