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A role unlike any other

Caleb Krewson, of the Saints Peter & Paul High School varsity lacrosse team, might just have the most important role on his team
Posted at 10:00 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 17:52:59-04

EASTON, Md. — Every member of a team has a role.

Sometimes the most important role isn’t the top goal scorer, best facilitator or shot stopper.

Sometimes it’s the player who gets the rest of his or her teammates to play at their very best.

Caleb Krewson, of the Saints Peter & Paul varsity lacrosse team, has a role unlike any other.

"He is teaching us more than we’ll ever teach him," said head coach Freddy Wolters.

"I thought we were going to have him on the team. But I never thought we were going to be able to get him on the field," added defender Parker Corson.

"[I] never could have thought we would be here today," said goalie Hank Wolters.

Krewson, 15, has loved lacrosse for his entire life. He is a regular at Sabres practices and on the sidelines at games. His mom, Kristi, always keeps a close eye on how he’s doing.

Caleb has cerebral palsy.

"What has this been like for you, being part of the Sabres team?" WMAR-2 Sports Reporter Shawn Stepner asked.

"It’s really cool," replied Caleb.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects movement and muscle tone. It is usually caused by a brain injury at birth. Physically there are countless challenges Caleb faces on a daily basis. But when he gets on the lacrosse field he is liberated from his limitations.

"When you put on that helmet, put on that jersey, put that stick on your wheelchair, do you feel different?" asked Stepner.

"Yeah. I get hyped," said Caleb.

He was never more hyped than in the final seconds of his first high school game.

"Coach Freddy was like, 'Get ready. You’re going in'," said Caleb.

It was game No. 1 at Severn. It was Caleb’s moment of a lifetime. He scored his first high school goal.

How often does he think about that moment?

"Every day," he said.

He added that it was a dream come true.

"Caleb got to score his first goal, and probably in my guess maybe one of the first kids in a wheelchair to score in a high school game, in a real game," said Freddy Wolters.

"That was probably one of the coolest moments we’ve had all year," said Corson.

What was it about that goal that made it so special for Caleb?

"Everybody came running saying, 'Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah'," he said.

He said he will never forget the cheers of that day.

He waited 15 years for those cheers and only had to wait a few more weeks to hear more. A couple weeks ago, on senior night against Gerstell, he did it again.

He scored high school goal No. 2.

This time his head coach didn’t put Caleb in with a few seconds to go. This time it was with a few minutes remaining. That’s something he has earned.

"He works as hard, if not harder, than any kid I have on the team because he wants to get better," said Freddy Wolters.

He is getting better.

"He has improved so much," said Hank Wolters. "Usually it was just the simple sit there and he will throw it to you. But now he is throwing it on the run, shooting on the run. He is doing moves behind the cage. It’s incredible. He is placing his shots in corners. It’s incredible."

Caleb’s stick was custom made by John Haug, a retired mechanical engineer, and the team at the IMAGE Center, Volunteers for Medical Engineering.

Haug first met Caleb in June of 2021. A couple months later he had designed and created a stick just for him.

"It’s a good feeling to see that in a moment you made somebody so happy," said Haug. "Because he couldn’t do it and he couldn’t do it and he couldn’t do it. But now he did it."

The handle end of the stick is attached to a spring which is attached to a special arm that slides onto Caleb’s wheelchair. The ball is placed in the pocket of the netting. To shoot it Caleb grabs the back of the netting, pulls and releases.

"That’s what engineering is. It’s extending the human capability," said Haug. "The answer was so simple and Caleb made it simple not because of his disability but because of his ability."

Every member of a team has role.

"We know that we can persevere because Caleb did it. If Caleb did it, we can do it," said Hank Wolters.

"It’s just showing you can do anything you put your mind to," added Corson.

"He is an inspiration. They say that you motivate them. Don’t they? And then they motivate you, right?" Kristi Krewson said looking while looking at her son. "So, it works both ways."

Caleb Krewson’s role might just be his team’s most important.

What does Caleb Krewson, the lacrosse player, think he can teach people who learn of his story?

"Anything is possible," he said with a smile.

If you would like to apply for a custom adaptive stick through VME, click here.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook