Wherever the big moments are, Ty Patterson isn’t.
He isn’t avoiding them, he’s just busy setting them up.
That’s the name of the game for the Mount Carmel lacrosse team's selfless senior. With six assists to one goal this season, the 6-foot, 170-pound midfielder/attacker has made a living prepping his teammates for the limelight.
“I like being what coach (David Ho) calls the play behind the play,” Patterson said. “It’s definitely the role I was made for. I may not be the fastest guy, or the strongest guy, but I know I can see the field in a way that others can’t.
“And I like knowing that I can set up scores and put my teammates in position to make big plays.”
It’s a way of sporting life that the Dyer, Ind., native has adopted since his childhood involvement in soccer and basketball. Instead of taking game-winning shots, or kicking go-ahead goals, Patterson found his calling as the role-player.
“It was just the way I played growing up,” Patterson said. “Being the complementary player in any sport is such an important role, and I take pride in that role.”
Patterson’s dedication to the bigger picture hasn’t fallen on blind eyes. Ho, in his fourth year coaching the Mount Carmel program, said Patterson’s field vision has become vital to his squad’s success.
“We play a lot of teams with complex defenses that force a lot of traps, and it’s hard to teach where a team is going to trap,” Ho said, “but Ty has demonstrated the ability to not only escape pressure, but throw the ball away from pressure to create opportunities for our team.
“He’s that one player that can instantly turn a tough situation into a great one.”
A skill that can often be underrated at the prep level, Patterson’s ability to dish out assists on the fly is one that even he has a hard time sourcing.
“I’m the only lacrosse player in my family,” Patterson said. “Actually, I’m the only lacrosse player in Dyer. So I guess you can say that it’s something that I’ve just had to develop on my own and with my team over time.”
As time passes in his final year with the Caravan, Patterson couldn’t imagine himself in any other capacity.
“This is just who I am as a lacrosse player … I’m the go-to guy for the go-to guy,” he said. “Playing this role on the field allows me to use my skills in a way that makes the guys around me better, and that’s most important.”