Ram2Watch: Ethan Zhu is taking the field by storm


Freshman Ethan Zhu on the RHS field during a boy’s Varsity Lacrosse game.

Rockville’s boys varsity lacrosse team completed the season coming in with a near .500 record at 5-7, a huge improvement over last year’s 2-11 season. They even won their first playoff game against Watkins Mill. Freshman Ethan Zhu, a close defenseman and long stick midfielder, a member of All-Division 1st team, has played a pivotal role in getting the team to this spot.

“Ethan has been doing great,” said varsity lacrosse coach Jimmy Castro. “Everyday he’s been able to grow into more of a leader.”

Zhu was put in a prominent position on the team since the first practice in late March going straight to varsity as a freshman.

“Playing lacrosse here [at Rockville] has taught me to be more of a leader. Outside of school with my club team I was just used to me having to do my part,” Zhu said. “Now I have to help other people and teach them what I know and make the whole team better.”

Coach Castro witnessed  Zhu’s growth as he  developed his leadership skills.

“I can tell he was very timid at speaking up at first, but now he has a lot to share and a lot of knowledge to provide,” said Castro.

On the field, Zhu’s performances speak for themselves. In his first game with full playing time Zhu had 2 ground balls and 3 forced turnovers against Watkins Mill. Zhu had 2 points this season: an assist against Magruder and a goal against Kennedy. He finished the season with 22 ground balls and 20 forced turnovers, averaging around 2 ground balls per game and 1.8 forced turnovers. 

“Since day one he has been our best close defender and has forced the most forced turnovers,” said Castro.

Zhu explained the team’s win against Blair High School.  

“Blair was probably my favorite game because we were really low on numbers. We probably had about 2 subs, and we lost to blair last year by a lot and we beat them 9-7. [It was a] pretty big win, breaking our 3 game losing streak,” Zhu said.

Another one of his better games came against Magruder, where he had 0 forced turnovers and 2 ground balls, but he got his first assist of the season. 

While Zhu has been performing great in games, his growth has not been linear and he’s acknowledged the setbacks he’s had along the way. 

“The Gaithersburg game, I just played terrible, I don’t think I put in as much effort as I could have put in. Just wasn’t really a good game for me,” Zhu said. 

Zhu responded to the downpoint with two standout games. A season high 4 ground balls and 2 turnovers versus Springbrook and a game versus Kennedy in which he scored his first goal of the season. 

Overall Castro believes it was the right decision to bring Zhu straight to the varsity team.

“I think Ethan on our team has the potential to grow to be one [of] our better leaders and he has the potential to really continue to build the program around him,” said Castro.