Leading by Example
Imposing. That’s the first word that comes to mind when you meet Howard Community College sophomore Tom Klotz. His towering 6’4” frame immediately grabs your attention and adds to his intimidating presence on the lacrosse field, where he captains the men’s team and plays defense and midfield. Described by HCC head coach Erik Foust as an “aggressive and physical” player, Klotz is not just a standout player – he’s a standout student as well. In recognition of his success on the field and in the classroom (he holds a 3.86 cumulative grade point average) Klotz was recently named the college’s Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Klotz’s introduction to lacrosse began when he was a freshman at Wilde Lake High School, where he had an interest in lacrosse but not enough funds to buy his own equipment. Thanks to his coach, who provided the team with the necessary gear and equipment, Klotz was able to play, and immediately fell in love with the sport. A natural talent, he went on to earn 1st Team All-County honors during his senior year, and developed a close bond with the high school coach who was so instrumental to his success. That coach, ironically, was Foust, and that strong relationship continues today.
Foust says the well-spoken 20-year-old is “talented, hardworking, mature beyond his years” and a “natural leader who demands effort and commands respect,” so it’s not surprising that his teammates voted him captain for the past two seasons. The role of captain is one that he relishes. “I love it,” says Klotz, who admits that he is something of a perfectionist. “I know that nothing is perfect," he says, "but I can always pursue it.” He has definitely proven to be up for the task. “He’s like a coach on the field,” says Foust, which is fitting, since one of Klotz’s goals is to become a coach, perhaps one day working as an assistant for Foust.
Klotz will graduate this spring with an associate degree in general studies before transferring to College Park to pursue a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He plans to eventually earn a master’s degree and perhaps become a sociology teacher or get involved in politics and public policy.
Whatever path he chooses, Klotz’s future looks bright. “I believe he will be successful at anything he tries,” says Foust. “I don’t say that about many people."