In the Dirt with Chris
Chris Isenberg wanted to play baseball. He could not have imagined playing lacrosse for a major Division I program. He has his family to thank for that.
When he started, his first coach for his youth team was his uncle who played lacrosse at Penn State in the 1980s. What surprised Isenberg was that he never knew his uncle played until he committed to Penn State.
"Once I committed to Penn State to play lacrosse, he texted and said 'congratulations, keeping it in the family'." Isenberg said.
His father was also one of his coaches, though he never played, and Isenberg let him know it, jokingly of course.
"Just coached about heart. Not necessarily the actual sport of lacrosse which we still make fun of him for to this day." Isenberg said.
During his high school career, he set records and was named captain during his senior season. His team set the single-reason school record for wins that year. Isenberg decided to go to Penn State his sophomore year and has enjoyed a successful career in the program. He didn’t play as much as a freshman and struggled making the leap from high school to college initially. However, Isenberg fought through and made it.
Isenberg received much more playing time his sophomore season and hoped to play a significant role his junior season. Though it hasn't exactly panned out that way as Isenberg has battled leg and other lower body injuries this year. He is hoping to end the year strong and have a big senior year. Isenberg isn't sure whether he will turn pro or not, though if the opportunity presented itself, he would have a hard time saying no.
Photo Gallery: Persevering Through Adversity
Isenberg’s junior season has been a struggle at times as he has battled several injuries. He missed the entire fall semester because of them.
"In the summer I needed shoulder surgery. I tore my right labrum. I was out the entire first semester. I told myself I was double-jointed and that every time I would reach my arm around my head it would pop out. I was like 'oh that's normal'," Isenberg said.
"I tore my hamstring and some muscles in my ankle during the season." He added.
Isenberg is incredibly motivated to stay on the field with consistency as Penn State men’s lacrosse team has been one of the best in the country this season. Isenberg missed most of the fall semester due to injuries.
"I've had a conversation with my coach basically saying that I understand I haven't been on the field and be able to practice because I've been in the training room, I've been hurt. But basically I said I'm going to do the best I can do and be prepared for when you call my number and when you I do hopefully I'll be ready to contribute and make an impact." Isenberg said.