Kieran Eissler wasn't born with a lacrosse stick in his hands, but it didn't take long for him to reach for one.
Eissler, who will be a senior at Coronado High School in the fall, formed a deep interest in lacrosse at an early age. It's a passion that sparked the midfielder and attackman's journey toward becoming one of the nation's elite players.
"The kid's been focused since he was 3 years old," said Chris Eissler, Kieran's father and his coach with the Henderson Cougars. "He's been talking about Johns Hopkins since he was 4 years old and had Hopkins pajamas. He's been focused on what he wanted to do. He's always been a self-motivated kid."
The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association does not sanction lacrosse, but the sport has gained traction on the club level.
Kieran Eissler has been the brightest local star, earning an athletic scholarship from Johns Hopkins, his dream school. He plans to sign a national letter of intent next year to play for the nine-time NCAA Division I champion Blue Jays.
Kieran Eissler became a national name with 84 goals for the Cougars as a sophomore and earned U.S. Lacrosse High School All-America honors as a junior. Heading into his senior year, he is ranked the No. 1 recruit in the West by westsidelax.com.
But he matches his glowing resume with a grounded approach.
"For me, I like to try to be the hardest worker on the field and always give a hundred percent," Kieran Eissler said. "I don't want to be that kid that's, 'You're going to play college lacrosse and be super flashy or showy.' I want to be the kid who's helped out other kids and help our team win a championship."
Part of Kieran Eissler's motivation comes from the end to his junior year. The Cougars had a joyride season with various national rankings, but it ended with a thud when they were stunned 10-7 by Palo Verde in the Southern Nevada Lacrosse Association varsity state championship at Bishop Gorman.
"The whole team's going to remember that last game," Kieran Eissler said. "I'm pretty sure our next season, we're not going to take anything for granted and finish the job at the end of the season."
There is a lot more to Kieran Eissler than lacrosse. He owns a 4.4 GPA at Coronado and plans to eventually enter a medical field.
"I'm taking summer school classes right now just because I want to try to boost my GPA even higher," he said.
The 5-foot-9-inch, 165-pound Kieran Eissler also is a productive football player. As a cornerback, he was a key piece of a Cougars defense that held four opponents to 10 or fewer points last year.
"As far as football goes, that's where I get my more physical strength and weightlifting in," he said. "That helps me with my defensive play and my hitting and contact ability in lacrosse."
If one were to draw the Eissler family tree, it might be shaped like a crosse.
Kieran's father, Chris, is the Cougars' head coach, and his mother, Amy, is the team manager.
Kieran's younger brother, Quinton Eissler, will be a sophomore attackman for the Cougars next season and is already considered a high-level recruit.
The Eissler family has been busy with national showcase events this summer, but wouldn't have it any other way.
"They love the sport. It's not like dad pushed them," Chris Eissler said. "They live, eat, sleep, breathe lacrosse.
"They play lacrosse in the house. They play mini lacrosse when they're not playing lacrosse. Everything's a lacrosse game to them."
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @tristanaird.