The attack position is synonymous with scoring.
But Owen Smith realizes there’s more to the position than that. Much more.
“I’m most proud of my 44 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers last season,” said the senior at Ridgewood High School (N.J.).
Smith’s versatility is a direct result of his upbringing.
“A few of us around Ridgewood were sort of lax rats and worked hard on developing pretty well-rounded games, including a lot of wall work to get that left hand strong,” Smith said. “All the attackmen are dedicated to riding, we love getting the ball back.”
Couple that with the experience learning by playing alongside such standouts as Andrew Seiter (Tufts), and Smith has developed in a multi-talented performer.
“I’ve been lucky to have played for years with guys like Andrew, who sees the field really well and get me the ball in places where I can toss it in the net,” Smith said.
The result was a variety of college options. In the end, Smith decided on Hobart University, a commitment reported by Joe Lombardi on Sept. 19 on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider special coverage section.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Smith, a righty who is a tight end/linebacker on the Maroons’ football team, is coming of a 58-goal, 14-assist season in lacrosse. He is an effective catch-and-shoot attackman. You can watch Smith’s highlight reel here.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I was fortunate to have a number of offers from schools that I really liked. Each school and program had really attractive points. In the end Hobart’s long lacrosse tradition, dynamic new coaching staff, beautiful campus and really strong alumni network made Hobart an easy decision.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I have been flattered and privileged to be on a number of campuses and meet with some great coaches. A few that really stood out were Gettysburg , Connecticut College and Amherst. I was very close to committing to Dickinson. Really nice school, great facilities and (Dickinson Head) Coach (Dave) Webster is a tremendous guy.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
Definitely working on my dodging, over the past few years I’ve gotten to go to practice everyday against really good defenders, Tripp Telesco (Lehigh), Dan McKenna (High Point), Ryan Ghaderi (Siena), Noah Pounds (Navy), Connor Kubikowski (St Joe’s) , Jack Motola (Union) and Dan Hurley (SUNY Cortland). These guys demand your best dodging and stick protection every day.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
Ridgewood has a pretty strong lacrosse pedigree and from a young age, you are surrounded by older kids with sticks. When I was really young, maybe second grade, I attended Pat Jackson’s Top Shott Lacrosse Camp. Pat always had a great staff of coaches and the first year I went to camp, I got to know Mike Springer, Spencer Wright, Brian Crockett and other top players from Syracuse. Those developed into lifelong friendships.
When Mike Springer was home from college, he would pick me up after school and take me to a local field and have me shoot lefty for 60-90 minutes. As much as I wanted to go back to my right it was lefty only.
(Ridgewood Head) Coach (Mike) Pounds always runs really fun clinics in the fall and winter , it was an opportunity to get in tune with his thoughts on the game and his style of play in a fun atmosphere and keep the stick in your hands while interacting with his high school players and really feeling like part of the program.
As a kid I played baseball, soccer, football, roller hockey and rugby. I liked all of those sports but as I got older I stuck with football and lacrosse. I’m a linebacker and tight end and have been fortunate to play for (Ridgewood Head Football) Coach (Charles) Johnson, New Jersey football legend and good man.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
When I was younger, I played for Gamerz/Trilogy and Tri State. When I got to Ridgewood High School, I focused on our team and Coach Pounds Maroons Lacrosse Club. We’ve had great experiences on our annual trips to Delaware, Champ Camp, MVP and UNC Team camps, the bus rides, the nonsense in the dorms, team meals, all work towards building out a team of guys that really like each other, work well together and enhances the entire high school experience.
Individually I attended Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip and New England Top 150.
Any final thoughts?
First and foremost my family; lacrosse has become a year round sport and my parents and brother Garrett have made a lot of sacrifices so that I could enjoy a wide range of lacrosse opportunities. By the way check out my little brother and Hobart offensive coordinator Peet Poillion in the Maverick Lacrosse “The Future is Here” TV commercial.
Next my teammates and coaches at RHS a great group of talented players that make every day a lot of fun. Coach Grimshaw is a Hobart alum.
As mentioned earlier, I was fortunate to grow up in Ridgewood where there are always great players willing to help develop your game as long as you were willing to work hard.
Even as a young kid you can reach out to these top players and they come right down to the field and work with you or give back by coaching in the town’s youth program. I spent a lot of time with Mike Springer, (Syracuse/Philadelphia Barrage) , Evan Brady (Syracuse) , Jack Riley (UVa) , Derek Pilipiak (UVa/ Syracuse) , Kenny Springer, John Flanagan and Francis Collins (Rutgers) , Scotty Dunn (Towson) , Alex Buckley (Brown/LA Riptide), Kevin Vaughan (Harvard) , Zack Pucci (Gettysburg) andKevin Simmons (St Michael’s). Not only were these guys very good players they were leaders and team captains and taught us more than skills and drills , they taught us about obligation , dedication and leadership.
I know this is getting to be like the Academy Awards speeches, but I’d like to add a special thank you to the guys from “The Program,” particularly Sam Cila and Charlie Ray, they made a huge impression on all of us, we thank them for what they have done through this program as well as for their service to our country.
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