April 24, 2012

Bowdoin grad wins spot in pro lacrosse

Owen 'Kit' Smith will be a member of the Boston Cannons, who open their season Saturday night.

By Paul Betit pbetit@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

When the Boston Cannons open the Major League Lacrosse season Saturday night against the Rochester Rattlers, there's a good chance Owen "Kit" Smith will be in their 19-man lineup.

"I got a jersey here with his name on it," said Boston Cannon General Manager Kevin Barney, confirming Smith was on the 25-man roster submitted to the league Monday afternoon. "There's a good chance he will be wearing it Saturday night."

Smith was a huge long shot to win a spot on the defending MLL champions' roster.

The Cannons' coaching staff got their first look at Smith, a 2011 Bowdoin graduate who learned how to play lacrosse while growing up in Brunswick, at the 12-year-old franchise's first open tryout March 4 at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass.

"He got our attention right away at the tryout," Barney said.

"He stood out. He's a big kid. He's got a hard shot, and he's extremely accurate."

Smith, who teaches algebra and coaches the boys' varsity lacrosse squad at Hebron Academy, continued to make an impression during four weekend practices.

"He definitely showed us he can play in this league," Barney said.

Smith, listed as a 6-foot-2, 215-pound midfielder, was among 30 players who participated in the open tryout. He was one of four players to reach the Cannons' training camp, and he was the only player from that group put on the roster.

Smith will continue to teach.

"I'm excited to balance professional lacrosse with teaching the game I love," he said. "I'm confident playing with the Cannons will be an asset to my coaching, and I feel lucky to be able to do both."

At Bowdoin, Smith -- the Travis Roy Award winner as Class A hockey's top senior player in 2007 -- played hockey and lacrosse.

An All-American honorable mention in each of his last three lacrosse seasons, he also was named to the Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference first team three times.

Smith will be the second Maine native to play for the Cannons.

Jon Thompson, current coach at Amherst who grew up in Freeport and attended North Yarmouth Academy, played one season for the MLL team following his graduation from Brown in 2003.

Smith also will be the second Bowdoin graduate to play for an MLL team.

Before retiring as a player in 2002, Tom Ryan, a 1993 Bowdoin graduate, had a lengthy stint with the New Jersey Pride and played in the indoor National Lacrosse League for teams in Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH

 

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