|Do you remember this poster? Hobart All American Defensemen Ed Howard # 26 throwing a over the head check on a unidentified Washington College player.|
I learned yesterday that Ed Howard had unexpectedly died (1957 to 2012). I believe Ed Howard was the first African American college player I ever saw. I still remember seeing this poster of of him above, throwing this great over the head check against a Washington College player in the 1977 Division III championship game. The photo was part of a 1978 U. S. National Team promotion. “The over the head check was my forte,” remembers Ed Howard. “It was my favorite because of my height [6’ 2’] and the fact I could get close to my opponent.” He goes on to say, I learned the check from [my defensive coach at Hobart] Dave Urick and perfected it via real time trial and error.” What’s unique about Howard’s story is that he never played lacrosse before coming to Hobart. And back when he played, Hobart was a power house in college lacrosse taking on all comers including Syracuse. In 1977 Hobart went 15 and 0 with Howard both starting, neutralizing other teams top attackman, and earning All American honors. This was a rare lacrosse photo back before the proliferation of lacrosse magazines in hard copy and online, and the multitude of lacrosse blogs including my own. Photos like this one represented some of the only outlets for lacrosse junkies like me to satisfy my craving for the game. Few newspapers back in the late 70s covered college games or stories about All-American selections. So when I saw this photo of Ed Howard I wanted to know more about him. 20 plus years later I got a chance interviewing Dave Urick, UVA Associate Head Coach Mark Van Arsdale who was a ball boy for the team when Howard played, and Ed Howard. I conducted the interviews back in 2009. In the series I talked about how Howard went from a Hobart walk on to becoming an All American. I hope you enjoy the series and share with others what you learn about his lacrosse career.
Hobart College Mourns the Loss of Ed Howard: http://www.hwsathletics.com/news/2012/6/18/SAA_0618120501.aspx