Thursday, December 15, 2016

Remembering Hobart's Ed Howard

In the winter of 1976 Ed Howard had just become the newest of a long list of, what Hobart All American and Associate Head Lacrosse Coach at the University Virginia, Marc Van Arsdale has coined, DNPs—guys who did not play in high school. “I was lucky enough to be a ball boy for a bunch of those Jerry Schmidt/Dave Urick Hobart Teams in the 70's” says Van Arsdale who grow up in Geneva, New York. “There were some ferocious, physical athletes playing defense for Hobart in those days [who] were DNP's—Tom Korn, Tom Moffitt, Bootie Gringeri (all defensive football standouts)—but Ed, once he learned the game, was a more graceful defender,” Van Arsdale recalls. “I remember his great footwork/quickness . . . maybe attributable to his hoops upbringing,” he theorizes. Howard remembers being home in Buffalo on winter break after 6 B team practices when he received phone call for then defensive coordinator Dave Urick tell him that he’s been invited to come to up to varsity. “I am looking out the window and it was a terrible ice storm and here’s coach asking me if I want to join the varsity team on spring break down in North Carolina.” Back in those days Hobart we would play Carolina, NC State, Hopkins, and Navy on spring break. “Looking at the [bitter cold] weather outside it was an easy decision.” Howard remembers telling Urick without hesitation “I am going!” As freshmen Ed played mostly on Hobart’s man down defense. He had no fear of big offensive guns he faced on man down because he had no history on the players and programs he was facing to go on. “I had the advantage,” explains Howard, I was not encumbered” by the reputation All Americans, “plus in basketball and football I was an offensive players” and could anticipate the other guys moves. “I was 6’ 2’’ 200 lbs and ran a sub 4.5, 40- yard dash—I had the advantage in my mind and it didn’t matter who you were to me,” says Howard. Lord willing and the snow doesn’t get to high, we will have more tomorrow on Ed’s first season as a Statesmen.