Lacrosse takes city’s Owen Hiltz to In­di­ana school

In­di­ana’s Cul­ver Academy has found suc­cess with Peter­bor­ough lacrosse play­ers

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - MIKE DAVIES Ex­am­iner Sports Direc­tor Mike.Davies@pe­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

In­di­ana’s Cul­ver Academy has found a pipe­line for its var­sity field lacrosse team in Peter­bor­ough.

In turn, it’s be­come a pipe­line to the NCAA for those Peter­bor­ough re­cruits. Kyle Trol­ley (Notre Dame), Zach Cur­rier (Prince­ton), Ethan Walker (Den­ver) and Mike Robin­son (Delaware) all starred at Cul­ver and earned col­lege schol­ar­ships as a re­sult. Robin­son will cap­tain Cul­ver this year be­fore head­ing to Delaware next fall.

Owen Hiltz is the lat­est to join that list. The Grade 11 stu­dent, in his sec­ond year at Cul­ver, ver­bally com­mit­ted in Septem­ber, to the Uni­ver­sity of Den­ver where Walker cur­rently stars.

Walker is break­ing scor­ing records at Den­ver af­ter set­ting the Cul­ver mark for most points in a sea­son with 161. Last year, in his first year at Cul­ver, Hiltz recorded 126 points and head coach Jon Pos­ner says he’s well on his way to blaz­ing his own trail of suc­cess.

“We’ve had some great stu­dent-ath­letes come out of Peter­bor­ough and they’ve been phe­nom­e­nal for us,” said Pos­ner. “Owen is a very spe­cial player. I would put him in that elite group of play­ers I have had the op­por­tu­nity to coach in my 21 years of coach­ing. He is very skilled. He has a very high lacrosse IQ and he’s a com­peti­tor. If I were go­ing to pre­dict, he’s go­ing to have just as much of an im­pact at the next level as all the other ones we’ve sent off that have at­tended Cul­ver.”

Pos­ner said Hiltz has some skills that can’t be taught.

“His vi­sion is phe­nom­e­nal. Owen al­ways has his head up and he’s al­ways try­ing to make a play whether it’s cre­at­ing his own shot or find­ing an open guy mov­ing off the ball,” he said. “What I love about Owen is I com­pare him very much to a com­bi­na­tion of Zach and Ethan. He shoots the ball like Ethan. Ethan has the best shot I have ever coached. He has a very sim­i­lar re­lease to Ethan and the ac­cu­racy level and he dodges like Zach. He’s a bit of a com­bi­na­tion of both which makes him a very spe­cial player.”

Hiltz comes from lacrosse blood­lines. His mother Jen­nifer’s broth­ers Joe and Gerry Hiltz were stand­outs for Peter­bor­ough ju­nior and se­nior teams and Joe had a lengthy pro­fes­sional ca­reer.

“I think it was kind of meant to be,” said Owen. “There was al­ways lacrosse stuff ly­ing around my grand­par­ents’ house and my house. I guess I’ve al­ways been around lacrosse and grew up around it.”

Cul­ver is a mil­i­tary board­ing school with a lead­er­ship-based ed­u­ca­tion. Hiltz ad­mits he wasn’t a great stu­dent prior to go­ing to Cul­ver and the dis­ci­pline there has been good for him. He said Walker and Robin­son talked highly of the school and a call from Cur­rier con­vinced him it was a good place for him.

“He told me I’d get more ex­po­sure to col­leges and a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion,” said Hiltz.

He had about 10 col­leges try­ing to re­cruit him but he liked Den­ver based on their past suc­cess and good things Walker told him this sum­mer when they played to­gether with the Peter­bor­ough Merit Pre­ci­sion Jr. A Lak­ers in the sum­mer. A re­cent visit to Den­ver con­firmed he’s made the right choice for the fall of 2020.

“I felt like it’s the place I’d best fit in with the of­fence they run and team chem­istry,” said Hiltz. “It’s a beau­ti­ful cam­pus. The guys on the team were all su­per nice and al­ways to­gether as a team.”

Hiltz said he’s had a lot of help along the way from his Peter­bor­ough Mi­nor Lacrosse As­so­ci­a­tion coaches to Tracey Kelusky with Evolve Elite Lacrosse to Pos­ner who has helped him reach an­other level on and off the field.

“He’s pushed me a lot more than I’ve ever been pushed which has im­proved my work ethic a lot. He’s helped me with my stick skills and my off-hand which most Cana­di­ans don’t have,” he said. “He’s al­ways pushed me to do bet­ter in school.”

CUL­VER ACADEMY /SPE­CIAL TO THE EX­AM­INER

Peter­bor­ough's Owen Hiltz, seen in ac­tion with Cul­ver Academy, has ver­bally com­mit­ted to play lacrosse at the Uni­ver­sity of Den­ver in 2020.

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