Lacrosse takes city’s Owen Hiltz to Indiana school
Indiana’s Culver Academy has found success with Peterborough lacrosse players
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.”
Peterborough's Owen Hiltz, seen in action with Culver Academy, has verbally committed to play lacrosse at the University of Denver in 2020.