BBA's Steven Schmitt signs letter of intent to Mount St. Mary's

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MANCHESTER — As a long-stick defenseman, Burr and Burton Academy lacrosse player Steven Schmitt's game is all about being at the right place at the right time, whether it's guarding opposing attackers, winning ground balls or creating offensive chances in transition.

After his senior season at BBA, the right place will be be Mount St. Mary's University.

Schmitt, surrounded by family and friends, signed his National Letter of Intent on Friday to attend the university, in Emmitsburg, Md., and play men's lacrosse for the Mountaineers.

Schmitt said the college offered the right academic programs and a rural environment similar to BBA, as well as the opportunity to play Division I lacrosse.

"I loved the location. It's a beautiful campus," he said. "As soon as I got there it felt like a good fit. The academics were exactly what I'm looking for."

Schmitt is also looking ahead to a career in business. "I want to do international business and finance or marketing. The big thing for me is I want to travel," he said.

The school has a program in which students who stay for a fifth year can also earn a masters in business administration. He can either redshirt his freshman year or stay on for a fifth year of school as a graduate assistant coach.

Schmitt said he met Mount St. Mary's coach Tom Gravante at a showcase tournament at Endicott College in Massachusetts. While he's also an excellent hockey player — he and his twin brother Egan both play for the Bulldogs — obtaining a hockey scholarship would involve playing juniors for two-to-three years, and would carry a risk that if he got hurt, the opportunity would vanish.

"It seemed lot easier to [play lacrosse] than risk getting hurt and not being able to play hockey. And I love lacrosse as much as I love hockey," Schmitt said.

Schmitt's lacrosse coach at BBA, Tom Grabher, said he's "extremely proud of what [he] has accomplished and the type of kid he is."

As a long-stick midfielder — the position uses a defender's long stick rather than an attacker's short stick — Schmitt plays a versatile role.

He's strong at winning battles for loose balls, and as a long-stick player who can pass and shoot, he brings an added dimension to the Bulldogs' offense.

"Lacrosse is the epitome of a team sport and he is a team player," Grabher said. "What he brings to team is so important, and he does it all over the field. ... It's not just he's a shut-down defender or he's got speed."

Grabher said Schmitt's skills stood out the first time he saw him play as a long-stick midfuielder, two years ago in a game against Rutland.

"Since then I've just seen his game and his confidence and skills increase," Grabher said. "I'm really proud of him and the example he's setting for the rest of the team and the rest of the school — that kids can reach a goal that possibly they thought doesn't happen around here."

As a high school lacrosse player, Schmitt was invited to the Rising Star game as a sophomore, and as a junior was first team Marble Valley League, first team All-State, and second team All American. In hockey, Schmitt was second team all-state Division 2 as a sophomore and second team all state Division 1 as a junior.

In 2017 for the Bulldogs, he recorded 30 caused turnovers, 72 ground ball pick-ups, 6 goals and 5 assists.

Schmitt's parents are comfortable with his choice.

"It's not a real large school. Everybody is very friendly and very supportive," Robin Schmitt said. "There seems to be a lot of things he can get involved with, and academically it was a close fit for him. ... The coaches and the players that he met there made it very comfortable."

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