Hampton’s Schmitt to join brother at Clarion
Hampton tailback Vince Schmitt decided to stay close to family with his college decision.
The hard-working back took to Twitter to announce his commitment to Clarion .
Schmitt finished his senior season with 72 carries for 319 yards, but don’t let the modest numbers fool you.
His senior season was injury-plagued, and the Talbots’ rushing attack struggled without Schmitt’s experience and leadership.
“I know he wished his career ended in a more positive note individually and for the team,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said.
“He’s very unselfish, very coachable. He never quite got going the way he wanted to and the way he’s capable of.”
On Sept. 6, Schmitt gashed Shaler for 197 yards and three touchdowns in a one-point loss that seemed to exemplify the Talbots’ tough season, but it’s the type of performance DeMatteo and Schmitt know he can produce.
“Winning isn’t everything,” Schmitt said. “Losing stinks, but as long as you’re close to your teammates, winning and losing is just there as long as you have fun. It’s the bond you build with your teammates.”
Few bonds are closer than family, and that made the Eagles a logical decision for Schmitt.
Gus Schmitt, a 2015 Hampton graduate and Vince’s brother, is a fifth-year senior and two-year starter.
“I loved the campus,” said Vince, who also drew interest from Edinboro, Slippery Rock and Mount Union. “I’ve always been going to his games, so I kind of got the inside scoop.”
Schmitt, who has been playing running back since his early playing days, said he has always looked up to his older brother. Additionally, that will ease the freshman transition.
“It can be a little intimidating at times being by yourself,” said DeMatteo, who also coached Gus. “But now you have a sibling there who’s been in the system. Clarion knows what they’re getting from the first one with great work ethic, and now they’re getting a second one with great work ethic.”
DeMatteo thinks the Eagles have a steal. Schmitt is a multisport athlete who also wrestled through his junior year.
“Clarion is going to get someone that I think is a diamond in the rough,” DeMatteo said. “One thing that I think will help him is he wrestled all those years and kept his weight at a certain class. Now he’s going to put on some size and weight, and that’s only going to add to his strengths with his quickness and speed.”
Schmitt said leaving wrestling after his junior year was a tough decision.
“I wanted to get bigger. It wasn’t that I didn’t like wrestling and everything. I miss everyone,” he said. “It was a tough decision, but I think it’ll help me out in the end.”
Schmitt was quick to credit his coaches who have been instrumental in getting him to this point.
“I just want to thank (wrestling coach) Chris Hart, coach DeMatteo, (athletic director) Mr. (Bill) Cardone and all the other coaches for helping me.”
Devon Moore is a freelance writer.