July 24—Rowen Martin likes to act locally.
It’s an approach that has served the recent Lewisburg graduate well on the lacrosse field. He was a daily feature selection from the first team as he lined up behind goal in his ‘X’ position and delivered pinpoint passes for three-time district champion Green Dragons.
It’s also an approach that pays off in his community, as two of Martin’s favorite volunteer activities — cleaning up the Susquehanna River and his church’s soup kitchen — are within a block of his home.
Due to his dedication to community service, his game on the lacrosse field, and his outstanding academic performance (101.24% GPA), Martin was selected as Male Athlete of the Year by The Daily Item, sponsored by SUN Orthopedics of Evangelical, as well as PPL Power Utilities.
Martin finished with 21 goals and 26 assists for the Green Dragons, who won the district title in each of the three years they competed.
“There was pressure (at three laps),” Martin said. “It was mainly because we didn’t want to lose our title, and we haven’t lost a senior since (2021). We really wanted to continue that streak.”
One of the benefits of playing the X is that it gave Martin a good vantage point to see offensive plays unfold.
“He’s the backbone of our team,” Lewisburg coach John Vaji said. “He does a lot of the hard work behind the net.”
Martin said what paid off for him was his experience, having been playing lacrosse since second grade.
“I like to put it straight into my teammates’ sticks just so they can put it straight into the goal,” he said. “If I see an opening, I know I can just slip it into their pocket.”
Vaji singled out an intangible as the best part of Martin’s piece.
“One of his greatest assets is perseverance,” Vaji said. “Since his first year, he has been working on his skills and along with that, dedicated himself to getting faster and stronger.”
When it comes to volunteering, Martin says his favorite experience has been the annual Susquehanna River cleanup.
“The whole family would sink and we would remove all the trash from the Susquehanna,” he said. “We load as much as we can into the kayaks and pull them out of the river.”
This is a big trash cleanup, not just your typical neighborhood trash bag. Martin says they often pull multiple tires from the river, in addition to many more.
“There’s definitely a lot of trash in the Susquehanna,” he said.
Martin also helped out at the First Presbyterian Church’s soup kitchen.
“We walk there with the family,” Martin said. “There are people who are much less fortunate than me, so it’s good to help out when you can.
“It’s very close and local. The river is a block east of me and the church is a block south of me, so I’m right by my house to help out. “
Martin is heading to the University of Vermont to study business — “I’m a big numbers guy,” he said — and get closer to another of his passions: skiing.
“I’ll go down anything on the mountain,” Martin said with a laugh. “I’ve been skiing longer than I’ve been playing lacrosse.
“There’s a lot of rush and excitement, and you can try new things. … You can choose your own path.”
Being a Catamount is also in his family.
“My brother goes there and he makes videos all the time that show how sick it is,” Martin said. “My dad also went there, so it became a legacy school.”
Daily Item correspondent Alexandra George contributed to this report.