Sunday, August 7, 2011

Profile - Lorin Smith, #84, Retired

Lorin Smith
Lorin claims to be the only Outlaw to be tackled by a professional baseball player.  And I believe her.  It was at a family picnic.  The family played some touch football.  Everyone participated.  Good fun. 

Her family was athletic - mom a champion swimmer, granddad a semi-pro baseball player, grandma played basketball.  And uncle Tommy played baseball.  Athletes tend to be competitive.  In this particular game, uncle Tommy got carried away in the heat of the competition and tackled Lorin.  He had the size advantage, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds over Lorin's 5' 9" and 150 pounds.  The hit "Laid me out.  Knocked the wind out of me.  I couldn't breathe."  And got Tommy in big trouble with the family.  The incident ended the family annual football classic.

Uncle Tommy is Tommy Boggd, who played thirteen years of pro baseball with the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves and is now head coach at Concordia University.

Lorin was one of the founding Outlaws.  She played receiver and running back and later moved to the defensive side of the ball.  She missed one season thanks to a knee injury and retired two years ago - one of the saddest days of my life - to free up time to pursue her career.

Lorin loves the competition, going all-out.
In response to my standard question, why would you, a woman, play football?, Lorin recalls a game against Oklahoma City.  With thirty seconds left, the Outlaws led by a point.  OKC's quarterback faded back to pass but Lorin and teammate Myra Harris blasted through the line for the sack and the win.  She recalls the thrill of competition (which is best when you win), the adrenalin rush, the all-out effort, the cheering fans, the celebration.  Most of all the celebration with the team.  The camaraderie and feeling of family that made the Outlaws unique.

Her first organized sports were softball at age eleven and gymnastics at age thirteen, doing the vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise.  In high School she played softball, volleyball, track (high hurdles and mile), basketball, gymnastics, "everything I could."  When she moved mid-term from Lanier to Pflugerville High, the only sport available was cross country. Lorin says "I hate running but I had to be involved in some sport."  In her senior year she played another running sport, soccer.  And she won all-state honors at halfback.

Running isn't so bad when you're carrying the ball.

She has played a variety of positions including the offensive line.  At 150 pounds, she was often matched up against women twice her size (literally, 300 pounders) and had to rely on strength and quickness to survive.  Why the line?  Coach said they needed someone who was experienced, "fast, mean, and had an attitude."  Asked "does that describe you?," she acknowledges that on the field maybe she does get mean and with an attitude. 

But off the field, nope, that isn't Lorin.  Not at all.

Lorin the child model.
Off the field She's just a pooh bear. Well... she once modeled Winnie the Pooh clothes as a childhood fashion model.  We asked for a Winnie the Pooh photo but she says she doesn't have any. She provided this one instead.   At age three, she and her brother were on the cover of a phonebook. Lorin was a runway model for Joskie's Department Store until age fourteen.
Lorin's interests outside of football include reading - she loves James Patterson's books and has read every one; dancing - she has done jazz and hip hop at nightclubs, and has taught country dancing; bicycling, and entertaining - she loves little dinner parties at home. 

She also loves animals. Lorin has an Australian/German Shepherd named Petie.  When her 120 pound Akita died, she went to the Humane Society where she saw four-month-old Petie huddled in the corner of his pen.  Lorin went into the pen but didn't attempt reach for him. She just and sat down. Slowly he got up, approached her, crawled into her lap. "I knew I had to have him."  Lorin learned her love of animals from her mom, who was known in the neighborhood for adopting strays.  In 2005 her love of animals took her to Sarasota, Florida on a three week dolphin research project with Mote Marine Labs.  A highlight was rescuing a couple of Rizzo dolphins, named Bonnie and Clyde.  Bonnie was "the sickest animal I've ever seen that didn't die."

Her love of animals had her heading for a career as a veterinarian but that path just didn't fit.  She found work with as a project assistant for Bartlett Cocke General Contractors, working in a mobile office at a Round Rock construction site building what is now the James G. Walsh middle school.  She "Loved this job, loves the company, loves the business."  

Today she works at Dell while pursuing this career path, working on masters degrees in project management and  business administration.  

Lorin posing at the construction site of Round Rock's James G. Walsh Middle School.

She says leaving the Outlaws was difficult because of  Outlaws special camaraderie.  It is definitely greater than she has observed with other teams.  We go through so much together. "It starts in fall with tryouts, then practices three days a week plus team meetings and fundraisers, games, travel.  it doesn't end until the championship game in July."

1 comment:

Coach Murphy said...

Lorin has always been an exceptional athlete. Please note that I wrote athlete, not female athlete. We lived in the same neighborhood and played full contact football, without pads, and she was willing "to give it as good as she got it". I personally liked playing against her, because not only was she a superior athlete, she was quite cute, and there's nothing like football to close the distance between a guy and a gal.