By Melissa Proulx, Staff writer
Jimmy Owens, running back for the UNH football team, has a drive inside of him and it’s one that’s kept him moving for his entire life.
When he was growing up in the small town of West Deptford, N.J., he said that he was one of those kids who ran away from their parents if they let him.
“Sometimes my mom would just let me go, she wouldn’t even go after me,” he said. “She would just say, ‘Oh, he’ll come back when he’s tired.”
A three-sport athlete for all four years in high school, Owens said he was always on the go, whether he was participating in track and field, wrestling or football. But it seems like that inability to stand still has definitely payed off. This past weekend, UNH dominated Dartmouth in the second home game of the season and first night game in school history, winning 52-19.
“It’s always exciting to win at home,” Owens said, who scored a 1-yard touchdown run during the first few minutes of the first quarter. “It was the battle of New Hampshire … we just want to let them know we own New Hampshire.”
But like many of his other teammates, he credits most of this success to the family spirit of the other plays, saying he wouldn’t be where he is without them.
“I feel like this year, since I’ve been here, has been the closest,” he said. “All of the seniors have done a great job of bringing us all together. We’re all having fun together, before practice, after practice.”
In fact, it was this supportive spirit that initially drew him to the state school in a state that he had little knowledge of before. During his initial visit, Owens said he was able to connect with other players who came from the area that he grew up in and was impressed with the mature way they carried themselves.
“I know they came from where I was from and saw how they became men out of (being here), how they changed and became into men and adults,” he said. “If they came to same area I did and changed into men and adults… I thought, ‘this is a good place to be.’”
But even with the dedication to his team, Owens still makes time to relax, whether it be sleeping, playing video games or do any of the other things that he loves.
“I’m a low-key chef,” he said. “I can make some stuff. I can make cakes, I can make brownies, I can make cupcakes.”
“I’ve never tried to make a pie, though,” he added, laughing.
And while he might get the job done on the field, he drops the intimidation when he’s out with his friends.
“I like to be funny, I like when people laugh, even if I look like a clown sometimes,” he said. “When I get people laughing, I like the enjoyment of making people smile.”
With hopefully plans of moving the next level after graduating, Owens has a back up plan of using his event planning degree to his advantage. Already, he’s worked with many events here on campus and as a caterer at a wedding this summer.
“I’ve only seen a little bit of each,” he said. “I want to see more options, also want to see the business detail of it. I’ll keep bouncing around and seeing which one I like best.”
Now in his last season, Owens has stepped into his newfound leadership role with grace. Though he played in almost every game last season, he now has found himself carrying the ball more often after the other two running backs ahead of him, Nico Steriti and Dalton Crossan, both went out with injuries. With the homecoming game against William & Mary only a week away, Owens is confident that his team will be able to replicate their luck from last week.
“I think we’re going to be good, we’ve always had a little problem with William & Mary,” he said. “If we keep staying healthy, if we keep doing things we’re doing, we’re going to win.”