It should come as no surprise that Salmon River junior defenseman Dalton Roundpoint did a good job shutting down the top scorers on other teams this season.
Several times a week in practice Roundpoint had to go against teammates who made up four of the top five scorers in the Northern Athletic Conference.
After tussling with teammates Skylar Thomas, Dalston Day, Kason Tarbell and Kyle Lewis, Roundpoint could breathe easier when he played against his opponents in games.
I think that was a big plus for all of our defense, Salmon River coach Jim Barnes said. They are all excellent (offensive) players, really shifty, and (defenders) really have to be on their toes in practice. I think that was a big help for him.
Said Roundpoint, It helps a lot that (Salmon Rivers attackers) are the way they are. They are good.
As good as the attackers were, it was Roundpoint who emerged as the top player for the Shamrocks this season. He was not only named the Times NAC All-North Most Valuable Player, he was also named Section 10s All-American.
It was kind of a surprise, but hes been playing a lot of fall lacrosse and summer lacrosse, Barnes said. I think it was a surprise how well he actually did in the Section and against other teams. He really grew into a leadership category. He really took control of the defense and his overall play improved.
Salmon River went 17-1 this season, losing only to Cazenovia (12-8) in a first-round game of the state Class C playoffs.
Led by Roundpoint, the Shamrocks defense gave up only 91 goals in 18 games.
His positioning is really good, Barnes said. His takeaway and his stick skills are right on top as is his picking up the ball and passing, transitions. Hes just as good offensively. We used him as a midfielder in the state playoff game against Cazenovia and he played really well, scored a goal.
I think, even through a game from the start to the end, he does a really excellent job of taking away strengths and knowing what his tendencies are. I noticed that throughout games. Its tough when you are covering one guy. He will get open and score. But when it came down to his position, and playing the system, he did an excellent job.
Playing against good players in practice is not the only reason Roundpoint has been an effective defender.
He plays a lot of indoor box lacrosse, where he is an attacker, so he knows what opponents are thinking.
You have to really play the body and not go for the stick fakes, Roundpoint said.
The accolades that came late in the season surprised both Barnes and Roundpoint, who realize that in a sport like lacrosse it is usually the attackers with big scoring numbers who get the attention.
Usually for All-American you throw your offensive players in, Barnes said. I was surprised (other coaches) noticed him. As soon as I mentioned his name and the stuff hes done a lot of them were agreeing.
Said Roundpoint, Defense doesnt usually get recognized a lot. The players of the game are usually offensive. It really surprised me. I didnt think my name was up for it.
Being named Section 10s All-American could provide a boost for Roundpoints goal of playing lacrosse at the NCAA Division I level.
My favorite schools right now are probably Duke and Cornell, Roundpoint said.
Said Barnes, Hes been getting looked at by the local schools here. He has some Division I schools talking to him and Division III schools. Things will open up for him next year. I could see him playing Division I. Hes got the size (6-foot-2) and speed and talent. Hes very coachable and he can really understand the different positions.
The Roundpoint file
Parents: Paul and Renee
Siblings: Trevor Roundpoint, Trent Jacobs.