When did you decide you wanted to be a pro lacrosse player?
I used to watch the Rock as a kid, and always wanted to play for them. There was never really a decision involved, I just continued playing lacrosse at the highest level I could, and eventually was able to break into a pro lineup. Now I have to work to try and stay here.
Best lacrosse memory?
Lacrosse has been a big part of my life and an extremely positive part, so it’s nearly impossible to pick one memory. There’s me and my Dad getting 300 passes in a row in our backyard, scoring the winning goal in overtime in the local Milton Mavericks tournament, winning the box provincials in bantam or the field provincials in midget. The sport has been great to me. One memory I enjoy looking back on is my first game of Junior B with the Markham Ironheads, how thrilled I was that we played 20 minute stopped time periods and wore pro style cages. I couldn’t believe I’d made it to that level. Suiting up for my first pro game, the details were very different but the feeling was eerily similar.
If you could change or add a rule to box lacrosse what would it be?
In terms of the NLL, I’m not a fan of playing music during the play. Especially in a market such as Toronto, where the fans are educated and lacrosse smart, playing arena rock during the game seems unnecessary to me.
Best pump-up song?
Why Can’t We Be Friends.
I’m not a big music guy but it used to be pretty good when they’d play “Can’t Stop the Rock” after Toronto goals.
Have any pre-game rituals?
I’m used to playing summer ball, where most games you come from work and grab a bite wherever you can, so I’ve never had the opportunity to really develop many rituals. Playing in this league, where you have the chance devote your entire day to the game, I’m sure I’ll get into a bit of a rhythm but I’m not really much for superstition or routine so likely nothing too strict.
Your best lacrosse workout…
I went to a trainer before camp started who got me on a program to really boost my balance and quickness, a lot of work with ladders, bosu balls, bands, etc. I feel it’s by far the best workout for lacrosse I’ve done so far.
One goalie you don’t want to go one-on-one with?
I don’t get many chances to go one on one with a goalie, so any time I do it’s a thrill. Along those lines, I don’t see enough of any goalie to worry about it.
Describe your game style…
I just do my best, that’s about as good a description of my game style as I can give. My hands certainly aren’t anything to write home about, and I don’t have superhuman strength or lightning quick feet. But I have decent speed and reasonable size, and every shift I play all out defence, chase every loose ball and try to make smart lacrosse decisions.
Who is the best player to ever hold a stick?
I’m too young to give a good answer to this question, but my favourite player growing up was Jim Veltman. I watched him play for the Brampton Excelsiors in the early 90’s and then with the Rock, and as a kid wore 19 one year when I couldn’t get 8 because 19 was Veltman’s number in Brampton. In terms of the smoothest hands I’ve ever seen, I once saw Jack Bionda play at a charity game when he was in his seventies and he could still do incredible, I mean absolutely unbelievable things with his stick, so I imagine he was pretty amazing in his prime.
Best fight you’ve been in/seen?
Starting when I was around five my Dad and I started going to Brampton Excelsiors games. It was perhaps the greatest deal in sports history, when we started going it cost five bucks for the two of us to get in and team was stacked beyond belief. Veltman, Cordingley, Tavares, Mearns, Phair, Dance, Shanahan, the Kilgours, the Coyles, it was amazing to watch and the Brampton Memorial would be packed to the rafters. Anyways, we became die hard fans, and a couple years later finally brought my mother along to her first game in Six Nations. We’re all sitting behind the penalty box, where we always did, and as luck would have it a line brawl breaks out, and Darris Kilgour gets a hold of some guy and has him pinned to the floor, just smashing him in the face right in front of us. Welcome to the sport of lacrosse, Mom. To her everlasting credit, she continued to fully sport my lacrosse career.
In one word describe your “game face”.
Flushed (anytime I exert a good amount of energy, my face turns bright red. I think it’s a symptom of my pale skin tone)
What’s the worst injury you’ve had?
I’ve been extremely lucky in this regard, never had an injury worth mentioning.
Favourite thing about Toronto…
Toronto’s an awesome city. I grew up in Milton and Whitby so Toronto was always there, but I moved out west before I ever really got to know the city and living in the burbs is nothing like being downtown. I’ve loved the town so far, and getting to play in front of friends and family and a Toronto crowd will be amazing too.
Do you play any other sports? Did you?
I played hockey growing up, and I wrestled, played football and rugby in high school, but I haven’t played anything competitively except lacrosse since then.