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MAN UP WITH….Jeff Gilbert

When did you decide you wanted to be a pro lacrosse player?

– I had graduated university and finished playing hockey and wanted to keep the competitive juices flowing. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try out for the Rock and made the team. It’s great to be around the boys and nothing beats chasing down a championship.

Best lacrosse memory?

– It would have to be winning the Founder’s Cup with the Barrie Tornado in 2004. We took the longest route possible to win going the distance in all of our playoff series but we were such a determined group that we kept rising to the occasion. You could also throw in my first game at the ACC, that was a night I’ll always remember.

If you could change or add a rule to box lacrosse what would it be?

– Well as a defender it’s not always fun chasing guys around the floor who can rag the ball relentlessly but I feel like that is a skill that can do many things for the game. If any rule change eliminate the shot clock when a team is killing a penalty.

Best pump-up song?

– I’d have to say something by Metallica, “For whom the bell tolls” is a good one.

Have any pre-game rituals?

– I like the eat at a certain time and I always have a coffee on the way to the arena.

Your best lacrosse workout…

– I like to do a lot of core work. Stuff with med balls, stability exercises and of course free weights. I spend a lot of time working on my legs, front squats, box squats, lunges etc. I worked out at Mind to Muscle in Barrie, and they are really good at designing a sport specific workout.

One goalie you don’t want to go one-on-one with?

– First off I’ll say our own Bob Watson, but if I had to pick an opposing goalie I would have to say Anthony Cosmo of the Blazers. I don’t take many shots but when I do it’s always hard beating him. 

Describe your game style…

– I am always thinking “D” first. I take pride in picking up loose balls and transitioning the ball down the floor to our offensive guys. 

Who is the best player to ever hold a stick?

– Tough question, in my opinion from years of playing against him it would have to be John Tavares.

Best fight you’ve been in/seen?

– The best fight that I have been in and seen would have to be back in the 2004 season during the Ontario finals against Six Nations. We had won the game in their barn and one of their guys swung their stick at our goalie only to start a bench clearer. Everyone was fighting, fans were throwing stuff it was complete insanity.

In one word describe your “game face”.

– Relentless

What’s the worst injury you’ve had?

– I don’t know how much I like this question, but as I’m knocking on wood ill answer. I separated my shoulder once and that was one painful injury and tough to come back from.

Favourite thing about Toronto…

– The traffic… obviously joking there but when I come to Toronto I enjoy the many different options for food. And of course all the Rock fans out there.

Do you play any other sports? Did you?

– I played hockey all the way up from minor hockey to junior to NCAA. Also love to play golf as much as I can.

Man Up With….Sandy Chapman:

Toronto Rock