The NLL is facing unprecedented times due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. While we have a break in the action, Bandits.com chatted with defenseman Bryce Sweeting to talk about growing up in Peterborough, what it’s like playing in Buffalo and more.
Bandits.com: When did you start playing lacrosse?
Bryce Sweeting: I started playing lacrosse back when I was seven or eight years old playing in the Peterborough Lakers’ minor lacrosse system.
Bandits.com: Why did you start playing lacrosse?
Sweeting: I started playing the sport because most of my friends played it in the summer. It was hockey in the winter and lacrosse in the summer. Also, being from Peterborough, I grew up in a big lacrosse community and my family members grew up playing lacrosse.
Bandits.com: What player did you look up to most growing up?
Sweeting: I grew up watching John Grant Jr. As a Peterborough boy himself, I had the pleasure to watch him play for my hometown Peterborough Lakers and win a few Mann Cups. I looked up to him as player; he was so creative and a dominant player that was exciting to watch.
Bandits.com: Have you always played defense?
Sweeting: I’ve always played defense in junior and pro lacrosse. There may have been a stint when I was younger that I played offense but that didn’t last long. [Laughs] I was a forward when I played junior hockey.
Bandits.com: Did any of your childhood teammates go on to play professional lacrosse?
Sweeting: Lots of my childhood teammates have gone on to play professional lacrosse; too many to name. I actually have the privilege to play with most of them in the summer back home (for the Peterborough Lakers) and we still remain good friends.
Bandits.com: Did you play any other sports growing up?
Sweeting: Growing up, it was mainly hockey and lacrosse that I played competitively, but I spent a lot of my summers at the local golf course. I was also into a few extreme sports as a child, such as skateboarding and snowboarding.
Bandits.com: If you weren’t playing professional lacrosse, what other sport would you want to play pro?
Sweeting: I’d say it would be golf. I still play a lot today, but I think it’d be sweet to travel to some awesome places around the world just playing golf.
Bandits.com: Did you have a favorite NLL team growing up?
Sweeting: I grew up a Rochester Knighthawks fan. Some players from my hometown, including John Grant Jr. and Scott Evans, to name a few, played for the team.
Bandits.com: Did you attend any Bandits or NLL games growing up?
Sweeting: I can’t recall if I visited Buffalo for any Bandits games. I definitely went to Rochester and Toronto. I actually had the privilege to be a ball boy back in the day thanks to some family connections.
Bandits.com: What was your reaction when you were traded to the Bandits?
Sweeting: I couldn’t have been more excited. It was time for me to come east, and Buffalo was where I wanted to play. Being in the league for a few years, I had played in Buffalo before; I knew the fans were incredible and we had a good-looking roster.
Bandits.com: How would you describe the type of player you are?
Sweeting: I’m a stay at home defenseman. I like to play tough and physical shutdown defense and make it uncomfortable for opposing teams’ top players.
Bandits.com: How would you describe yourself as a teammate?
Sweeting: I like to be a good team guy and keep things lose in the dressing room; maybe pull the odd prank here and there. But I just want to be a positive guy and always keep the spirits up.
Bandits.com: How would you describe Bandits fans?
Sweeting: They are crazy. [Laughs] I’m happy to be playing on their side. They are loud and supportive; there’s definitely no place like Banditland.
Bandits.com: What are you watching or playing right now?
Sweeting: I’ve watched all of Ozark on Netflix and now I’m getting into the Michael Jordan “The Last Dance” documentary. I’m also playing a bit of Call of Duty on Xbox.
Bandits.com: Thanks for taking the time out to do this. Is there anything else you want to share?
Sweeting: I can’t wait to see my teammates and get back to Banditland to put on a show for the best lacrosse fans out there and get that place rocking again! Stay healthy and stay safe.