We’re on Week 3 of social distancing, and I have to admit I’m starting to get bored. I’m used to a busy lifestyle with playing every weekend and having medical school during the week, so having that all stopped abruptly has been challenging.
The first week of the quarantine lined up with my spring break from school, so I didn’t do much other than eat my way through whatever was in the freezer and binge watch “Narcos: Mexico.”
(My teammates have been pressuring me to watch “Tiger King” on Netflix. It seems like I’ve already been told everything that happens, so I don’t know if I’ll get around to it.)
My medical school classes are now back in an online format, so I’m focusing most of my energy on endocrinology. Looks like “Tiger King” will have to wait.
The break in the season has marked the first time in nearly 23 years that I haven’t been playing lacrosse on a consistent basis.
Neither of my parents knew much about the sport, but they signed me up for lacrosse when I was about 4 or 5 and I guess you could say it stuck. Because my mom and dad were new to the game, I relied a lot on my uncle, George Lepine. He was the only person in my family who had played lacrosse before and he really taught me everything I knew about the sport at a young age. There aren’t many people who have had a bigger influence on my lacrosse career than him.
I grew up in Whitby, Ontario, and up until high school, played midget for the Whitby Warriors. I’m not going to lie, we had a pretty stacked team.
A handful of us went on to play professionally in the NLL, including recent Bandits addition Dan Lintner. Yep, Lits and I were childhood teammates. We’ve known each other for a long time, and it’s been really fun for us to be reunited in Banditland.
Playing collegiate lacrosse was a no-brainer for me because it allowed me to pursue both my lacrosse and academic goals. I didn’t play on a travel team until the summer before my senior year of high school, so I didn’t have the same exposure that other players had on the recruiting scene at a younger age.
Drexel University, my eventual landing spot, offered a good balance of a strong lacrosse program and academics, and I was lucky that they were still recruiting at the time. I play defense now, but believe it or not, I played attack and midfield in college. Crazy, right?
I don’t think a lot of fans know this, but I was actually drafted by the Calgary Roughnecks back in 2015.
After finishing my first training camp with them, I was told I made the team, so it was pretty shocking when just a few days later I found out I had been traded. I never played a game for the Roughnecks, but in retrospect, the trade could not have worked out better for me.
There really is no place like Banditland.
Bandits fans are the most intense and loyal in the league. I remember during my rookie year, J.T. was having his number retired and the building was completely sold out. The fans were so loud that I thought the roof was going to blow off – the environment was infectious. There haven’t been many games more memorable than that one. (We won that game, for the record, and Dhaner had four goals, which really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.)
That’s been the hardest part of all of this, just missing the guys and wanting to compete with them again. We have a “We Before Me” mentality, and we look forward to going out there and fighting for each other each night.
We like to have fun and we only have fun when we’re winning.
For now, we’re all doing what we can to help flatten the curve and stay safe. Banditland, we miss you and we look forward to playing in front of you again soon.