Last week in the Toronto Rock’s preseason victory over the Rochester Knighthawks, an unlikely hero emerged. As the Rock topped Rochester in Montreal, Trevor Wagar scored twice in his first NLL contest.
“It was an amazing experience and an experience that I have been wanting to have since I was a young kid growing up and watching the Toronto Rock play,” said Wagar. “I was drafted in 2008 by the San Jose Stealth (now in Vancouver), but was not able to crack a lineup that year or the next with Boston. I knew then and I know now that I can play at that level and more experience at that level would only make me a better player.”
Wagar is now a member and part owner of the Vermont Voyageurs. The Voyageurs are a Sr B club in the Quebec Senior Lacrosse League that emphasizes the development of American players.
“It was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders,” said Wagar abour scoring his first goal. “Coming into the game I was not sure what my role would look like and even when the game started I was still a bit unsure. But as it rolled on and I got my first touch on the ball by getting a ground ball and not bobbling it, I knew I was comfortable and ready for anything.
“The goal came earlier than I expected,” he continued. “Our offensive possession was coming to an end and there was a loose ball on the far boards, a lot of their D guys had started heading off, but Rob Hellyer won a GB battle on the wall and as I saw that I headed towards the net. He found me and I had about a second to let one go. I tried to shoot low short side as that is usually a good place to shoot. It went under his glove and bounced top corner!”
Toronto does need forward depth with Colin Doyle and Garrett Billings out, and the Rock did sign Wagar to a contract. However, he did not make the final roster, which was announced yesterday.
“Many people have been asking this [if he will play with the Rock] but I have to tell them that they have to look through the eyes of the GM and coaches. Why would they take a 30 year old guy who lives in Vermont and can’t make it to practice or they have to play to get there, when they could take a 21 year old kid from the Toronto area who is just starting his career and is as good or better than me. I would have to say that I might have more experience than that player and that may be true, yet you have to factor in the pros and cons of everything just like the GM, coaches and owners are doing. With that said, if they called me and told me to be at practice, I would be there!”
While he is not in the NLL, yet, anyways, Wagar has made his impact in this 2015 preseason with one of the most established teams in the league. What does his future hold?
“I want to continue to obviously play with the Vermont Voyageurs as I have roots here and I am one of the owners. Even though I am 30, I am a PE teacher and I still feel 24. Because of that I can see myself playing for at least five or more years. I would still like to entertain the idea of playing in the NLL, but short of a team moving to Montreal or a few hours away, I’m not sure if that will happen. I stopped trying out for teams after 2009 to focus on my job as a PE teacher and hockey and lacrosse coach at my high school as I believe there is more that the kids gain from having me as a coach than they would watching me play pro lacrosse. But, now that both those programs have excelled tremendously I would entertain the idea of trying out for a team like the New England Black Wolves, or another team in the area if I got the chance.”