During the NALL ProÂ InvitationalÂ Season, the Boston Rockhoppers found themselves 1-1 against the Kentucky Stickhorses and the only team to win a game other than Kentucky.
Boston will have six home games this season, and they will be in Lowell. Their roster included some big name players, such as Mike Stone, Chris Ajemian, Vincent Talbot, and more.
“Last year I got to develop more of my indoor game and box lax “IQ”.” said Kevin Gould, who also plays for the Boston Cannons. Â “The more myself and the guys are able to get on the floor together, with our coaches, the better. Last year was a funny year because the guys knew we were preparing for this coming season.
“I am looking forward to playing a full schedule this year.”
Malcom Chase agreed. “Last season was a bit tumultuous at times and great at others. What began as a unified front to build a league that could provide something new and different for the lacrosse community became a blind roller coaster.”
Last season was a tough year for the North American Lacrosse League, and while it was difficult for the fans to follow, it was tougher for the players.
“We weren’t sure whether there would be another turn or if the ride would just suddenly run out of track.” said Chase. “Receiving the call from Coach Francis in Hershey with the sad news that training camp had been cancelled was one of my all time lows in the game. I remained cautiously optimistic that the league could pull something together but was hearing a lot of mixed messages.. everyone was. When the call came in from Boston to invite me to be a part of their exhibition games I could not have been happier. When the games finally happened and I was finally on a floor looking out at the fans, it made it all worth it and adds to my fire to be even more prepared for this season.”
This season there will be stability, the Rockhoppers hope. “Â I hope the league does well and I believe it can.” said Gould. “Starting a new league can be tough but it seems there are enough people dedicated to making this league work. As a player you do not always get to see what goes on behind the scenes and do not always hear the latest news. All myself and the rest of the guys can do is work hard and prepare for this season and hope fans come out and support not only the Rockhoppers, but the entire league. ”
Chase said, “Time will certainly tell.Â I do think that the NALL has the right model for sustainability: smaller venues, growing markets, quality lacrosse. I know the guys from Boston are excited to be a part of bringing indoor lacrosse back to the city of Boston, and the Kentucky guys seem equally excited to be introducing box to the Louisville area. If more teams can build that kind of culture where everyone from the trainers to the players to the front office are on board, sharing the same passion for lacrosse, then this league has the potential to grow consistently along with the game.”
Whatever the state of the league, the teams are excited to start playing box lacrosse again.
“Our scrimmages and practices were a real tease. I know everyone from the ownership to the players and coaches are excited.” said Gould.
Chase ended, “New venue, new teams, new rivalries to be formed between organizations who are all seeking an identity. Things got extremely competitive for some exhibitions with Kentucky and I imagine we will continue to battle with those guys when it really counts this year. Most of all, I look forward to being around my teammates, coaches, and owners who all share the same passion for the game and who all share the vision of this franchise and league becoming successful.”