Lacrosse saw yet another big year at the pro and college levels, with new leagues and new champions and new records. What were the biggest stories of the year? We have ten big stories here, make sure to vote on which one you think is the biggest.
NLL Hold Outs
We saw several hold outs in the NLL this season. First it was Athan Iannucci holding out before his trade to Washington. Then it was Anthony Cosmo holding out for Buffalo. Now we saw Paul Rabil hold out twice, Casey Powell hold out for a season, and Kyle Hartzell before Rabil was sent to Philly. Are players determining where they end up? Is this a problem in the pros? Something that will raise discussion for sure.
American Boxla Leagues Form
This story has followed us from year start to finish, as it was on January 1st when our story about the NALL split up went live. Since then? Kentucky played a season, the PLL formed, and NALL is preparing for 2013 while Rhode Island has no arena. The PLL saw most of their teams fold while NALL has four teams for 2013. What will 2013 hold?
Records All Around
John Grant Jr scored 116 points with Colorado this season, an NLL record while Garrett Billings of the Toronto Rock scored 82 assists, the most in a single season, breaking Dan Dawson’s record, in which he also picked up in 2012.
Meanwhile, Paul Rabil broke the record for MLL points in a single season with 72 points for the Boston Cannons as he led them as the third seed in the playoffs.
John Grant Jr had one of the biggest seasons for a pro lacrosse player ever. He had the NLL record for points with Colorado and won a Mann Cup with Peterborough and an MLL Championship with Chesapeake. There is no doubt Grant was the top lacrosse player of the year, outdoor and indoor.
Mann Cup Scandal
This was one of the most unfortunate stories of the season. The Mann Cup saw Peterborough defeat the Langley Thunder, but it was undermined by the doping accusations as it was later reported two players tested positive for Cannabis. Both coaches had been suspended during the Mann Cup.
The Loyola Greyhounds won the NCAA Championship over last season’s Champions, the Maryland Terrapins. They were led by an outstanding performance by Eric Lusby, who went on to be a pro with Charlotte.
Two teams expanded in Major League Lacrosse this season as they headed to Charlotte and Ohio. Both teams struggled on the field but created solid fanbases and have some good players for season two. The most important thing is to see lacrosse expanding into markets that seem positive, and MLL has done a good job with this.
CLax Season One a Success
The Canadian Lacrosse League saw the Ohsweken Demons as their first champion, and they expanded into Barrie for 2013. Games saw north of 1,000 fans per game and more in some arenas, and a very high level of competition.
MLL New Coaches Succeed
This season Major League Lacrosse saw new head coaches in seven of their eight markets. Joe Spallina won coach of the year with Long Island while Dave Cottle won an MLL Championship with Chesapeake. Other teams with new coaches who saw the playoffs were Boston (Steve Duffy) and Jim Stagnita (Denver).
NLL Playoffs Lead to Hawks Championship
Eight of the nine NLL teams made the playoffs for the first time ever, and the 7-9 Rochester Knighthawks were NLL Champions. Meanwhile, another team under .500 in Edmonton also went to the Championship.