KNIGHTHAWKS 'PARADE' CUP THROUGH ROCHESTERJun 15, 2012
By Craig Rybczynski -- It was a season of firsts for the Rochester Knighthawks and today was no different. After winning their first National Lacrosse League championship on home turf, the Knighthawks held their first Championship Parade. The City of Rochester waited 18 years, but the Knighthawks finally drove the Champion’s Cup from The Blue Cross Arena to the steps of City Hall.
“We’ve got something to celebrate, don’t we!” said Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards. “It’s good to see the parade and the Knighthawks who are the champions.”
A cheer rang out, and cowbells could be heard as the fans filled Church Street. The Knighthawks Krew were the most visible in the crowd and among the cars in the parade that drove through the streets of Rochester, carrying players, coaches, staff and fans. One player who especially appreciated the support was Rochester native Joe Walters.
“I tell everyone I was a season ticket holder when I was a kid. I didn’t miss a game. To actually be on the team and finally win a Championship is definitely special,” said the four-year pro, who played high school ball at Irondequoit.
Walters was accompanied by teammates Pat McCready, Cody Jamieson, Mike Accursi, Joel White, Stephen Keogh, Brad Self, Travis Hill, Kyle Laverty, Cory Vitarelli and Craig Point. At City Hall, Mayor Richards presented Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres with the Key to the City. Richards honored the team for capturing its third championship, and first on its home turf, on May 19th at The Blue Cross Arena.
Flanked by his family, friends, players, coaches and front office staff, Styres was very humble in his acceptance speech.
“It was an honor and a privilege just to be here. We always dream as kids to just have the opportunity to hoist that Cup and here it is today with the players, and the mothers and the fathers,” said Styres, who purchased majority ownership of the team in 2008.
Styres was quick to thank his predecessor Steve Donner, who founded the team in 1995 and held majority ownership of the club until June 2008. Under Donner, the Knighthawks made six trips to the Finals and captured two NLL titles.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Steve Donner, and thank him for giving us the opportunity to purchase the team,” said Styres. “You have to give him credit for being here 15 or 16 years. My hat's off to Steve Donner for holding the team here that long and giving Arrow Express Sports the chance to carry on the tradition and dream he had years ago.”
Styres and the players were joined by Knighthawks President Lewis Staats, VP of Player Personnel Jody Gage, Assistant Coach Paul Day, Director of Player Relations Tom Cincebox, Athletic Trainer Steve Lobsinger, Equipment Manager Christian Shognosh, Ontario Scout Chris Driscoll, Broadcaster Craig Rybczynski and the front office staff.
Season tickets for 2013 are currently on sale at the Knighthawks Office at 144 Exchange Blvd., Suite 102, or by calling (585) 454-HAWK (4295).