NEW FACES, NEW ATTITUDE FOR KNIGHTHAWKSNov 26, 2016
(November 26, 2016)… The Rochester Knighthawks hit the ground running as the team with 13 newcomers began Day One of Training Camp at Total Sports Experience in East Rochester Saturday night. “We Can and We Will” was the motto printed on the back of every camp attendees’ shirt as the team kicked off the two-day camp with fitness testing early in the afternoon.
Dan Noble, the teams’ athletic performance coach, started the team off with different conditioning exercises that helped gauge each players’ stamina and strength. With the help of new technology at camp this year, each specific players’ times were measured and kept track of, helping coaches and staff see where each man stands.
“Where (Curt Styres) wants to take the team is exactly where my mindset is and my specialties lay,” Noble said. “Everyone’s ready for a fresh start and to do things differently and everyone has that growth mindset and looking at how we can do things better. Here it’s all about establishing how you want to do things. My whole thing is to do everything with a purpose and intent. We’ve got to practice the way we want to play and warm up the way we want to play and train the way we want to play.”
The second session was where the team was able to show off skills and abilities on the field with the stick in their hands as they used the two hours for drills and scrimmages. This was the first time the rookies and new camp invitees were able to play with some of the Knighthawks most well-known players.
For team captain, Sid Smith, playing with the new faces was exciting and he can't wait to see what the next couple of weeks has to offer as the preseason approaches.
“It’s been awesome getting back on the field today,” Smith said. “There have been a lot of changes this offseason and I’m really excited to see a lot of new faces and meet the new guys coming in. I just asked questions, talked, got to know them a little better. It’s not going to happen in one day, so taking the time to get to know the guys. It’ll happen organically.”
Smith is now entering his seventh season with the Knighthawks. Being such a veteran to the game gives the defenseman the opportunity to teach his game and his knowledge to the young group that is joining him on the floor.
“It's coming full circle here,” Smith said. “I remember when I first got here there was a lot of older guys and not many young guys so to be on the other end of it and be one of the older guys it's pretty exciting and I'm looking forward to the season.”
For the rookies joining and elite group of lacrosse players, training camp was an experience like no other and something that they always dreamt of being a part of. Kyle Jackson, Rochester’s seventh overall draft pick in the 2016 NLL Entry Draft, was thrilled to be a part of training camp this year as he took to the field with some athletes who he has been looking up to for years. The 23-year-old was a force during the scrimmages as he managed to put up a couple goals throughout the night.
“It was unbelievable,” said Jackson. “It was extremely exciting. I didn't necessarily know what to expect coming into it but it was all a pretty cool and eye-opening experience to play with guys that I've looked up to.”