Apr 4, 2019

_WJR4289.jpgBy Mitchell Courtney -- Trials and tribulations are synonymous with athletes who have competed hard to get to the highest levels. For newly acquired Knighthawks forward Chris Boushy, persistence and diligence have played a significant role in his journey to NLL success. Born in Burlington, Ontario, he was always involved in athletics, experiencing the highs and lows.

“Growing up there, all I really did was play sports,” he said. “All my friends and I would always be out playing something.”

In Canada, there is a litany of kids much like Boushy who enjoy more than one sport. For the 21-year-old Boushy, he fell in love with hockey and lacrosse. However, his first team sports experience was with soccer, a sport he was not fond of.

“I distinctly remember disliking soccer and begging my parents to go join my friends and play lacrosse,” he said. “My parents were always looking to keep me preoccupied with something.”

At a certain point in most athletes’ young careers, they must decide which sport they wish to focus most of their attention on. For Boushy, it was his love of lacrosse, not the potential to go professional, that pushed him towards the medicine game.

“I enjoyed playing hockey. Most of my childhood I was a lot better at hockey. It was not until high school that I shifted my focus towards lacrosse.” said Boushy. “I did not make the switch to become more successful in one. A natural love for lacrosse kind of just took over.”

After moving to Oakville at 14, Boushy continued his lacrosse journey; and it led him to prestigious Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Queen’s has long been known as an excellent academic school with the likes of Elon Musk and former Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Robert Borden attending the university. Conversely, Boushy arrived at the school with his sights set on growing their lacrosse program.

“I was fortunate to be a part of their lacrosse team as they grew their program,” said Boushy.

Although it was a tall task, he was not alone in his journey. Boushy moved into a lacrosse house with former Queen’s captain, and now Philadelphia Wings star Ryan Wagner. The move was one that Boushy was fortunate to make as living arrangements were made by literally selecting names out of a hat.

“It was difficult at first because I was moving away from home for the first time,” said Boushy. “It made the transition easier living with seven of the best guys in a lacrosse house.”

His journey at the university shaped him into the man he is today, and Boushy says that he would not want it any other way.

“My four years at Queen’s were great,” he said. “At a university, you do a lot of your growing up.”

His journey to the National Lacrosse League was anything but smooth after his time at Queen’s University. After battling his way back to Junior A, Boushy had a nice season with Burlington; prompting the Saskatchewan Rush to draft him in the third round of the 2017 draft.

“Our GM and the coaching staff in Burlington were like, ‘You should declare for the draft just to see what happens,’” said Boushy. “I declared early, and I got selected with the 31st pick which was pretty huge for me. I carried the momentum from the draft over to my last year of Junior lacrosse.”

The Rush and Boushy were on different levels at the time, and things just so happened to go south. However, he received another opportunity with the Buffalo Bandits in training camp in 2018. Once again, Boushy did not stick. Fortunately for the Burlington native, the Calgary Roughnecks saw something in him that two previous teams had not; a future in the NLL.

“Unfortunately, things did not work out with Saskatchewan and Buffalo, but there comes a time where you finally get that opportunity; and that is what happened to me in Calgary,” he said.

Midway through his first NLL season, Boushy was traded to the Knighthawks. Although he was surprised by the trade, Calgary’s brass assured him that the move was based purely on an organizational shift, and not on Boushy’s play in Calgary.

“The trade to Rochester was simply a roster shift, it was not because I was not performing, and Calgary made that very clear to me,” said Boushy. “It was a crazy year and a half, but I knew all I needed was a solid chance to stick in the league.”

Although his journey to Rochester was a wild one filled with unexpected twists and turns, Boushy noted that he expected his career to stray from traditional paths.

“I did not ever think that it would go any different,” said Boushy. “It makes all of the hard work worth it, going through all of those growing pains.”

Although he is used to seeing new faces on a regular basis in his lacrosse career, Boushy made it clear that not all aspects of trades and roster moves are easy for him.

“The only thing difficult about being traded is learning a new system and getting used to your teammates' tendencies,” he said. “With Rochester, things are starting to come together nicely.”

In his first game with Rochester, Boushy did not look like a man who was having any difficulty with schemes and new teammate chemistry; scoring seven goals in his Knighthawks debut.

“Scoring seven goals in my first game here was amazing, but it is something that probably will not happen every night,” said Boushy with a chuckle. “The stars aligned for that game and it worked out great.”

Now in a position to succeed with an organization looking to grow each year with the Knighthawks, Boushy is confident that he can fit the mold in Rochester moving forward.

“Every year I am in a competition with myself,” Boushy said confidently. “That is how I am as a person, and it has always benefitted me.”

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