Editor’s Note: In our latest Fireside Chat, Jeff Matheson sits down with Kevin Crowley, an emerging star in both the NLL and MLL. Kevin played box growing up, club ball in the MCLA and NCAA Division 1 lacrosse. The man knows his lax like few others! Look for more from Jeff, Matt Brascia and Chris Fox in the coming months, along with a HUGE announcement just down the line regarding box lacrosse!
Jeff: You played all of your minor and junior lacrosse in New Westminster the home of the wooden floor, what was that like?
Kevin: Its great growing up in such a huge lacrosse community, only someone who has put a Bellie jersey on can really understand the pride and tradition the city is known for.
Biggest Beauty on any of the New West Jr. Salmonbellies teams you were on and why?
I would say Bubba Westwood. He was the type of guy who always made you laugh and you always wanted to be around.
You went to Simon Fraser University in 2007, did you plan to stay at SFU for four years of MCLA Lacrosse or was it a stepping-stone?
At the time I wasn’t sure where my lacrosse career would take me. But I can honestly say that year was one of the best years of lacrosse in my life. All the guys on the team were great, and we had a lot of fun on and off the field.
What is your favourite memory from SFU Lacrosse?
Playing in the conference final against Oregon and hearing the Canadian National Anthem before the game. The whole team was belting it out
Would you consider yourself better at shot-gunning a beer or housing it out of a pint glass?
I like to sit down with a good book and a glass of red.
You then moved on to Stony Brook would you say that this decision is the main reason you are where you are right now?
Absolutely. I owe so much to Coach Sowell for giving me the opportunity to play in the NCAA and put me in a position where I could be successful.
Did you have any desire to leave Stony Brook before you completed your degree? Did anyone ask you to?
There was a brief period after my first year that I thought about it. I’m glad I stayed though.
You had some pretty good individual and team success at Stony Brook what was your most fond memory from those four years?
Hosting the NCAA quarterfinals against Virginia. Our run that season brought alumni out of the woodwork and fans that were local who hadn’t been SB fans were jumping on our bandwagon.
How did having some other Canadian Beauties down there make that experience easier? Did you guys all live together? Did you have a copy of the most recent EA Sports NHL game in your x box at all times?
Having Jordan McBride down there for four years really eased the transition. On top of that we had on field chemistry from playing together in previous seasons so I think that helped both of us be successful. All of the Canadians lived together and were best friends and yes we used to play EA’s NHL.
How often did the Americans say ‘Eh, aboot, or hoser’ to you and giggle with originality?
To be honest they got over that pretty quick. It’s the young kids I teach when I run clinics who love throwing that out there.
If all of your equipment came from one Lacrosse brand, which one would it be?
Hmm. I would make my own brand.
What was playing for team Canada like in the 2010 world championships in England?
Awesome. I had the opportunity to play with guys I had looked up to my whole lacrosse career. Especially John Grant Jr. That was an unforgettable experience.
You were then selected first overall in the MLL draft by the Hamilton Nationals, how familiar were you with the MLL at the time? Had you ever seen a game live?
Yep I watched a game or two on TSN prior to entering the league. The rule changes and overall style of play were tough to get used to coming out of college though.
Photo courtesy Zimbio.com
In your mind who is the best attack/midfield/lsm/longpole in the MLL?
Brendan Mundorf – attack, Brodie Merrill – LSM/Long pole, Casey Powell – midfield
How was your first season playing in the WLA for the New Westminster Salmonbellies?
It was great, unfortunately I couldn’t get in as many games as I wanted due to work commitments out east, and obviously missing game 6 of our Langley series was tough. (New West lost in the western finals to Langley. Langley went on to lose to Brampton in the Mann Cup)
Outside of New West what player in the WLA would you not want to get in a tilly (fight) with?
Best hands/hardest shot/best defender in the WLA?
Best hands – Jeff Zywicki, Hardest Shot – Wade DeWolfe, Best defender – Brett Mydske (even though he likes to hold!).
You are then selected first overall by Philadelphia in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft. Already being the first overall pick twice, would you say you were well prepared heading into this draft?
No, I think they were three totally different situations. It was nice to be able to attend the NLL draft unlike with the other drafts.
How’s life in Philadelphia? Who are you living with? What are your thoughts going into the season with a team that finished at the bottom last year? Have you had the pleasure of meeting any of Philadelphia’s Lacrosstitutes?
Philly’s been good outside of getting my car towed. Anytime you move to a new city or area there’s a transition period you go through. I’m looking forward to the season though I think we’ve made some changes that are going to turn the franchise around. Hopefully I can play well enough to catch the attention of some of the girls in Philadelphia.
Only being 6’5 are you nervous that your lack of size may be an issue heading into the NLL season?
I honestly feel small compared to Westy (Drew Westervelt) and Daws (Dan Dawson) on the right side.
Thanks for sharing with LAS your last decade or so of Lacrosse. Chris Fox, Matt Brascia, and I all picked PHI to come out on top last weekend. We’re hoping for a better result in game 2 for you!