We are going to ask probably the most loaded question you can ask in the game right now — who is the best lacrosse player currently playing today?
Before all of the Tom Schreiber, Lyle Thompson, Matt Rambo, and Paul Rabil fans all declare war on the other camps…
Let’s maybe consider that this is a more complicated question than we give it credit for.
I thought Connor Wilson brought up a great point in a tweet he posted a few weeks ago. Here’s what it said:
Think there is a hands down best lacrosse player in the world right now?
Then you are a moron.
Lyle, Schreiber, D Ward, Staats, Merrill and others are all stars in both versions of the game. You can have a favorite, but an argument can be made for so many players. Be smarter.
— Connor Wilson (@ConnorWilsonLAS) October 4, 2019
Now, I get that we all have favorites. I think that’s great. The title of my personal favorite lacrosse player is currently a two-way tie between Dillon Ward and Lyle Thompson.
But, it’s virtually impossible to objectively say that a certain player is better than another, because there are WAY too many variables that can play into this.
How Do You Decide The “Best Lacrosse Player?”
There are too many different ways that you could consider a player as being the “best lacrosse player.”
A given athlete could be the best at their position, but how exactly do you measure that impact against the best player at another position? It’s like comparing apples to oranges in terms of what skills a player utilizes. Trevor Baptiste is clearly the best lacrosse player at facing off in the PLL and the NLL, and has a tremendous impact for his teams. But, how do you compare that to the impact that Tom Schreiber has for Archers LC and for the Toronto Rock? It could be argued that Baptiste could potentially have greater value than Schreiber in the field game, while Schreiber would be more valuable in the indoor game based on what kind of impact those positions have on gameplay, taking into consideration how well those players do at those positions. The fact is, we can’t objectively say that one way or the other.
Then, consider that each player is working with a very different set of circumstances than another. For example, a given team could be loaded with offensive talent and help make the player in question seem better, but what if you throw that player on a 2-10 team that struggled to get any offense going? What about a goalkeeper who may have posted league-leading defensive ratings with one team, but then struggles with a new and inexperienced defense on another squad? Does that player’s abilities and potential for success become null and void?
Yes, there are players who seem to dominate the sport at their position no matter where they play or who they play for. I think it’s fair to say that these players are some of the best around, and they deserve to be celebrated. But for me, I don’t think you can compare each of these players and say one of them is head and shoulders above the rest.
In fact, I would argue that the best lacrosse player is the one that honors and celebrates the original roots of the game and pays respect to the Creator. These players aren’t concerned with the monetary gain that comes through the sport or for the fame that being “successful” at the sport would bring to themselves. These players are the ones who play for the love of the game and for helping build brotherhood among the lacrosse community.
My “Best Lacrosse Player”
So, who are some of the best lacrosse players on my list?
Well, I’ll tell you about the first one that comes to mind.
I’d like to tell you about my friend Jon Creasy. Jon has suffered through multiple bouts of cancer, which has left him with decreased physical ability due to the nature of the disease and its treatments.
The first time I met Jon was at the first day of tryouts for the men’s lacrosse team at Southern Virginia University back in 2015. Jon was padded up giving it his all on the field — little did we all know then the battle that he had faced earlier in his life. It became clear that Jon wasn’t physically able to keep up on the field, but Jon’s love for the game wouldn’t keep him away from the team. He was quickly made the manager of the team and would dutifully fulfill any responsibility that was asked of him.
Jon was all about brotherhood. And he definitely made that value felt throughout the team. I’ve never been around a team like that 2015 SVU team that was more closely bonded than that.
To me, Jon gave me a whole new perspective on what it meant for lacrosse to have healing properties and to pay tribute to something bigger than yourself.
So, to me, Jon is certainly one of the best lacrosse players out there.
There may be others who you are familiar with that you would consider the best lacrosse player under this same set of criteria. Want to celebrate them? Send us a DM on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will recognize these outstanding individuals on our channels.
So, while everyone else may be arguing about who they think the player is that may be the most dominant on the field, I’d like to give a public shoutout to lacrosse players everywhere who may not be the biggest, fastest or strongest, but who instead inspire those who are involved with the game to be better.
I love the story of the first lacrosse game.
For those of who you are unfamiliar with it, two small creatures — the mouse and the squirrel — were rejected by the four-legged animals for their small size.
The winged creatures, however, recognized that there was value in including others and capitalizing on others abilities.
And so, the winged creatures created wings for the mouse and the squirrel, thus creating the bat and the flying squirrel. In fact, it would end up being the bat and the flying squirrel that would connect on scoring the winning goal for the winged creatures.
What do I take away from this?
The best lacrosse players may not be the ones making the biggest salaries in the sport or the ones who are receiving all of the hardware. The best lacrosse players are the ones who uplift, inspire and succeed despite obstacles.
Now, there’s an argument I’d love to have over who does the best job of emulating those qualities.