Of our guys going to Denver, Kyle's journey is the shortest, although he'll have done the most miles prior to getting there.....
Kyle was in the North East at Durham Uni for the 2008-2009 season where he took the opportunity to rock out in the Silver and Black for a year. Here's his Road to Denver....
Q – Where and when did your “Road to Denver” Start?
K - I started playing lacrosse when I was 11 in Maryland. I had been watching the game for years, but didn’t start playing until quite late compared to the rest of the guys at my
school. I went on to play 4 years of Varsity lacrosse at Langley High School in Virginia, 4 years of NCAA D3 at Amherst College, and 1 year in the BUCS at Durham during which I also played for Newcastle. Since then I’ve continued to play lacrosse for Miami Dade Lacrosse Club and was fortunate enough to represent England in the 2012 European Championships.
The last leg of the “Road to Denver” started in October 2013 when I flew back over to Manchester to train with the team before meeting up with them a few weeks later in Boston, Massachusetts to play 6 games in the team’s USA tour. After making the first round of cuts I then continued to train independently in the States until about 5 weeks ago when I moved back to Manchester for the duration of the remaining training until the World Championships.
Q – Talk us through the process you’re going through from that point up until when you’re leaving for Denver.
K - Once I made the first round of cuts and knew I would be coming over to Manchester to train and try to make the final squad, I had some tough decisions to make. Along with continuing my running and lifting regimen, I also had to figure out what I was going to do about my classes I am enrolled in for my doctoral degree. In the end I elected to reduce my course load for the semester to just 2 classes that I can take online and via skype. I also had to withdraw completely from my clinical training, but the opportunity to play for England at the highest level was too great a chance to pass up.
Q- Was there any point when you didn’t think you’d make it?
K - As most of you guys on the Knights will already know, I’m pretty confident in my game and my abilities as a lacrosse player, so in that regard I didn’t have too much room for self-doubt about my skills to make the team. What was a challenge though was making sure that I was able to gel with the defensive unit and the team as a whole.
This was a real point of emphasis from the coaching staff that is hoping to use England’s geographic closeness as a head start going into the games. While other country’s teams will spend the week prior getting to know each other, England has the advantage of being small enough that the team can train regularly and form those bonds on and off the field. The challenge for me was to be able to try and come into the trainings in Manchester already a bit behind the ball and catch up fully as quickly as possible.
Q – Now you’re going, what have you got to do to make sure you get there at top effectiveness, and be able to make your mark on the competition?
K - Since making the squad we have continued to have 11 hours of training each weekend, in addition to which I have been lifting 4 times a week and attending our weekly conditioning sessions. I will be returning home to the States after our final training weekend on June 21/22, but will continue to keep up the same training program until I meet up with the team in Denver on July 3rd. It’s taken a ton of time, effort, commitments and sacrifices, but when I get to step out onto the field against the Iroquois in our opening game, I’m sure it will all feel more than worth it.
Q – What are your goals for the tourney?
K - As a team, we’ve stated quite clearly that our goal is to end the tournament playing in the 3rd-4th place game. Our “big” games therefore are primarily Australia and Japan. However, as a defenseman the thought of being able to guard the Thompson brothers and the formidable offense of the Iroquois team for a genuine shot at 3rd place is the real goal for me personally. I’ve never stepped up to guard anyone and felt scared or overwhelmed by it, and I don’t aim to let this tournament be the first time it happens. While the Iroquois are undoubtedly scoring machines, giving them an upset in our opening game of the tournament, under the lights in the main stadium, is my first and foremost goal of the games. I also share the team’s desire to also beat Japan and Australia and play for a medal position in our final game.
Q - What are you looking forward to most about the tournament?
K - The level of competition is going to be some of the best I’ve ever played against. I’ve guarded guys from the MLL before like Jeremy Seiverts, Doug Shannahan, Chazz Woodson, and Shammel Bratton, but never on a stage anywhere near this big or with so many other elite level players on the field. Challenging myself to show that I belong there on the field with them is undoubtedly what I am looking forward to the most.
Q – Any plans for after the competition?
K - Unfortunately I won’t be able to enjoy any downtime following the games. The final day of the game is the day before my birthday, but I’m just going to be flying back to Virginia to start working again before going back to Miami in August to resume my classes in full.
Q - Thanks for your time buddy, hope we can catch up with you during or after the tournament for some more exclusive nutlax.com content
K - Thanks for the support from the Knights community, and I looking forward to representing the Silver and Black as best I can in the games!
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