NLL Insider has confirmed with Ajax-Pickering Rock GM and Assistant Coach, Paul St. John, that the rumours of the club moving up to the Major Series Lacrosse loop this summer are in fact legit, the summertime’s Rock joining Ontario’s Sr. A series in 2010.
The Rock joined the Sr. B scene in ‘03, finishing first during the regular season in ‘06 and also finishing a win-short of taking the President’s Cup in ‘07. Retired pro Jim Veltman has been a big part of the franchise both on and off the floor, the President’s MVP two years ago and then taking over the Rock’s bench as the team’s head coach this past season.
“We know there will be many challenges ahead of us to show everyone that we belong at the Major level,” said St. John. “We thought about making a move two years ago after we finished second in Canada to Sherwood Park (Alberta) in the President’s Cup, but we decided to wait.
“After speaking with (commisioner) Jim Brady and some of the other Major franchises in early October, their opinions were that the league is solid and could use an owner like the AP Rock’s Rob Roche. Rob’s vision is to compete at the highest level, so with both the league and Rob sharing the same thoughts it became the right time to move up.”
Although last year’s edition of the Rock currently sports such players as Jamie Plunkett, Travis Bland, Garrett Kikot and even former Toronto Rock head coach and player, Glenn Clark, AP will continue piecing their squad together for their MSL promotion through a pair of drafts, expansion and Jr. A.
“We look forward to building a team that hopefully can compete not only for a playoff spot in their first year, but more importantly, show that they can compete game in, game out and make the existing teams work for sixty minutes to earn whatever points they take from us.”
Stay tuned to NLL Insider for more on rumoured team movement heading into the 2010 season.
PLUS THE LINKS
Although yesterday’s news of Randy Couture (Edmontun Sun) showing some of the boys on the Rush how to throw a kimura on their oppenents this year (and helping promote Edmonton in 2010) is catching a ton of buzz, it’s far from lacrosse’s only MMA connection.
A few years back, the then New York Titans’ Jordan Hall and Ryan Boyle, hooked up with the legendary Renzo Gracie (who’ll actually likely be fighting Matt Hughes in a yet to be named April 2010 UFC card), who rolled around with the guys and put them through their paces… Joe Rogan’s fight night side kick on the mic, Mike Goldberg, used to lend his voice as the Arizona Sting’s inhouse play-by-play man… The Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations used to host more than just lacrosse when they had the Iroquois MMA Championships at the lacrosse specific barn. And trust us, they were legit, recognized pro fights. Although a lot of fights showcased many Native and Canadian talent, such as former UFC and Pride fighter Gary Goodridge, it also showcased one of the sport’s current legit up-and-comers, a fighter by the name of Jason High, who impressed immensely at Dream’s not so distant welterweight grand prix, going to the final only to lose to one of the current top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, Marius Zaromskis. The KO in their fight was a beauty and one of the past 365 day’s best. Click here to check it out… This also isn’t the first time the Rush have been linked to MMA, the MFC’s head honcho, Mark Pavelich, a huge fan of pro indoor ball. For those that don’t know Pavelich, he’s the MFC’s version of Dana White, except maybe even more outspoken and brash, seriously… And then as recently as this year, Boston Blazer’s prospect, John Ortolani, who the Blazer’s Chuck Jaffe reports is the lone true face-off guy left in the Blazers’ camp, is a current MMA pro, recently dropping his first L… Tito Ortiz wants you to get rough, tough and ready for this year’s Necks squad… Former NLLer and NLL Insider contributor, Jamie Taylor, recently wrote a piece for England’s MMA mag, MMA Unlimited, profiling Couture’s Toronto based Extreme Couture digs, home to such fighters as Mark Hominick, Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki and recent UFC Fight Night winner, Mark Bocek.
NLL moves – Some very interesting releases yesterday, which saw the Edmonton Rush let defender Chris McKay (finished fifth in the league in LB’s last year in only 14 starts) go, the Colorado Mammoth cutting Tyler Crompton and Bryan Safarik, the Rochester Knighthawks signing undrafted NLL Insider Top 50 prospect Brandon Turner to a three year deal, and finally, expected American impact rookies Kenny Nims (Orlando Titans) and John Glynn (Philadelphia Wings) were moved to each team’s inactive draft list. (NLL)
Cinosky a Maverick – The Minnesota Swarm’s Joe Cinsoky joins the player run and owned Maverick Lacrosse. “We are very careful in the players we choose to represent our company. Everyone on our team brings a different strength to the table and Joe’s leadership skills combined with his love of the sport are qualities we admire and want to harness.” – John Gagliardi (Inside Lacrosse)The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at email@example.com.
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