ILIndoor Top 35: Callum Crawford #21

Callum Crawford can set 'em up or knock 'em down as a Minnesota Swarm forward. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Callum Crawford can set 'em up or knock 'em down as a Minnesota Swarm forward. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Callum Crawford had a career season 2 years ago and that kinda makes this past season pale by comparison. After all, once you put that 96-point total in your career stat table like Crawford did in 2010, that pretty much becomes the measuring stick. Unless you follow that with even more points. But Crawford didn’t do that in 2011. He produced a 70-point season working with an offense that included Ryan Benesch and Aaron Wilson and as it so happens, it was Benesch who had a 95-point season in 2011. So did Crawford lose his touch? Of course not. You don’t unlearn a skill like that overnight, but even though his numbers were down a bit, he still brings a skill set that makes him one of the game’s best, whether it’s finishing or setting up.

The right-hander out of Ottawa has been steadily building his rep as a man who can do both and it’s his smooth approach that makes stop whatever you’re doing to simply watch.

Some guys use their frames to create space, others slip through a defense like a greased pig at the state fair. Crawford is the latter and on more than one occasion we’ve seen him suddenly appear on the doorstep with the ball in his stick, defenders waving their sticks at air long after Crawford gave them the slip.

That’s the kind of stuff that can’t be coached; it’s a natural ability fueled by reaction and instinct. And if there’s one thing Crawford has in addition to that ability to shake defenders, it’s consistency. How else to explain the team-leading 70-point season for Kahnawake in Senior B? He led the Mohawks to a 12-4 record and a berth in the Presidents’ Cup, where they went 3-2-1.

Point is, both teams he was involved with in 2011 were playoff teams and Crawford was one of the reasons why, especially when it comes to offense. Kahnawake’s 220 goals were the most for any team in the QSLL-TNLL, and the Swarm offense has for the last 2 seasons been among the leaders (4th in 2010, tied for 3rd in 2011) in goals scored.

Is that solely because of Crawford? Of course not. But it’s a coincidence that’s tough to brush aside because wherever Crawford seems to be suiting up these days, goals follow whether they’re from his own stick or assisted by his stick. And that’s what makes him one of today’s leading offensive catalysts.

Top 35 (last year’s rank in parenthesis)

No. 35 (32): Mike Thompson
No. 34 (20): Jeff Zywicki
No. 33 (41): Shawn Evans
No. 32 (29): Blaine Manning
No. 31 (nr): Mike Carnegie
No. 30 (42): Paul Rabil
No. 29 (33): Garrett Billings
No. 28 (nr): Mike Grimes
No. 27 (34): Mac Allen
No. 26 (31): Stephan Leblanc
No. 25 (27): Dane Dobbie
No. 24 (nr): Kyle Rubisch
No. 23 (15): Jordan Hall
No. 22 (24): Gavin Prout

Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at bob.chavez@nllinsider.com or go to RochesterSports.com.

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