This week we continue the discussion with some of the National Lacrosse League’s best players, but who are we kidding? They’re all good now that there’s just nine teams, but you get the idea. In 14 years of NLL play, Williams has suited up for four teams: Toronto Rock (Ontario Raiders), Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks and the Edmonton Rush. And since 2001, he has never put up less than 69 points. He’s always been known as a consummate professional that will put the team first and do anything for his team to win. He’s won almost every major title there is including an NLL title, Mann Cup, MLL title, ILF Filed Championship and an OUFLA Field title with Brock University. Can he bring that winning tradition to the Edmonton Rush? Well in just 2 games, he’s the floor general for a young offense that’s off to a 1-1 start in his first game with the Rush; he set the franchise record for points in game. Check out this week’s OTCB Podcast and find more about the man they call Willy.
Shawn Williams has played with the best of the best, but when you ask others about him, they will categorize him in that same class. Every time he comes to the lacrosse arena, he brings his lunchbox and goes to work. With a blue collar mindset, Williams has been in the shadow of many of the league’s stars but has always found a way to shine through. Yesterday Marty O’Neill wrote an amazing piece about the role of the ‘grinder’ and how effective he can be to the success of a team. If you ever watch Williams play, you’ll notice he does all those little things that Marty describes.
When John Grant Jr. was out with a very serious injury back in 2004, Williams stepped up for the Knighthawks and finally was the main go to guy in an NLL offense and put up his numbers to date with an 81 point season. Now with the Edmonton Rush, he’s gotten another chance to be the main threat but with so many young players on the roster, Williams will be the guy that head coach Derek Keenan will look to as the calming presence.
With a pass-first mentality, Williams has the ability to work with any player and execute the two-man game to perfection. If there are any coaches or young players wanting to learn how to work offball and perform a perfect pick and roll, focus on #51.
With a refocused attitude on fitness and making sure he’s at the top of his game, Williams continues to find more ways to extend his career. A career that has spanned three decades and as long as things go according to plan, one that will see him take over the NLL’s ironman streak that is currently at 188 consecutive games held by Steve Toll and Colin Doyle.
Last night on the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio show on TEAM1410 in Vancouver, we talked with Toronto Rock goalie, Matt Roik, Coquitlam SR Adanacs GM Randy Delmonico and NLL VP of Lacrosse Operations Brian Lemon.
Roik is back with the team that originally drafted him and is “the happiest he’s been since being in the NLL”.
Delmonico and his staff are getting ready for Monday’s WLA Draft where the Adanacs hold the first overall pick. There’s a tossup between selecting current Calgary Roughneck Travis Cornwall of Limestone University product Jackson Decker- both played for the Coquitlam JR Adanacs.
With Lemon, we discussed the new rules that are in place for the 2012 season and plans moving forward.
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