Swarm foster a family feeling, plus the links

Ryan Benesch, right, says chemistry has a lot to do with the success of the Swarm this season. (Photo: Alex Carroll)
Ryan Benesch, right, says chemistry has a lot to do with the success of the Swarm this season. (Photo: Alex Carroll)

If you’re wondering how the Minnesota Swarm, a team with so much youth, has bonded and built its winning chemistry so early on in the process, consider this: Nine Swarm members living in 3 apartment units. Yeah, that’ll do it. “We’re with each other all day almost every day. We’ve learned a lot about each other,” veteran forward Ryan Benesch tells Fox Sports North. “We know what makes each other happy, what makes each other mad. It’s good. We have fun.” Of course it’s more fun when you’re winning and the Swarm are doing that this season despite preseason prognosticators not giving the young squad too much of a chance. Proving people like that wrong is a great motivator as well but no matter how it’s getting done, it’s getting done and the Swarm are having a ton of fun doing it.

“It’s fun living here,” said Evan Kirk. “You get to joke around and not have a full-time job when you’re getting up and stressed out. It’s been fun.”

Practical jokes and pranks are part of the routine, they say. Clanging pots and pans over a sleeping teammate’s head is one of the more popular pranks and shifting furniture is another, giving the situation the feel of most college dorms or frat houses.

But even if you aren’t 1 of the 9, there’s a feeling of family among the Swarm this year. Defenseman Joe Cinosky has his own apartment in Minneapolis but says that doesn’t take away from the chemistry. It’s a team thing, he said, fostered by the Swarm from the top down.

“The Swarm does a great job of taking care of us, providing housing. Expenses are very limited at that stage,” he said. “Right out of college, it was a no-brainer for me, and to get away from home as well. Minnesota’s a great place. I really enjoy the community atmosphere.”

Plus the links

Buffalo Bandits play-by-play man John Gurtler provides his post-All-Star thoughts on the Bandits’ website (Bandits.com) … There’s a man out in Minnesota called Corporal who does quite a bit to advance the game as one of the Swarm’s biggest fans. So what’s on his mind these days? Check out this Q&A. (MNSwarm.com) … Joe Walters, Joel White and Stephen Keogh are part of an effort by the Rochester Knighthawks to encourage kids to read as well as lending support to Gilda’s Club and its Walk for Wellness (Knighthawks.net) … When Joe Cinosky isn’t helping the Swarm win games, he’s trying to help the University of Minnesota’s men’s club field team win games as head coach. And his assistant is Aime Caines, an assistant coach with the Swarm. It makes for busy weekends, but they’re not phased. “We try to work our schedules where we can do everything. But it is a lot of time and devotion to the both teams. It’s a passion — a love for the game and the sport — and most of all, it’s the guys, the camaraderie between the players and coaches. We wouldn’t do it if we weren’t having fun.” (Minnesota Daily) … Ryan Johnson says he’ll bring size and speed as a rookie with the Coquitlam Adanacs this summer if he makes the team as the No. 15 overall draft pick, but either way, lacrosse has been a way of life since he was a kid. “I stuck with lacrosse because it kept me fit, it was competitive and I was a bit of an orangutan around the house my mom said, so it kept me mellow.” (Chilliwack Times) … Steve Toll, a 14-season veteran of the National Lacrosse League, has been named an assistant coach to Derek Keenan for the Junior A Whitby Warriors (Durham Region) … If you’re planning to play for the Junior B Welland Warlords this summer, you’d be wise to show up to camp in shape, said new coach Justin Kennedy, who will try to coach the Warlords back into the playoffs after the franchise missed the postseason in 2011 for the first time since 2007. “I really expect them to run the floor, because being outworked won’t be an option.” (Welland Tribune) … Former Portland LumberJax owner Angela Batinovich is back in the business of sports, behing named recently the chief financial officer of the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls (ECHL.com).

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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