Yes, Joel White felt the pressure of being a drafted rookie in the National Lacrosse League for the Rochester Knighthawks. But no, it didn’t faze him. How could it, after the former Syracuse University longstick middie had performed on the national stage more than a few times and not only got through it, but excelled as one of the nation’s top defensive players. It was speed and athleticism that fueled White’s game and his willingness to learn the indoor game has sped up his process, and playing time, with the Knighthawks. “He is a natural athlete,” Rochester coach Mike Hasen told Knighthawks.net. “As he gets more comfortable, it will come. Confidence comes by playing more. His athletic ability will be a benefit to us.”
Speaking of comfort, White’s transition to pro lacrosse has been that much smoother by joining a team with a handful of former SU teammates. That includes Cody Jamieson, along with fellow rookie Stephen Keogh, who roomed with White while at SU. White and Keogh work together in the team’s front office and are often part of the team’s work with community events.
“I saw all the great things the Knighthawks wanted to do in the community,” White told Knighthawks.net. “I am just honored to be a part of it and I think they are doing great things.”
But, ultimately, White is in Rochester to help the Knighthawks win games and he’s doing that by inserting a level of energy and confidence from the back end. He’s learning the ropes as a defender and he’s using his speed in the transition game. “When he makes a mistake he is quick to recover, which limits what the other offense can do against him,” said Hasen.
So whether it’s selling tickets or buying into the gameplan of the Rochester coaches, White’s laying the groundwork for what the Knighthawks is a solid pro indoor lacrosse career.
Plus the links
The NLL’s Bandits may be struggling on the floor this season, but Bandit fan is not, writes play-by-play man John Gurtler. “What is it about Banditland that makes it one of the more enjoyable nights out, without having to open an E*TRADE account to offset the expenses? You, the fans.” (Bandits.com) … Hey Roughnecks fan, got a question for goalie Mike Poulin or forward Scott Ranger? Go ahead and ask it, and maybe it’ll be part of the Rapid Fire segment. (CalgaryRoughnecks.com) … The WLA’s Coquitlam Adanacs announced a couple of big signings, literally, in Adam Shute, a 6-foot-4 goaltender, and Tom Johnston, a 6-6, goaltender. Shute led Okotoks to the Alberta Junior A championship last year and played well at the Minto Cup. Johnston, a former New Westminster player, returns indoors after playing field goalie for a while. “From the people we talked to Johnston is considered the best field lacrosse goalie in Canada. He’s a big guy, and I mean big — Volkswagen-big,” said Coquitlam GM Randy Delmonico. The GM said he’s also continuing talks with Brooklin of MSL to obtain goalie Nick Rose, offering the playing rights to Aaron Bold, but Brooklin has turned down the offer (Coquitlam Now) … Also out west, the Langley Thunder announced that former player Ryan Williams will be an assistant coach with the team this season (Langley Advance) … The life of former Nanaimo star and multiple Hall of Famer Harry Wipper is remembered by former teammates and friends as loved ones prepare for funeral services on April 7. Wipper died on March 22. (Nanaimo News Bulletin) … The OLA Junior B Guelph Regals went 0-1-2 at last weekend’s tournament at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. The Regals opened with a 6-6 tie with Hamilton, lost 8-7 to Six Nations, then tied Windsor, 4-4. Zach Coughlin scored 2 goals in each of the games for Guelph, which opens its season on April 21 against Elora (Guelph Mercury) … The OLA’s Junior B Nepean Knights welcome the Junior C Kingston Kings to the fold as an affiliate (Kingston Whig Standard) … There are 2 more tryout dates for the OLA Junior B Clarington Green Gaels, April 10 and 12, at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex. Both sessions start at 8 p.m. and cost is $25. There’s an April 14 tournament following the tryouts that includes Newmarket, Orillia and Kahnawake in addition to an alumni game. Clarington opens it 2012 season on April 29 against Mimico (Durham Region).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 email@example.com or go to RochesterSports.com.
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