There has been a lot of hype behind the Rochester Knighthawks leading into the 2013 National Lacrosse League season. Despite a narrow loss to Washington to open the season, many have high hopes for the Knighthawks to make a run at the playoffs to defend their title. The youth and raw talent have been the reasoning for a lot of the support behind Rochester, often leaving seasoned veteran Mike Accursi out of the conversation. The forward has 16 seasons in the NLL under his belt, with three championship titles to show for it. Amassing 369 goals and 417 assists in his 221 games at the professional level, Accursi is a right-handed weapon that has made his presence known.
Accursi’s style of play is very straight forward as a tough physical player. And he says “I’m a guy that is willing to work hard and do the grindy, dirty stuff and sometimes work beats talent. And when you can combine the two, you’re gonna be succcessful.”
As the Knighthawks’ oldest player at 37 years old (edging out Casey Powell by a year), it is safe to assume the experience Accursi brings to the table can prove beneficial to the younger players and rookies that Rochester has recently acquired. That’s valuable experience that has a role on any team.
“I’m a guy who’s been in a lot of hard-fought games, lot of battles,” he said. “Seen a lot of championship games, been on both sides winning and losing, so I think it’s just the experience that I’ve had in the league.”
In addition to being a professional athlete, Accursi must also balance teaching and coaching at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, as well as make time for his family. On balancing all of his commitments, Accursi points to the support of his own team, his family.
“(They’re) behind me one hundred percent,” he said, adding they understand the impact of the game on his life. “Lacrosse is a very big part of my life. Always has been, always will be. I do what I love.”
The Knighthawks have plenty of slick sticks to drop jaws with fancy passes and shots, but Accursi admits he’s not one of them. “I’m not a flashy player and you’re not gonna see any behind the back highlight reels from me.”
Still, he’s a lethal tool that the Knighthawks offense looks to for experience and a great work ethic in their promising 2013 season.
Accursi and the Knighthawks host the Buffalo Bandits at Blue Cross Arena for their home opener Saturday January 19 at 7:30 p.m.
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