You know that feeling when you’re in a new work environment and you wonder if you’re still the new kid on the block? If you’ve fully been accepted ‘into the family’? Well, when Sean Pollock was shipped from the Minnesota Swarm to the Colorado Mammoth during the off season between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, he was going to his third NLL franchise and was none too pleased about it. His new team welcomed him with open arms but there was still that uneasy feeling of whether he fit in. On May 5th 2012, all thoughts of doubt were laid to rest.
From the small town of Wallaceburg, Ontario, this fiery red-head has an incredible passion for the game of lacrosse and plays the game with his heart and often his own blood on his sleeve. He’s been known to take on some of the game’s biggest defenders and never once back down. However, a battle outside the box has really shaped him mentally and shaken him worse than he ever thought possible.
This week I go one-on-one with Colorado Mammoths’ Sean Pollock for the OTCB Podcast– it’s another great look under the mask of one of the National Lacrosse League’s top players.
Sean and I go back a number of years. We’ve won and lost Mann Cups together, we’ve been on the opening day line-up for a brand new National Lacrosse League team, we’ve shared many great stories over a few barley sodas all the while helping to shape and grown the game of lacrosse in our own way. But his story has taken some very different turns and it’s incredible listening to the tales of heartache, success and overcoming personal battles.
Pollock’s wife, Jenna was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2012. Just four days later, the entire Mammoth family–players, coaches, staff, fans–and lacrosse fans world wide came together to help one of their own. The lacrosse family is pretty amazing in that way. When one of us are in need, we all seem to rally around them and show our support. During the Mammoth’s West Division semi-final, against the Swarm, the team held a silent auction in hopes of raising money to help the Pollocks pay for some of the oncoming medical expenses. “It was a moment I’ll never forget,” said Pollock, “We never expected anything to be done but everyone was so amazing, we were speechless.”
It’s been a stressful year for the young family who are raising a young son in their Minnesota home, but their strength and love for each other plus the love and support from their immediate and lacrosse families have helped make this journey more manageable.
That journey has molded the feisty grinder whose game really started to develop once he joined the Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association after his first year with the Arizona Sting. “I was never the number one guy but that first year in Victoria, I took on a bit of a larger role and I think I finished in the top five of league scoring.”
Since then, he’s never looked back, his game has grown leaps and bounds and his confidence in his own game hasn’t wavered.
He’s been there and done that but there’s so much more to accomplish. This year his one main goal is to help the Mammoth win the Champions Cup. “Getting to the play-offs won’t cut it this year.”
It’s a fantastic in-depth chat that will open your eyes into the mind of a very humble man and just because he doesn’t have the red hair anymore–he shaved it off in support of his wife–that doesn’t mean he still isn’t the same tenacious fireball.
Also, don’t forget Tuesday nights at 9pm PST on TEAM 1410 AM in Vancouver, it’s the Off the Crossebar Lacrosse radio show with Teddy Jenner and a cast of characters from the lacrosse world. This past week, we spoke with Kyle Buchanan of the Washington Stealth and Ryan Benesch of the Minnesota Swarm- If you happen to miss a show, each episode is archived for your listening pleasureTeddy Jenner is one the leading sources for lacrosse information. He comes by his love of lax honestly with a lifetime of experience, two Mann Cup championships and six years of play in the NLL. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter @OffTheCrosseBar or catch him on Team 1410 radio in Vancouver, B.C., as the host and producer of the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio Show In 2012, he was awarded the BCLA's Norm Wright Merit Award- handed out to a member of the media deemed to have have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.
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