North of the Border with Kyle Middleton (Nanaimo, BC / Woodlands Secondary) Sophomore, Goaltender
What is holding back Canadian field lacrosse growth?
I grew up playing on Vancouver Island where the number of players was limited, which has both pros and cons. The positives of that is everyone on the island gets very familiar with one and other and the mutual respect is shared throughout the island. Although there are some disadvantages, my city was never able to offer more than a tier 2 club level team, forcing me to search elsewhere to try to get noticed. Travelling during the weekends of my senior year of high school to Vancouver for Burnaby Mountain Selects practices was definitely a sacrifice that helped me as a goalie to see different talent and extremely talented players.
Do you think more Canadian Universities should try to join the MCLA? Canada has a similar type of league, how good are those teams? Does SFU ever play them?
I definitely think an increase in Canadian teams would be beneficial to the league and the general interest in the MCLA in Canada. There are many legit players that leave that could be persuaded to stay with more local options. The level of competition and the places/teams we play is getting better and better every year forcing you to constantly keep up. With possibilities of a team from great schools like University of British Columbia (UBC), University of Alberta, and University of Saskatchewan I’m sure with hard work they could find guys to fill rosters and compete. There is a league called the CUFLA on the east coast but I don’t think SFU has ever played any of these teams. I’ve never seen them play so can’t comment on skill level but would be extremely interested in battling in a scrimmage or something with their league’s best team.
What do you do off the field? What does SFU offer that no other school offers? Any unique traditions on campus or within the lacrosse team?
SFU is unique in many ways. School is not easy and requires a lot of effort around practices, workouts, and study halls. As a tight knit team, we are able find the spare minutes especially on nice sunny days to spend outside playing what we refer to as “sports days” where not only do we spend copious amounts of time throwing the ball around and taking shots but also touch football, soccer, and rez challenge (which involves every game under the sun). We are a very competitive group of guys which most of the time make our games result in mayhem but always so much fun. Also, no university townhouse goes without a gaming system of some type. In the townhouse that I live in with some of the other guys on the team, we are lucky to have both a PS3 and a N64, with our favourite games being, NHL 11, FIFA, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. Some epic games have taken place… all of course when homework is done.
Tell us about the younger guys on your team
We have a great group of freshman who are already as close to me as a family member. One young close defender playing big minutes is Branden Bloom. Bloomer is showing great skill for a first year while splitting time for our 3rd close D spot with my fellow sophomore Sam “Badgerman” Biagioni who possess a poke as powerful as the mighty badger, crippling many attackmen’s will to drive cage. I like to help them adjust or just give them any of the little advice that I have, while also figuring out many different things myself that I might not have seen with limited playing time last year. Max Weselowski and Tommy Newton are both freshmen D-middie workhorses that are constantly improving which also helps out our O by having to compete against guys that giv’r 100% day in and day out. They definitely teach me a thing or two about work ethic anytime they step on the field.
Tell us about your weapon of choice… What kind of shaft do you use? Head? Dyed or white? What kind of string job? Who strings it? How many other spoons do you have in your arsenal and what are they?
I have two sabres that I use, which includes a really special one that I use as my gamer. My gamer consists of a STX Eclipse, strung by my friend Dean Stewart who is a master of the craft at producing the biggest bag possible. Lately it has been tossing dimes but unfortunately the wears and tears of the season is starting to show as my bottom strings are in need of some extra strings for reinforcement. The shaft is the most special part of my stick, a custom memorial shaft by Harrow that was designed for a former Burnaby Mountain Selects teammate of mine and good friend Chris Friesen. Chris was a special kind of player, with an incredible work ethic and unreal skill. My memories of him are all positive and I constantly think of the words etched onto the stick “Be the Best” – simple yet extremely powerful! There is a bit of tape on the top of the shaft, and a small knob.
My back up consists of a red and white theme featuring a Warrior Nemesis with red mesh and white head, with a red and white custom SFU Harrow shaft.
What’s your favourite piece of 2011 SFU Team Gear and why?
My teammate Nate Clare has made me a custom painted throat guard with a red brick background and the SFU logo on the front, definitely not unhappy about it.