Life in the fast lane of pro­fes­sional lacrosse

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - News The

BY SEAN BRAY Sports Ed­i­tor South Glen­garry’s Ja­cob Ruest, who grew up play­ing mi­nor lacrosse in Corn­wall, is now com­pet­ing in the pro ranks, as a mem­ber of the Colorado Mam­moth of the Na­tional Lacrosse League.

The 25-year-old for­ward is in his sec­ond year with the team, which is cur­rently com­pet­ing in league play­offs.

Ruest, who checks in at 5 ft. 10 in., 185 lb., has 103 ca­reer reg­u­lar-sea­son points with the Mam­moth, through 36 games.

In one play­off game to date, this spring, he notched two goals and three as­sists, though Colorado lost 15-12 to the Cal­gary Rough­necks.

For his de­vel­op­ment in the sport, Ruest cred­its early coaches Perry Blan­chard and Rick Fil­lion, as well as his father, Jack Ruest.

Af­ter his mi­nor days, he joined the ju­nior ‘ B’ Celtics, be­fore mov­ing up to the ju­nior ‘A’ ranks with the Burling­ton Chiefs.

At the same time, he was in­tro­duced to the field ver­sion of the game, while a stu­dent at The Hill Academy, in Vaughan, where he spent his Grade 12 and 13 years.

Ruest sub­se­quently re­ceived a schol­ar­ship to play Divi­sion 1 lacrosse at Robert Mor­ris Uni­ver­sity, in Penn­syl­va­nia.

He was ini­ti­ated into the NLL when Cal­gary drafted him, but was then re­leased dur­ing train­ing camp, be­fore sign­ing dur­ing the sum­mer of 2016 with the Colorado club.

On his two years play­ing pro, Ruest says he’s en­joyed the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence, from the travel across North Amer­ica, to the friend­ships he’s made, to the knowl­edge of the sport he has gained. In terms of his goals in the sport, he tells

that he strives to im­prove each and ev­ery game that he’s on the floor.

“I know mis­takes will be made, I've seen it in my first year and con­tinue to see it through­out my ca­reer, it is in­evitable. How­ever, learn­ing from those mis­takes and en­sur­ing they won't re­peat them­selves al­low me to be pre­pared for the next task. In do­ing so, I hope to es­tab­lish my­self in the league and en­joy a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in the NLL.”

One of the chal­lenges of play­off pro­fes­sional lacrosse, un­like the big pro sports such as hockey and base­ball, is that lacrosse ath­letes need to have other jobs to sur­vive. In the case of the Mam­moth, only about half of the team lives in the Den­ver area; the rest com­mute.

Ruest says that a cou­ple of the most pop­u­lar jobs for play­ers are teach­ers and firefighte­rs.

In his case, he is a grad­u­ate stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Ot­tawa, where he is work­ing to­wards a Mas­ter’s de­gree in sports man­age­ment.

So what would he ad­vise to young ath­letes con­sid­er­ing the sport?

“My ad­vice would be to play! I found there were no bet­ter ways to spend a sum­mer than with 20 of my best friends. Lacrosse is more than of­ten a se­condary sport to young ath­letes. This makes lacrosse unique. Some­times a young­ster’s pri­mary sport can be all-con­sum­ing. Lacrosse can be the es­cape or rea­son to pre­vent stal­e­ness, all while main­tain­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity lev­els and teach­ing core val­ues such as dis­ci­pline, com­mit­ment, and team­work.”

Fans of box lacrosse can fol­low our re­gional team, the Corn­wall ju­nior ‘C’ Celtics, which are cur­rently play­ing there sum­mer 2018 sea­son in the OJCLL.

Next home game, at Corn­wall’s multi-sport com­plex, is sched­uled for Satur­day, May 26, at 2 p.m.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.