ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After a year without the Knighthawks, lacrosse is back at Blue Cross Arena with a brand new summer league.
The Upstate Collegiate Box Lacrosse League is kicking off its inaugural season, featuring two teams in Rochester and one in Buffalo.
Over a dozen former Section V stars are playing, gearing up for their college seasons while learning from coaches with NLL experience.
“I wish we had it earlier and we could have done it last year and the year before, but I think it’s really going to help,” said Conner Fingar, a Penn Yann alum currently playing for the University of Albany. “I’m glad it’s an opportunity for me. Rochester’s a good spot for lacrosse but there are Syracuse guys and everything else. It’s really competitive.”
It fills a void for the players who used to have to work a whole lot harder to find competition in the summer
“I’d probably just be going to the turf with a couple of friends, working on some dodging and shooting, not really too much rigorous work because there’s not a lot of organized stuff out here,” said Brighton grad Casey McDermott, who is playing for John Hopkins.
The league plays under the umbrella of the National Collegiate Box Series, which has helped develop numerous N-L-L stars like Trevor Baptiste and could be a stepping stone for anyone in the league looking to make the leap.
“I think a lot of these kids from here grew up watching the Knighthawks,” said Rochester Armory head coach Jordan Jarvis. “I think having an avenue to see that, ‘hey, maybe I can play professional lacrosse’, is a great aspect for them.”
“My goal, ultimately, is to be in the NLL, preferably in Rochester,” said Rochester Armory goalie William Dempsey. “Just to be able to suit up in the NLL would be probably the highest thing I could ever do in my life. It allows me to see what kind of people are out there, what kind of talent is out there, and exposes me to that so I’m more properly prepared for that.”
More information on the UCBLL can be found on their website.