November 21, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks
After taking a season off to pursue his firefighting career, Joel McCready has returned to the Rochester Knighthawks. The transition man will rejoin the defending NLL Champions this weekend at Training Camp.
"I am extremely excited. I can't wait," said McCready about attending the team's Training Camp November 24th to 25th. "I have been counting down the days. It will be awesome."
McCready enters his fourth season with the Knighthawks in 2013. Joel is a legacy in the organization with his uncle and grandfather both spending time in Rochester. Pat McCready, who finished his 17th season in the NLL by leading the Knighthawks to their third league championship in franchise history, was the team's captain for the 2012 season. Robert "Buff" McCready was an assistant coach with the team from 1998-2001.
Joel sat out the 2012 NLL season to pursue his firefighting career, and was moved to Rochester's holdout list for the season after being hired by the Burnaby Fire Department in Burnaby, BC. He finished the 2011 regular season second on the team with 43 penalty minutes and sixth with 65 loose balls.
"I've played lacrosse since I was five. So to sit out was the first time in my life where I didn't play for a year. It was really, really tough. I love being back. I feel like a little kid again with a stick in his hands," said McCready.
McCready, a product of St. Catharines, Ontario, had an impressive summer with the Langley Thunder of the Western Lacrosse Association. The 24-year-old helped the Thunder repeat as WLA Champs and return to the Mann Cup Finals. During the regular season, he led the Thunder with three game-winning goals, and was fifth with 33 points (13+20).
"There definitely was a little bit of rust taking a year off, but I spoke with a few people and they just said keep going, you'll get it back. My teammates and coaches and everyone were really patient with everything and after a while it started to feel natural again," said McCready, a second-round pick in the 2008 NLL Entry Draft.
He will be back on the turf as a Knighthawk on Saturday, November 24th with the team holding fitness testing at 3:00 p.m. and practice at 7:00 p.m. at Total Sports Experience in Gates.
"I have been working really hard and training a lot for this weekend," said McCready.