May 13, 2011

Bratton Factor a Big One for Boston

by Corey McLaughlin |

Will Shamel Bratton play for the Boston Cannons this summer? Boston coach Bill Daye has not reached out to Bratton since his dismissal from Virginia, per league rules, as he has yet to renounce his eligibility.

© Greg Wall

Major League Lacrosse turned the rookie draft on its head this year, holding it not only for the first time before the start of the MLL season, but also before the start of the spring college season.

In January, MLL's six teams drafted college seniors whose eligibility would run out at end of this college season. Those players still had a year to play, so general managers and coaches hoped players stayed healthy and watched this spring with intrigue. With the MLL season beginning Saturday for all six teams, draftees will soon join the pro league if their college seasons are already over, or will get set to join teams once they end.

Here's a look at the Boston Cannons for the 2011 MLL season — with a rookie emphasis.

Boston Cannons

Head coach:
Bill Daye
Top pick:
M Shamel Bratton, Virginia, No. 4 overall

The impact

"Our intention with drafting Shamel was to add a dynamic dodging midfielder," Boston coach Bill Daye said prior to the news of the player being kicked off the Virginia men's lacrosse team for repeated team rules violations. "I am a firm believer that this league is a midfielder's league. [Shamel] can fit right in to what we try to do on offense and complement guys like [Paul] Rabil, [Kevin] Buchanan, and our other middies very well. Sometimes when watching Shamel [this season], he looks as if he's playing at a different level."

Daye said the Cannons hadn't reached out to Bratton since he was dismissed from the Virginia team. Per league rules, teams cannot offer college-eligible players an MLL contract. And as of Friday, with Virginia's season still going in the NCAA tournament, Shamel Bratton was not eligible for MLL play because he had not renounced his college eligibility.

He would join: M Paul Rabil, A Ryan Boyle, M Kevin Buchanan, A Matt Poskay, D Kyle Sweeney

Other draft picks (in order selected): M Josh Amidon, Syracuse; D Brian Farrell, Maryland; D John Lade, Syracuse; M Kevin Kaminsky, Delaware; A Tom Compitello, Stony Brook; D Pat Dowling, Delaware; M David Hawley, Brown; A Zach Howell, Duke

Key storyline

Boston returns players at key positions, but Daye said developing chemistry early is key.

"We need guys to step up and lead," he said.

The Cannons, as the No. 1 seed in last year's playoffs, lost in the semifinals last year to Chesapeake.

Last year: 8-5, lost in semifinals

2011 Schedule (Game times local to Boston)

Home games at Harvard Stadium, Allston, Mass.

May 14 vs. Long Island Lizards, 7 p.m.
May 21 vs. Denver Outlaws, 7 p.m.
June 4 vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks, 7 p.m.
June 11 vs. Long Island Lizards, 6 p.m.
June 18 at Rochester Rattlers, 7 p.m.
June 25 at Chesapeake Bayhawks, 7 p.m.
July 3 at Denver Outlaws, 9 p.m.
July 16 at Long Island Lizards, 8 p.m.
July 23 vs. Hamilton Nationals, 7 p.m.
July 30 at Denver Outlaws, 9 p.m.
Aug. 6 at Hamilton Nationals, 7 p.m.
Aug. 13 vs. Rochester Rattlers, 7 p.m.

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