May 13, 2011

Rattlers Rebuild Around CNY Product White

by Corey McLaughlin |

Long pole Joel White will join the renewed Rochester Rattlers after Syracuse's season ends.

© Bryce Vickmark

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 Rochester Rattlers for the 2011 MLL season — with a rookie emphasis.

Rochester Rattlers

Head coach:
B.J. O'Hara
Top pick
: D Joel White, Syracuse, No. 2 overall

The impact

After two seasons of no professional outdoor lacrosse team in Rochester, the Rattlers are back. They made a central New York product their first pick in White, the long stick midfielder.

"His game is going to be suited for the MLL," said Rochester coach B.J. O'Hara. "He does a lot of different things. He runs well. He's big and athletic. We're really excited. I can't wait to get him in the lineup. Hopefully for his sake it will be after Memorial Day."

He joins: A Casey Powell, A Ned Crotty, M Matt Striebel, D Greg Bice, G Doc Schneider

Other draft picks (in order selected): M Jovan Miller, Syracuse; A Jordan McBride, Stony Brook; G John Galloway, Syracuse; D Tom Montelli, Duke; A Brian Caulfield, Albany; M Adam Jones, Canisius; M Matt Chadderdon, Le Moyne

Key storyline

This team now has a home after spending last season on the road as the former Chicago Machine. They played "home" games in Cary, N.C., Pittsburgh, Albany, Virginia Beach, Rochester, and Columbus, Ohio.

"Last year we were right in the playoff hunt until the very end. We faded a bit down the stretch," said O'Hara, who also was Machine head coach. "The travel really took its toll on us. We didn't have as many practices as we would have liked. So we're hoping that having a home base and lessening the travel will keep us fresher down the stretch."

Rochester last year (as the Machine): 4-8, missed playoffs

"His game is going to be suited for the MLL," said Rochester coach B.J. O'Hara. "He does a lot of different things. He runs well. He's big and athletic.

2011 Schedule (Game times local to Rochester)

Home games at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.

May 14 at Chesapeake Bayhawks, 7 p.m.
May 21 vs. Long Island Lizards, 7 p.m.
June 10 vs. Hamilton Nationals, 7:30 p.m.
June 18 vs. Boston Cannons, 7 p.m.
June 24 vs. Hamilton Nationals, 7:30 p.m.
June 25 at Hamilton Nationals, 7 p.m.
July 2 at Chesapeake Bayhawks, 7:30 p.m.
July 16 at Denver Outlaws, 7 p.m.
July 23 vs. Boston Cannons, 7 p.m.
July 28 at Long Island Lizards, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 6 vs. Chesapeake Bayhawks, 7 p.m.
Aug. 13 at Boston Cannons, 7 p.m. 

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