September 14, 2012

Charlotte Sends Bitter, Randall to Rochester in Deal for Drew

from staff reports

The Charlotte Hounds and Rochester Rattlers today announced a trade that will send attackman Billy Bitter, defenseman Kevin Randall and the Hounds 11th pick in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft to the Rattlers in exchange for Kevin Drew and the 4th and 28th overall selections in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft. It's the second straight offseason in which Bitter has been traded.

In 14 games with the Hounds this season, Bitter scored 14 goals and added eight assists. He had a shot percentage of 29.2% and his 22 points ranked fourth on the team. Randall, the Hounds' 2012 seventh-round draft pick, remained on the Collegiate Inactive List and did not play in MLL this season.

"Billy is a great guy, on and off the field," said Hounds COO & Director of Player Personnel Wade Leaphart. "He's great with the fans, great in the locker room, great for MLL in general. He's an original Hound and will be missed. At the end of the day, we had to remove all personal feelings from the equation. Billy doesn't necessarily enjoy air travel and this is a good move for everyone."

"Billy Bitter had a storied career at UNC and has produced in his first two years in MLL." Rattlers coach Tim Soudan said. "He gives us a chance to look at doing some different things in the attack next year. Kevin Randall is a local kid who grew up in Penfield and gives us another option at long pole."

As a rookie Bitter played in nine games with the Outlaws where he scored 12 goals and added four assists. Bitter was the third overall selection of the Outlaws in the 2011 MLL Draft. He was a three time All-American with the University of North Carolina where he scored 99 goals and added 76 assists for 175 points and scooped 172 ground balls.

Bitter joins two-time All-MLL selection Ned Crotty (31 points in 12 games), Kevin Leveille (249 career goals – second all-time), and Steven Boyle (18G – 9A in 2012) in the Rattlers attack.

The Hounds, meanwhile, now have back-to-back first-round draft picks in 2013, holding the third and fourth overall selections.

"By securing another first and fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft, in addition to strengthening the midfield with Kevin Drew, we are closer to being a championship caliber team next season and beyond," said Leaphart.

Drew was the Rattlers' second-round draft pick in 2012 (13th overall) out of Syracuse. He played in 11 MLL games this season recording five goals, two assists and 15 groundballs.

"It is rare when an organization can fill a need and acquire high round draft picks in the same deal," said Hounds Head Coach Mike Cerino. "While it was a tough move emotionally, we do feel that this move will allow the Hounds to get closer to our goal of being a MLL playoff team."

The 6-foot-2, 205 pound Randall was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American after he anchored the nation's best defense and helped the Irish to an appearance in the NCAA Final Four. He was a four year letter winner with the Fighting Irish where he started the final three years of his career on a defense that was ranked in the top two in the nation. He recorded 20 ground balls in 15 games as a senior, and finished his career with 55 ground balls in 54 games. Randall was a three time All-Monroe County selection and a two-time All-Greater Rochester Selection with Penfield High School.

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