Local Lacrosse Players Selected in NLL Draft

Former USM LAX Player Mark White Selected in NLL Entry Draft
Former USM Men’s Lacrosse Captain Mark White. White is the all-time points (167) and assists (60) leader at USM. He was a first-team All-Little East Conference selection in 2013.

By Travis Larner for Knighthawks.com

The Rochester Knighthawks’ first selection in the 2013 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft found a mentor in one of the most decorated players in the league history.

Mark White has been a lifelong friend of Rochester forward Dan Dawson, and over the past two years, Dawson has helped prepare White for his chance to become a professional lacrosse player.

“I’ve known him (Dawson) since I was a little kid,” White said. “I’ve always looked up to him, watched him play all of my life. He’s really been a mentor to me and I really appreciate it.”

“We’ve known Dan since he played minor lacrosse here in Oakville, and we saw him get drafted to Junior ‘A’ and then into the NLL,” said White’s mother, Susan, who was excited to see her son drafted by the Knighthawks.

“It was our first hope that this is where he’d go. I couldn’t be happier,” she added.

Dawson was present at the Draft at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) to hand White his first Knighthawks’ jersey on the stage when NLL Commissioner George Daniel announced him as the 27th overall pick.

“He loves lacrosse. He eats, sleeps and breathes it,” Dawson said. “I’ve seen him grow from a little kid to a young adult, and now he’s a man. It’s a great opportunity here in Rochester, and he’s one of those guys who does everything in his power to make the most of his opportunities.”

Dawson and White have spent the past two summers together on the Major Series Lacrosse’s Brampton Excelsiors. Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen also coached White when he held the same role with the Excelsiors in 2012.

According to Hasen, White will help fill a role as a speedy transition player who can carry the ball into the offensive zone.

“He’s a gritty guy and he’ll go in the ‘dirty areas,'” Hasen said. “He’s not afraid to get his nose dirty and get that loose ball, and he pushes the ball up the floor very well. He’s a righty, too, so he’ll add some depth in that area.”

Dawson has also been White’s workout partner. The duo has utilized the training facilities at the TRAC, which is located in White’s hometown of Oakville, Ont., and where his mother works.

“I’m 32 years old, and it’s really nice to have a young buck who can push you physically in the weight room,” Dawson said.

White will have his first opportunity to practice alongside Dawson and the rest of his new teammates at Knighthawks’ Training Camp in November.

Although Rochester is the team he wanted to be drafted by, he knows he has a tall task ahead of him to earn a spot in the lineup.

“It’s a tough roster to crack,” White said. “There are a lot of good players out there. They just won it twice in a row. But I’m looking forward to working my hardest and help them make it three in a row.”


Former UVM Men’s Lacrosse Standout AJ Masson Picked 12th in NLL Draft

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Former Vermont men’s lacrosse player, AJ Masson ’13, was selected 12th overall by the Philadelphia Wings in the 2013 National Lacrosse League (NLL) entry draft Monday night from the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ontario.

Masson had a standout career at UVM that began with an America East All-Rookie Team selection following his freshman season. The Newmarket, Ontario native followed that up with an impressive sophomore campaign, in which he earned Team MVP honors after leading the squad with 21 assists, and finishing with double-digit goals (10) . Masson was named a team captain in each of his final two seasons at Vermont, and last season he led the Catamounts in assists for the second time in his career.

The Philadelphia Wings finished third in the indoor league’s East Division last season with a 7-9 overall record. The Wings open the upcoming season on Dec. 28 against the Buffalo Bandits at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. at 7:30 p.m.