CATCHING UP WITH JOE WALTERS
12/6/11 12:00 AM
(Nationals, December 6)… Joe Walters nearly made it three for three, falling one goal short of completing the trifecta of Major League Lacrosse championships. The Rochester, NY, native captured titles in 2008, 2009 and was determined to win his third in 2011.
Walters helped a young Hamilton team finish 7-5 and advanced to the Championship Game. The Nats dropped a tough 10-9 to the Boston Cannons in the Finals.
After missing the 2010 season, he did not miss a beat leading the Nationals with 39 points. He placed fifth in the MLL in points and second with 20 assists to earn All-MLL Team honors.
1.) Now that the season has been over for a couple of months, what were you thoughts about last season? The 2011 season was bitter sweet. It was a different experience for guys like myself, Brodie, and Jordan Hall where we were the veterans leading the way for a very dynamic group of rookies. It took us time, but when we gained that chemistry we were a dangerous team to face. To lose by one goal in the championship was a tough pill to swallow, but we will be back next summer ready to make another run and be on the winning side.
2.) What was so memorable about 2011? Having a losing record early in the summer and ending in the championship game as one of the best teams in the league.
3.) How did Regy Thorpe and Gary Gait change the direction of the team this season? What stood out to me was how calm they remained when we were losing early on. Regy, Gary, Jason Johnson, and Brian Hobart pieced together the right personnel and never lost confidence in us as a group. It isn't always about the X's and O's, the coaching staff did a great job keeping our goals in site through the bumps in the road, guiding us to championship weekend.
4.) Who was the team’s Unsung Hero? For starters, Kyle Rubisch. I had the privilege of playing with Rubes for the Nationals and with the Brampton Excelsiors; he is the real deal. He's making a name for himself as a lock down defensemen; won't be so "unsung" anymore. Our D-Middie corps of Dan Burns, Donny Moss, and Brice Queener is TOUGH. Every time they stepped on the field, they give it 100 percent. They definitely deserve a ton of credit for our success in 2011.
5.) What have you been doing to stay fit in the offseason? This was my first time playing in three leagues and truly going year round (MLL, NLL, and MSL). There really isn't an offseason, but when I am not playing lacrosse I am playing basketball and weight training.
6.) Is lacrosse still a part of your everyday life? Absolutely, when I am not playing, I am always practicing and teaching the game to the next generation of lacrosse players.
7.) What do you want for Christmas? I'm hoping Santa (me) will be getting a new Ford Raptor.
8.) Could 2012 be the year of the Nationals? Yep, next question.
9.) On a lighter side, if you could be one of your teammates for one day, who would you be and why? Brodie Merrill, if I had his lungs, I'd go "runninggggg" - Forest Gump