QUEENER READY TO 'TAKE NEXT STEP'
3/27/12 10:48 AM
In one month, Brice Queener will rejoin his Hamilton Nationals teammates for another season in Major League Lacrosse. Last season, the Nats finished one goal away for earning its second championship in three seasons. Queener discussed his career season, teaching at "the Hill" and his outspoken younger brother Brett in this edition of Nationals Q&A.
1) You have been working at the Hill Academy for some time now. What is your role at the prep school? I am in my third year at The Hill Academy. It is truly an amazing place. I get to work with dedicated student-athletes every day and I get to coach with some great lacrosse players and coaches (Brodie Merrill, Patrick Merrill, Merrick Thomson and Mike Ripley). As for my role at The Hill Academy, I teach English and history and run a residence house with 11 lacrosse and hockey players. Additionally, I coach the offense for the boys’ varsity team, and work with our PG boys’ team and our women's team as well.
2) Did you play any indoor lacrosse this offseason? I played for the Peel Avengers in CLAX. It was exciting to be a part of a new lacrosse league that was close to where I live and allowed me to get some box lacrosse experience, which as an American player, is hard to get.
3) Last season you played in a career-high eight games and almost won a championship. How memorable was that season? It was definitely a season I will never forget with a ton of great memories... but I think of the score 10-9 every day. We all really wanted that title and I know everyone is ready to get the cup this year.
4) You are from Penn Yan. How cool is it to play on a team with your brother and former high school coach Brian Hobart? It's obviously very special. Brett is in my opinion the best goalie in the league (sorry Scotty) and I love playing with him. I don't think he has every gotten enough credit for how good of a ball stopper he is. He brings a different energy to the game and playing defense with him is awesome. Playing in the MLL together is always something we wanted to accomplish and now we want to win a championship together. Brian is one of the best coaches I have ever been around. He really helped us last season. Running the substitution box is difficult, especially on a team with as many strong personalities as ours… it takes a big bear like Hobart to run the box smoothly.
5) It also must be a dream come true to play for guys like Regy Thorpe and Gary Gait, who both have ties to Central NY? I have looked up to both guys since I can remember. Being able to say they coached me is easily a highlight of my lacrosse career. As I coach myself, I just sit back and watch them at practice, in meetings, and during the games. Anything they say is worth listening to. Regy is smart, no nonsense, and all-passion and everyone loves playing for him. Sometimes I try to sneak into the offensive huddles to hear what Gary is saying so I can use it at The Hill Academy during the next week! We are really lucky to have both guys coaching us and I am excited to learn more from them both this season.
6) As a D-middie, what advice do you have for the next generation of Mustangs coming through the system? Listen to everything Coach Queener and Coach Hobart saying during practice and you will go far. They preach pride and class and the importance of unselfishness, defense, ground balls and playing tough. The players in Penn Yan are blessed to have two of the best in the business coaching them. Brett and I get back to Penn Yan every summer and work with the youth there. They have a great group of young laxers coming up through the ranks. Shout out to my cousin Bradley Voigt. He is a smooth lefty attackman and is trying to become the best lefty in the family (watch out Brett). Lastly, beat Canandaigua!!!!!
7) Falling one goal short of a title last season, how does the team take that next step? I think we can continue to grow as a team and reach a whole new level. The rookies really gave us a spark last season and I am excited to see those guys play in their second season in the MLL.
8) Your brother has been named the personality of the year. Was he always the hyper younger brother? What you see with Brett is what you get. He got me in a lot of trouble with his mouth at lacrosse camps as a kid. He is extremely passionate about lacrosse and dancing.