Mackrides Ready To Make His Mark With Bayhawks
By Todd McElwee
Matt Mackrides is the new kid in town. One of the best men's lacrosse players Penn State has ever produced, he was taken with the 26th selection in this year's MLL draft by Chesapeake. Making his debut June 2 at Denver, Mackrides, who has converted from attack to middie, netted his first MLL score in helping the Bayhawks past the Outlaws, 18-16. Recently, he spoke with PressBox about his new team.
Lacrosse Report: I know you're new to the team, but where do you think the club is right now?
Matt Mackrides: I think we're in a good position. Being one of the younger guys, it's my first time in the league, and you don't really have a nice gathering until you have a few games under your belt, but last week at Denver was definitely a nice win for us. It's nice to see all of the old guys and learn from them. They say we're in a good spot, and I feel the same way with our camaraderie.
LR: What's the biggest difference between the college and the pro games?
MM: I would say the speed of the game, not necessarily the speed of the players, but the actually up-and-down transition. With the shot clock, it's definitely a faster-paced game. You have to go the net more often and there are no stalls. It's been a fun transition, because I like to get up there and run and be in the transition from defense to offense, especially now, because I'm a middie.
LR: How's the switch going?
MM: I like it. We have probably the best attack in the world with Danny Gladding, John Grant Jr., Ben Rubeor and Drew Westervelt. When coach [Dave] Cottle said I'd be playing middie, I was excited for the challenge. Coach [Jeff] Tambroni put me up there within the first four or five games and I enjoyed the switch.
LR: It must be nice to have a short stick on you instead of a pole, too.
MM: I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a short pole most of the time. But again, it's just another opportunity for me to go against somebody I didn't get to go against in college.
LR: During the past few years, the team has traditionally gotten off to a hot start, but fallen into a little summer swoon. Has anyone talked about that?
MM: I haven't heard anyone mention it. [On June 6] we had a full practice, and everyone is talking about staying focused. We have a great opportunity at home against Charlotte [June 9] to keep this thing going.
LR: What is it like to be teammates with, and learn from, guys who've won not only NCAA championships, but MLL and world championships as well?
MM: It's unbelievable to sit there and practice with guys who have done things that I've always dreamt of doing. I never won a NCAA championship, but more than half of the team has. You have a lot of world championships and MLL titles here. They're teaching me how to be a professional, and it's been a tremendous help for me after being thrown into the mix a few weeks into the season.
Posted June 8, 2012