Zippy Ice Player Spotlight: Mike Sawyer

By Hounds PR |  7/19/13 12:44 PM

Zippy Ice Player Spotlight: Mike Sawyer

Most college graduates don't look forward to moving home after graduation, but for Mike Sawyer it was an opportunity to continue his lacrosse career at the next level with the Hounds. It's not always easy to transition to the MLL, especially with the lack of structured activities compared to what the NCAA provides. But that hardly means the rookies slack off when it comes time to prove themselves to a new team. In order to play at the elite level required in the MLL, guys have to make training and preparation a 24/7/365 responsibility. In the third installment of the “Zippy Ice Player Spotlight,” Sawyer talks about embracing the opportunity to play for his hometown of Charlotte.

The hardest part about transitioning from college to MLL…

It’s definitely been trying to stay in shape. Obviously when you’re in college, you’re working out five or six days a week together. But when you’re here, you have no one making you do it. The motivation is there, because you want to perform well on the weekends for the fans, but it’s tough to stay active when you’re working a day job in between games. It’s easier if you were just practicing all week.

Post-graduation employment plans…

I’m going fulltime with my job in the fall. It’s at a heating and air conditioning mechanical company -- CNS Mechanical, my father owns it -- and I’ve worked there for like 10 years, every summer since I was 14. I’m going to get in the business side of things. I’m working in between lacrosse camps right now. I’m pretty free with my hours right now, we had a mutual agreement on that. So I can just come and go and learn what I can while I have time. I couldn’t miss out on all these lacrosse camps this summer.

When it comes to working out during the week…

I haven’t been in the gym as much, but my problem is more conditioning. So I just try to run any chance I get. I’ll try to run a little bit harder in the beginning of the week then just do a light couple miles toward the end of the week.

The secret to a 114mph shot…

I think it could have been a lot of adrenaline. I’ve always known I could shoot pretty hard -- maybe not that hard -- but I think it was adrenaline, being in Charlotte and wanting to put up a big number for the fans. I think that was an extra little drive.

Keeping in touch with teammates during the week…

We’ve got an e-mail thread that we’re all on, and then I get out and golf with Casey (CIttadino). We golfed with (Chris) Schiller when he was back there, before he had the twins. I’m kind of new to the team still, but we’ve got the e-mail thread and you’ll see some of the local guys around during the week and stuff too.

When it comes to my gameday routine…

I had so many superstitions in college, from the moment I woke up until the minute after the game. And I told my father, because he was part of them all -- like I couldn’t talk to my parents on gameday, it was unreal stuff -- and I told him, “We’re not having any superstitions anymore. I’m going in the pros and we’re not doing anything. I’m just gonna play.”

The best thing about playing in the MLL…

For me, it’s to be playing in Charlotte and to get to play with (Eric) Lusby again. To play in Charlotte, my hometown, and then to be back with someone that I had such good chemistry with in college in Eric, it’s good to play with him again.

The fans’ influence and impact on the game…

It means a lot. I always want to perform well in front of them and I think they’re great fans. I haven’t been to any other place where they brought numbers like we do here. So I think they bring a great impact.

My favorite person to stay with on the road…

I’ve roomed with Lusby and (Matt) Danowski so far. I’m gonna have to go with Lusby, just cause he’s a great person off the field also. He’s got that dry sense of humor that not many people see in him, but he’s a funny kid.

When the team is traveling…

I wish it was hard to pass the time, but we don’t really have much time when we’re on the road. I think the few trips we’ve been on the road, one was Hamilton where we flew in and basically didn’t sleep and then played the game. Then Long Island where we kind of got there on gameday and played. But I like to sleep and watch a lot of TV. I love hotel beds.

In my downtime…

I really like to golf. So I’ll go out and play nine after work every day or just go to the driving range. Out in South Charlotte I like to play Stoneridge, and we played Cedarwood a couple times with Bobby Thompson and those guys over there at Providence Day.

For the Hounds to make a postseason run…

We just need to finish everything. We’ve got the talent and now it’s coming down to the point where we’ve got to win four games, so we need to make every opportunity count.

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