MLL Brings Rattlers Back to Rochester
from press release
Casey Powell is among 23 players retained by the new version of the Rochester Rattlers, formerly the Chicago Machine.
© Bryce Vickmark
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- RocLax LLC Owner & CEO Robert Clark announced Tuesday that Major League Lacrosse will return to Rochester for the 2011 season. The team, nicknamed the Rattlers, will feature the best players in the world and will play its home games at Marina Auto Stadium.
The Rattlers were a charter member of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) beginning play in 2001. In eight seasons in Rochester, the Rattlers compiled a 55-45 record capturing the National Division championship in 2004. The club's greatest triumph came in 2008 when it won the MLL Championship, posting a 9-3 record en route to winning the Steinfeld Cup with a 16-6 win over the Denver Outlaws.
"The MLL is very excited to be returning to Rochester" said MLL Commissioner David Gross. The Rattlers had some of the most passionate and dedicated fans in the league and we're thrilled that they will have the opportunity to enjoy MLL action again. We had the opportunity to work with Rob Clark and his staff this past summer and believe that Rob and his crew will do an excellent job growing the fan base in the region and running a first class operation."
In addition, the club announced that B. J. O'Hara would be returning to lead the team as head coach. "B.J. O'Hara's resume made him the obvious choice to lead the Rattlers" said RocLax LLC Owner and CEO Robert Clark. "B.J. was a huge part of the success the Rattlers realized over the years, culminating with a championship in 2008. We feel very fortunate to have B.J."
O'Hara first joined the Rattlers after being named their second head coach in 2004. In five seasons at the helm O'Hara guided the team to a 38-24 mark and four playoff appearances. During that time the Rattlers finished first overall in their conference twice (2004, 2008) and won the 2008 MLL Championship. O'Hara spent the 2010 MLL season as the head coach of the Chicago Machine. Before the professional ranks, O'Hara's coaching career took him to a number of NCAA Division I and III institutions. As a head and assistant coach, O'Hara has been a member of nine NCAA Championship coaching staffs. He was the Head Lacrosse Coach at Hobart College, Dartmouth College and Alfred University. O'Hara was also an assistant coach at Syracuse, Hobart, RPI and North Carolina State.
As a player at Hobart College, O'Hara twice earned All-American honors at attack. In his senior season, he was named Co-Captain and a First-Team All American, and was selected to play in the North-South Game. As a junior, he was named to the USILA Third Team. O'Hara finished his Hobart career ranked second on the all time scoring list with 280 points (163-117) and he held the Hobart career record for goals until 1991. He was inducted into the Upstate New York Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame in 1995, the Hobart College Hall of Fame in 1998 and the US Lacrosse Greater Rochester Chapter Hall of Fame in November 2010.
"BJ's experience and understanding of the league has made him one of the top coaches in the MLL" said Rattlers President and COO Pat Ercoli. "He is highly respected by his peers and has earned the right to defend his 2008 championship as the head coach of the Ratters."
The Rochester Rattlers have retained 23 players from the Chicago Machine franchise for the 2011 season. A complete roster is available at www.rochesterrattlers.com. Three of the notable players are: Ned Crotty (2010 MLL Rookie of the Year, led all rookies in scoring with 24 points in seven games), Casey Powell (MLL all-leader leader with 388 points, second in assists with 186 and seventh in goals with 197) and Matt Streibel (member of MLL championship teams in 2004, 2006 and 2007, championship MVP in 2007).
Major League Lacrosse is comprised of six teams across the US and Canada. The Boston Cannons, Long Island Lizards, and Chesapeake (formerly Baltimore, Washington) Bayhawks have been members of the League since its inception in 2001. The Denver Outlaws began play in 2006 as part of the League's western expansion. The Toronto Nationals joined the MLL in 2009 as the League's first international team.
Major League Lacrosse games will once again be featured on ESPN2 in 2011. The network has been the national television home of Major League Lacrosse since 2003, when the two parties agreed on a two-year commitment. In 2007, Major League Lacrosse and ESPN reached an agreement that extended their relationship through the 2016 season, which is the longest commitment that any television outlet has given to a lacrosse entity.
The partnership between the MLL and ESPN continued to grow in 2007, when ESPN360.com, ESPN's signature broadband network, streamed its first MLL game live. MLL games continue to be streamed live on ESPN3 and are archived on the website for a period of one week.
In addition to ESPN, the 2008 season also marked the first time in League history that every regular season MLL game was broadcast live on regional sports networks throughout the country including Time Warner Cable.
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