November 30, 2010

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NLL: Home-Grown Colin Achenbach Retires from Minnesota Swarm

from press release

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Lacrosse League's (NLL) Minnesota Swarm today announced the retirement of defenseman Colin Achenbach.

Achenbach, 27, is the only Minnesota born player to have worn a Swarm uniform in the team's six-year history. The graduate of Apple Valley High School signed with the Swarm as a free agent on Nov. 12, 2007.

"I would like to send my thanks to the Swarm organization, General Manager Marty O'Neill, the Arlotta's and to all Swarm fans," Achenbach said. "It has been an honor and a pleasure to play professional lacrosse in my hometown. It means a great deal to me and I feel very fortunate. I'm also thankful for all the friendships I have developed over the years with my teammates."

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defenseman appeared in 19 games with Minnesota from 2008-10 and recorded 14 points (3g, 11a), 63 loose balls and 14 PIM. He made his NLL debut against the New York Titans on Feb. 8, 2008 and recorded his first career goal against Philadelphia on April 12.

"Many times when players leave our organization it is bittersweet," General Manager Marty O'Neill said. "With Colin, this is certainly the case. On the one hand we are very disappointed that he will no longer be a part of the Swarm organization, but on the other hand we are excited for what the future holds for him as he moves into the next phase of his life.

"He has been a team player through and through, playing many times despite his injuries. At the same time, Colin has always been available to the community with service and a smile. Since the commitment to play at the NLL level has held Colin back in many of his personal pursuits, he has made a decision that we understand and respect to step away from the sport and the Swarm at this time. We wish him all the best in his decision now and down the line."

Prior to his time with the Swarm, Achenbach was a member of the New York Titans practice squad in 2006 and played in the MLL with the Philadelphia Barrage. In college, Achenbach was an All-American attacker for C.W. Post from 2004-06 and at Pace University form 2002-04. The Apple Valley, Minn. native graduated from Apple Valley High School in 2002 where he was also an All-American in lacrosse.

"Colin has always been one of my favorite players not just for what he has done on the field, but also for what he has done off the field," Owner John Arlotta said. "He has been a constant advocate for the growth of lacrosse in Minnesota, and not only have the Swarm been fortunate to have him here, but the entire Minnesota lacrosse community has benefited from his contributions to the sport. When Colin eventually looks back at this time in his life, he will be justifiably proud of his accomplishments in lacrosse, including being a professional lacrosse player. However, I believe he will find even greater satisfaction in knowing that he has been such a positive influence on kids throughout the state of Minnesota.

"On behalf of my son Andy and the entire Swarm organization, we thank Colin for his contributions to the Swarm and the sport of lacrosse, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Achenbach was actively involved in the lacrosse community during his time with the Swarm and will continue to help grow the sport in the Twin Cities in the future.

In 2003, Achenbach co-founded Homegrown Lacrosse, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the growth of lacrosse in Minnesota. He also holds assistant coaching positions at both Eastview High School (Apple Valley, Minn.) and the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minn.).

"The decision to retire was a long process that was spent with my family, Marty and all of my peers that I respect," Achenbach said. "I weighed out my different options and decided it was time to move onto new adventures in my life.

"Even though I'm stepping away from professional lacrosse, my involvement with the sport in Minnesota is not going to change. I'm still pushing forward with Homegrown Lacrosse, as well as coaching at Eastview High School and the University of St. Thomas. Coaching lacrosse and growing the sport is something that means a lot to me and I will continue to be involved."

Achenbach will remain on the Swarm's "Protected Player List."


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