It may be your seventh season in the National Lacrosse League but it’s your first here in the Flower City with a new team that has been built from the ground up prior to the 2019-20 season.
As the Rochester Knighthawks closed out their inaugural regular season going 2-10, that record did not show the improvements the squad was making on and off the floor as a whole. Prior to the cancellation of the rest of the regular season due to the unfortunate circumstances we are all facing right now, there were still six more games for the Knighthawks to make major improvements before the season’s end.
Knighthawks assistant captain Curtis Knight just happens to be the guy in the midst of his seventh pro year in the NLL and his reaction to the cancellation of the regular season shouldn’t be all that shocking to you.
“We worked a lot and I think we improved a lot over those first 12 games. We were just kind of reaching a point where the team was getting closer together and we were getting better on and off the floor, so to have it just cut off is kind of unfortunate because I thought we were making really good progress.”
Knight was on the brink of breaking his second-best point total in a season (55 back in 2017 with the Saskatchewan Rush) with 46 points in just 12 games during the Knighthawks’ inaugural campaign. In just his last three games, Knight combined for 20 points (2+18) on the floor with his best game coming against the New York Riptide when he added eight helpers to his stat line.
With a season that seemed to be heating up for the Knighthawks assistant captain, it’s no surprise that he’s missing the game-time environment that lacrosse adds to his life.
“I miss going to the rink and hanging out with the guys. That’s a big part of the game. Just showing up to the rink, being in the dressing room and being in that environment is something that I’m missing right now.”
Over a month has passed since the initial suspension of the NLL season and two weeks have gone by since the league made the difficult decision not to resume the regular season. In that time, though, not much has changed in Knight’s overall lifestyle considering he’s a student studying for his masters at the University of Guelph. Instead of attending class in person, Knight’s schedule has been moved to online courses, and in turn, has helped him get a little ahead on most of his schoolwork.
Focusing on the lacrosse side of things, there are currently no gyms open which makes it a little more challenging for Knight to stay as game ready as he would like in the hopes of a playoff return. With that being said, though, the seventh-year pro made sure to mention the players, management and staff have all done a wonderful job staying connected and committed to keeping one another accountable with at-home workouts and checking in on each other from time to time.
Although it’s now official that Rochester’s inaugural regular season has come to a close, let’s not forget the countless takeaways from their first year of play. The Knighthawks were a team that was beginning to mesh together on and off the floor, full of veterans and rookies alike and full of players, like Knight, who were on their way to besting their individual performances from the year before.
For now, the hope is for all of you is to stick with the Knighthawks into next season as Knight and his teammates do believe that they will be coming back stronger and better than ever because of what we’re going through right now.
“Stay with us. We’ve been improving over the season and when we get back out there, we’re going to be much better. I think we can take this time off to improve and come back stronger next season. Stay healthy, stay with us and we will be much better when we’re back out there on the floor.”