Bowen still wants to play

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:33 PM ET

Jamey Bowen found religion.

A devout lacrosse fanatic for years, and at one-time an investor in a potential National Lacrosse League expansion team in his home town, Bowen made a change in his lifestyle to be part of the Edmonton Rush.

There was a good chance that he would be involved as a coach or in management if the NLL came to the city, but after some thought Bowen was determined to be a player, even at age 35 and having not played in the league for four years.

It required quite an adjustment for the high school teacher who doubles as a restaurateur and bar owner.

"It's been pretty tough not to, but I haven't drank - I've been religious on that. I've been watching what I eat and three times a week with my trainer we go to spin class,"said Bowen, who got through the Rush's medicals yesterday 18 pounds lighter than he did in 2001 with the Vancouver Ravens.

"In my mind it's been since the announcement that the team was coming because I wanted to do it once more. Then it's been the last four months in training. Some of my teacher friends have been good enough to come with me and even the first couple times I missed, they were on me."

Even with a determined training regimen and equally fervent partners, many of Bowen's cronies were convinced he was just getting back into shape so he could stand behind the bench.

That just wasn't the case, and, in fact, Bowen's wife, Bily, may have talked him into a two-year stint on the floor.

And on an expansion team loaded with defensive stalwarts and lacking guys with the gift of touch around the net, Bowen could be a gold mine.

"In Vancouver I never had any freedom. I felt I was under the microscope and that if I dropped the ball, I maybe wasn't going to play the next game," he said.

"Being in my home town I've got that confidence. I've always had that great stick, but in Vancouver you'd think I was an egg-and-spooner because I was so afraid to do anything. If I'm allowed to keep trying things, that's when I'm at my best."

QUICK STICKS: The team's training camp continues this morning at 7:30 but star defenceman Andrew Turner's groin/abdominal muscle injury from the summer hasn't progressed enough to warrant full activity ... The Rush will make a handful of cuts today, with 35 players expected back for next weekend's second round of camp.


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