Learning from the best

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

While he's considered a veteran in the National Lacrosse League, Pat Campbell spent a good portion of his first year with the Edmonton Rush in the role of student.

FULL OF KNOWLEDGE

That was because his backup in 2006 was Dwight Maetche, one of the longest-serving professional goaltenders in all of lacrosse and a phenomenal physical specimen at 46 years of age. Campbell accepted all the knowledge that Maetche could pass along and now in 2007, Campbell returns as the Rush's No. 1 netminder but also comes back to the team in the new role of teacher.

Campbell will share his newfound wisdom with the Rush's top pick from the 2007 NLL Entry Draft, Kurtis Wagar who will now serve as Campbell's backup between the pipes.

"I learned so many things from Dwight last year, everything from mental preparation to game situations and how to handle almost thrown at me both on the floor and off," said Campbell. "It was a tough year because of the lack of wins but it was a special year because of everything that I was able to pick up from a great teacher."

Campbell and Wagar are a near-perfect match to share the Rush goaltending duties. While the pair first met on the campus of Brock University, they were only teammates for a short time. But both certainly paved the way to success for the Badgers in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association - Campbell compiled a 44-1 record during his tenure while Wager posted a 43-2 mark.

FUTURE SUCCESS

Now the duo has a chance to stonewall the opposition in the NLL and backstop the Rush to greater success in 2007.

"Pat really has a big role on the team and was the Team MVP last year. I look up to him first off because he's always up for every game," said Wagar.

"I'm still learning and want to learn a lot from Pat. He's been around for a long time now and I'm really eager to pick up everything that he can pass along to me. He's got nine years in the league so I'd be stupid not to take any advice from him."

However, the two, who came up through the ranks in St. Catharines, Ont., are quite different when it comes to their personalities. Both are leaders in and out of the locker-room, but Campbell is far more outgoing and energetic than his young backup. That being said, Wagar intends on keeping Campbell on his toes.

"I know my role and I'll be there for Paddy and the team and ready to do my job," added Wagar.

"I expect to win and I want to play and if I get a chance I'll get out there and give it all I've got."


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