Oh baby, these guys are on fire

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:30 PM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks are winning games, but that doesn't mean Kaleb Toth will be out celebrating much afterwards anymore.

Things changed for the longest-serving member of the National Lacrosse League team this off-season the same way it did for captain Tracey Kelusky.

The two Riggers stars became fathers for the first time in a span of a couple months and now both have to juggle a family, day job and weekend hobby of lacrosse.

"Once you have a kid, everything is family first," said Toth, whose wife Mary-Ann gave birth to son Deo in September. "The wife can understand you are going to play lacrosse or going out with the guys, but when you are telling a baby you are going away for the weekend, it's more difficult.

"When I first started playing pro, I never thought I would be that guy. Here I am, someone who would rather hang out with his kid than go to the bar. It's a lot of growing up. I'm glad I did, though."

The Riggers try to go 4-0 tomorrow when they host the San Jose Stealth at the Saddledome (7:30 p.m., nll.com for video, Fan 960 radio).

So far in the 2009 season, Kelusky and Toth appear re-energized, so maybe fatherhood is working for them.

It also helps both players have recovered from injuries that slowed them down in 2008.

After missing most of last season with concussion problems, Kelusky is back running the left side. Following the home-opening win over Edmonton two weeks ago, Kelusky's wife Emily took son Kellar onto the floor, and it was an exciting moment for the family.

Kelusky runs the National Sports Academy and manages his time carefully.

"I used to respect the guys who had to do it," Kelusky said. "You knew about it, but you didn't realize exactly what it was like and how much they are doing just to play in the NLL.

"You value your time a lot more. You hope you have a time management system in place to set aside time to work out."

Toth also has a full-time job as a sales rep for Red Bull.

Toth's been playing with a lot of energy, which was evident in Saturday's 16-9 win over the Toronto Rock when he scored a hat-trick and added four assists.

He found enough time to get completely healed from hamstring and knee injuries that bothered him last season.

"I give my wife a lot of credit because she takes care of our son most times while I'm at work and out at lacrosse," said Toth, who had six goals and nine assists in three games this season.

"There's a special spot in my heart for him. The first thing I do when I come home is go to him. I don't care about eating or winding down.

"You never know how much you can miss someone until you have a kid. I don't get to see them 24-7.

"When I get home, I play with him for about an hour and then we have dinner and I play with him before he goes to the bed. It makes it more difficult to do training and have every single second thinking about lacrosse. Now it's priorities. Family time.

"Hopefully, I can play a few more years and have the family mix being all good."


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