Letters for leaders

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

What's in a name?

That's easy, letters.

But figuring out what's in a letter can be more difficult, especially for the Edmonton Rush lacrosse team when it comes to handing out its captains letters for this season.

And it turns out with all the experience on the team this year, there's not much to having a letter at all.

"I don't think I've ever been involved with a team at any level with so many leaders," said Rush head coach Derek Keenan. "In the past, I have always formed leadership groups that stretched beyond the captain and two assistants and this team's leadership group will be a big one."

Original Rush members Chris McElroy and Jimmy Quinlan were named captain and assistant captain, respectively, while veteran newcomer Brodie Merrill will have his sweater tagged with the other 'A.'

But that doesn't mean Keenan doesn't expect other veterans to ignore a leadership role.

''GO AROUND'

"Team leadership needs to be shared and we certainly have lots of it to go around," he said.

Ryan Powell has a full eight seasons of experience to share, himself.

"It doesn't matter to me, I just want to win," he said of being overlooked as a captain. "That's why I play this game. The same thing applies with the letters on people's jerseys, scoring goals and getting assists. That doesn't matter to me, it's all about having a win at the end of the day."

McElroy, who will wear the captain's crest for the third time in his five seasons with the Rush, said he couldn't agree more with the choice of assistants.

"We're very fortunate in the fact that we have a number of guys here who could be wearing letters on this team," McElroy said. "You look at Gavin Prout and Pat Jones, who were captains on Colorado and Portland last year, and they're not wearing letters, so that says something.

'GOOD PROBLEM'

"We've got a group of eight to 10 guys who could be captains or assistants so I think that's a good problem to have. We've got a lot of great leaders and you don't necessarily need a letter to be a leader."

Just like you don't necessarily always need to be either a leader or a follower, depending on the situation.

"We have an all-star team of leaders right now and there's such a great mix," said Prout. "There are guys out here that lead by example that are very silent leaders.

"There's guys that are vocal leaders and there are guys who are given respect regardless because of their experience or their history in the league and their knowledge of the game.

"So pretty much every single person that has come in looks like they could lead this team. Sure, there's the too-many-chiefs-not-enough-Indians (dilemma), but nobody seems to be the head chief out here, everybody's willing to pull in the same direction and as long as we know what that direction is, we'll all be OK."

GERRY.MODDEJONGE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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