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11/23/2013 - 10:23am

(November 23, 2013)… The Rochester Knighthawks will officially kick off the 2014 season today with the opening of Training Camp at the new state-of-the-art Unity Health System Total Sports Experience location in East Rochester. The back-to-back National Lacrosse League Champions are bidding to become the first team in league history to win three straight championships.

This week, the team re-signed Brad Self, Cody McLeod and Ian Llord, and inked free agent Wenster Green. All four players will practice from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. today at the West Commercial Street facility. The Knighthawks will hit the turf again on Sunday, November 24th for their second practice from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

“It’s great knowing I will be back in Rochester for the next four years,” said Self, who agreed to a new four-year contract. “To get it done before camp, get it out of the way and be able to focus on lacrosse is nice.”  

Craig Point, who inked a seven-year deal with Rochester this month, is ready to get back in the swing of things with the Knighthawks.

“Training Camp is coming soon and I can’t wait to get back around the guys again,” he said. “I am in a lot better shape and I am dying to get back on the floor. I can’t wait to get the season underway.”

The anticipation for Training Camp is being felt around the team as transition man Joel McCready, who recently re-signed with the Knighthawks for another year, is anxious to get to Rochester.

“I am extremely excited,” he said. “I have been counting down the days to Training Camp and just can’t wait to get on the floor and go to work.”

There will be many veteran players returning to the scene at Training Camp in Rochester on Saturday, however there will be four fresh faces at Total Sports Experience as well. The Knighthawks 2014 draft picks, Mark White, Zac Reid, Taylor Northway and Brandon Styres will be in attendance fighting for roster spots. The competition at Training Camp should be quite intense with the new CBA deal in place, reducing the active rosters from 23 to 20 players.

“I expect it to be very competitive. We only have three practices and three exhibition games (before the season starts). We are jumping right into it,” said Knighthawks Assistant Coach Jason Johnson. “We are looking to get down to where we need to be right away. Players have to show us right now.”

Mark White, the Knighthawks 27th overall pick in the third round of the 2014 NLL Entry Draft, has been preparing for camp non-stop.

“I’ve just been in the gym every single day and trying to keep my stick in my hands every day,” he said. “I really want to come into camp in the best possible shape I can be in and just increase my chances of making the team.”

Two weeks after the start of Training Camp, the Knighthawks will turn their attention to the preseason schedule, which will begin on Saturday, December 7th at The Blue Cross Arena. That night, Rochester will host the Minnesota Swarm at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are free and can be ordered by using the following Formstack link, The Knighthawks will kick off their historic 20th season on Saturday, December 28th, as they host Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena.

“We’re the champions and we are going to do everything in our power to defend our title,” said Knighthawks Assistant Captain Mike Kirk. “I can’t wait to get started.”

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