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Local National Lacrosse League legend seeks elusive title
Updated On: May 8, 2017
Callum Crawford. Photo provided

By Liam Fox

He’s perhaps Ottawa’s least-known sports superstar. Pro lacrosse player Callum Crawford wrapped up his National Lacrosse League regular season with the Colorado Mammoth on Apr. 28 and finished amongst the top-10 scorers for the sixth time in his career.

The 12-year NLL veteran will be a man on a mission this May to complete a career dream: win an NLL championship.

“That has been the focus of my career for quite a few years now and a big reason why I signed in Denver,” underlines Crawford, whose team went 9-9 to finish tied with Vancouver for 2nd in the west division. “I feel that this organization and the players that are here are capable of winning it. We just have to play our game at both ends and I like how our team is trending.”

The Mammoth’s leading scorer produced a career-high 36 goals and 62 assists this season – his second-best point total of all time, behind only last year when he tied a league record with 83 assists.

“If I am able to get a lot of points beside my name, it is a credit to the players I am playing with,” says Crawford, who needs playoff wins over Vancouver and west division-champion Saskatchewan to reach the final.

During the summer months, Crawford will join the Atlanta Blaze of Major League Lacrosse, North America’s other pro league. It will be the Gloucester Griffins product’s second year in a row playing in both the NLL and MLL.

He’ll also return home and play for the Kahnawake Mohawks in the Quebec Senior Lacrosse League, while also coaching the next generation of local lacrosse talent in various capacities, including running the Ottawa Capitals (a travel team he founded), and helping with the Nepean Knights club.

“I won’t commit to one program but I am always helping out wherever I can,” signals the 32-year-old.

Crawford says Ottawa is still not exactly a lacrosse hotbed, but was even less so when he was growing up in the city. Although there are more avenues for kids now, he notes, Junior ‘B’ remains the highest level of lacrosse in the city.

“I had to leave Ottawa to learn the game and have an opportunity to get where I am now,” highlights the former Long Island, NY-based Dowling College Golden Lion.

Crawford would love to see a pro team back in his hometown in the near future.

“It has to come through the Ottawa Sports (and Entertainment) Group,” he maintains. “They have done an incredible job with the Redblacks and Fury and I think would be a good fit in terms of ownership.”

Hot start for Griffins

The Gloucester Griffins knocked off the 2016 1st-place finishers from Akwesasne in their season opener on Apr. 29 at Earl Armstrong Arena followed by a 12-11 overtime victory over Kahnawake the next afternoon to start their 2017 Ontario Jr. ‘B’ Lacrosse League campaign 2-0.

The Nepean Knights open their Jr. ‘B’ season on the road May 3 before visiting Gloucester May 5.

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