The Boston Cannons (0-2) have not gotten off to the start they had hoped for in 2018. One of the premier franchise’s in Major League Lacrosse is looking to bounce back from a last place finish a season ago, and veterans like Max Seibald are leading the way.
Boston was blown out of the water by a red hot Charlotte team in Week 1, but in Week 2 the team’s progress was clear. The Cannons did wind up losing to Atlanta 19-12, but there is certainly hope for the team going forward. Team captain Max Seibald knows that it’s a long MLL season and that Boston has to remain focused each week.
“It’s a long season. I’ve been on this team long enough to know that those things (losses) happen. Our team in three, four, or five weeks is going to have a completely different feel and the chemistry will improve as well. We have some leaders that we are still waiting on, some guys on the injured reserve currently so we’re focusing on the next game, not focusing on the past game (Charlotte) and we have a lot to build on.”
In some ways, the Cannons Week 1 blowout loss could also be a blessing in disguise. Veterans on the team recognize that, and they have to get the message through to the young guys.
“That type of beat down might actually help us clear our minds and focus a little bit more. It could have been a blessing in disguise and hopefully we right the ship sooner rather than later,” Seibald said.
The Cannons will also have some help coming in from the college level, as they selected Denver face-off specialist Trevor Baptiste with the 1st overall selection in the recent draft. Seibald knows that Baptiste can be a difference maker for the Cannons.
“Baptiste. He’s an elite player, obviously one of the best at what he does and clearly has the potential to impact the team very much. He’s an incredible face-off athlete, I’ve heard he’s an incredible kid off the field. Excited to see what he can do in the face-off X and also putting in some goals off that face-off. He’s going to be a nice addition to the squad.”
A Week in the MLL
For those that are unaware, Major League Lacrosse is a part-time profession. These players have to work other jobs, while also maintaining their body to be able to play each weekend. Here’s how Seibald keeps himself and the younger players in line throughout the week during the season.
“I’m focusing on looking at the game film to see where I can improve. Teammates, we’re always communicating through email or on GroupMe, with the coaches in there as well. Try to be in the gym two to three times per week just to one get a nice workout in and prepare for the competition at the end of the week. On my end as a veteran and a leader it’s police people to make sure they’re carrying their weight. It shows whether or not they are doing their share of work or not. If they’re not putting in the time to improve throughout the week and prepare their body and keep their body healthy for the season, that will show come game day and then they won’t be playing. The league polices itself in that mater because there are so many great players in this league. There are so many great practice players and guys just chomping at the bit to get an opportunity to play. Everyone knows what they have to do to prepare themselves for the following week, and if they aren’t doing that it will become obvious.”
Most players will then drive or fly into the city where they are playing on Friday night. Many don’t even live near their own team, so travel is required even for home games. Max Seibald lives in New York City, so travel is a must each and every week whether the game is in Boston, Dallas, Charlotte, or any other MLL city. That’s when the routine kicks in though, and Max aims to keep it the same each and every week.
“We have a pretty late night practice Friday when we get the majority of the team there. Maybe a quick bite and off to bed. Usually wake up early for breakfast and a walk-through practice. Then I’ll usually have lunch and then we have about three to four hours to our self before we have to get back to the stadium. In that time I am generally off my feet. I’m napping, I’m hanging in the room, not doing much. I try to show up two and a half hours before games just to get the body ready. I get extra work done with our trainers I get taped up, I try to prepare my old, old body to work like it used to, and it takes a little longer now.”
On coming back for one more MLL season
There was speculation that Seibald would retire after last season, and he admits that he was seriously considering it.
“There were a number of factors. I think last year I kept it to myself that going into that season I had a lot of thoughts of retiring. Towards the end of the season my body was very beat down. To start off the season I tore a ligament in my toe the week of the first game so I missed the first couple of games and then I had to play with that throughout the entire season. I hurt my shoulder and played with that the second half of the season. So I felt like I was kind of a shell of myself, just battling injuries throughout the entire year, but it continud to wear and build on me. Taking last place and my body feeling 20 years older that it is on Monday mornings, I was in a position where I thought hanging it up was maybe the right choice. The team wasn’t pressuring me, they gave me the time to think things through and they made some exciting offseason moves on the coaching staff and with players on the team. My body started feeling better, I started training a little differently and started to get my body into position to where it could be ready to play and I think selfishly having previously not told anyone, a lot of people who have followe my career didn’t get a chance to come to my last few game so they expressed that a little bit as well. I wanted to not make a big spectacle of it but just kind of let them know that this is probaby gonna be it and I’m happy rounding out my MLL career at ten years. I’m excited about what’s next in life as well. Lacrosse has been a part of my life since I was six years old so I won’t be letting it go, but taking part in a different way.”
In what is likely his final season, Max Seibald has 7 home games in Boston. The first is this weekend on May 5th as the Cannons host the Dallas Rattlers at Harvard Stadium. The Cannons will also host this season’s Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game, and hopefully Max makes a final appearance there as well. Seibald and the team will be looking to play late into the season, with the championship game being played in Charleston, SC.
If you haven’t been to a Boston Cannons game at all, it’s time for you to check out the team and one of the best players in Max Seibald. Make sure you see him play before he finally retires for good.