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Q&A with team captain Andrew Suitor

03/27/2012, 1:39pm CDT
By Jessica Baltes

Andrew Suitor visits with Jessica Baltes of mnswarm.com for this week's Q&A session

Andrew “Suits” Suitor is in his second season with Minnesota, having been selected by the Swarm in the first round (4th overall) of the 2010 NLL Entry Draft. Suitor notched 10 points (5g, 5a) along with a team-high 108 loose balls in 13 games during his rookie season and was named to the 2011 All-Rookie Team.

At the beginning of the 2012 season, the Orangeville, Ontario native was named the captain of the team. True to form, Suitor has led by example and has tallied 17 points (12g, 5a) and is second on the team with 71 loose balls in 10 games. Suitor also started in his first All-Star Game this season and served as an assistant captain for the West.

Jessica Baltes from mnswarm.com recently caught up with Suits.

Baltes: This season, the team is made up of a number of young rookies, including Jordan MacIntosh. I remember hearing that he was your college roommate. It must have been pretty exciting for you when he was drafted in September.

Suitor: It was really cool. I was talking to John and Sully before the draft, and obviously they had their eyes on Jordan. I had only good things to say about him. I played against him my whole life and the opportunity to finally play with him has been great. I feel like our games really reflect each other and we continuously push each other, which is good to have too, whether it is on faceoffs, transition or both defensively and offensively. It’s definitely good to have him, and he’s someone who Swarm fans are going to have a lot of fun watching for a lot of years to come.

Baltes: A number of the guys from the team are living in St. Paul this season. You recently starred in the “Tales from Neverland – Cribs Edition” video for mnswarm.com. How did the “Neverland” thing come about?

Suitor: The Neverland thing is just that we have nine beauties here who don’t want to grow up. It’s pretty fun, just playing video games. We bought mini stick lacrosse nets. We bought Cornhole. We’re just hanging out. It’s really good as far as team chemistry goes. I mean, if you ask any of the nine guys what each other’s parent’s names are or if they have siblings or whatever it is, everyone knows the answers. It’s a real tight knit group, including Joe Cinosky and Todd Baxter as well. It’s good to have all of these guys here to make a tight knit group and a tighter family. I think that it’s been the best thing that I’ve been a part of, at least in my two years so far.

Baltes: Does having so many guys here give you the opportunity to get in a lot more practice than you did last season?

Suitor: Yeah, in a sense. There’s a rule in the NLL that if you have a practice you can’t have more than eight players on the floor. So, we have to run practices where only eight guys are on the floor, while the other guys do pushups or ride the bike or fix their sticks and stuff. It’s definitely good, especially having Evan Kirk down here. He hops in there and he gets to see a lot of rubber during the week, and I think that’s reflected in his unbelievable play.

Baltes: You were selected as the captain of the Swarm this year, having only entered your second season in the league. How do you like your new role so far? Which of your qualities do you feel makes you an effective leader for this young team?

Suitor: It was definitely an honor and a privilege to be selected. I'm just trying to work hard and go out there and give it everything that I’ve got and do whatever it is for the team. It kind of feels like everyone in our locker room is a captain. It’s good that we have all of that opportunity and we are thankful to have all of these leaders.

Baltes: You have some bright yellow shoes that you are well-known for wearing. You started that last season. Is there a reason that you got into wearing those and that you have continued the tradition?

Suitor: No, it’s just kind of something that I stepped into last year and kept it going. I got a lot of positive feedback from the fans, so I just kept wearing them. It’s easier for my mom to see me when she watches the game, so it’s a little bit for her too.

Baltes: You participated in your first All-Star game this past February and you were named as one of the assistant captains for the West, helping the team win its first game in six years. What did it mean to you to be selected to the team and to make the journey to Buffalo with a few of your teammates?

Suitor: It was just so cool to go there and to go into that dressing room, especially to share it with MacIntosh, Benesch and Crawford. You walk in and there’s Shawn Williams who got to a thousand points this year, John Grant Jr. who got his thousandth point this year. You just look around at all of the talent in the room. It’s just incredible to be a part of. You also get to see old friends. I battled and played against Kyle Rubisch my whole life. You look over and there’s Geoff Snider and Rory Smith. I mean just everyone getting along and having fun.

More than anything, it was great just to get the opportunity to finally play together, because for some of those guys, they would probably never get the opportunity to play together just because they are such superstars on their own teams. The chance of them being combined on one team is not very high, so it was definitely fun to be a part of. It was great to get the big win over the East. It’s just a learning experience, and more than anything something that I’ll never forget.

Baltes: Last May, you participated in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships at a member of Team England. What was that experience like and is it something that you would want to do again in the future?

Suitor: Absolutely. It was a great experience. It was the first time in my life that I actually got to represent my mom’s side of the family, so that was a big honor. I sent one of my jerseys over there. It was something that I would love to do again. Obviously, it’s every kid’s dream to play for Team Canada, but playing for England was awesome. Getting to know all of the English boys was a great time. There’s a great group of guys and the lacrosse community is so small that we all had the same knowledge and stuff. It was cool just hanging out and getting to know people from different countries. Getting to experience Prague and at the same time seeing guys who I’ve looked up to my entire life on Team Canada, watching them play and getting to know them. Everything fell together perfectly and it was just a great experience.

Baltes: During the season opener, you had what is sure to be one of the most memorable goals of the season. What was your reaction when your full-field shot went in?

Suitor: I was just kind of in shock. I was like, alright, I guess it’s over now. I didn’t really think that it was actually a goal, especially when the challenge flag came out.  I was like, well it was cool while it lasted. Then when he called it a goal it was a surprise, and more than anything I was excited that we had momentum going into the second quarter, because as they showed, Buffalo is a great lacrosse team.  They are a team that has been great in this league for the past 20-25 years. We were lucky enough to sneak that one out of them, but more than anything that goal was just momentum for us.

Baltes: I read that you will be playing for the MSL’s Peterborough Lakers this summer.  There are some other incredible players from the NLL on that team too, so that should be a lot of fun. Plus, you’ll be a little bit closer to home, right?

Suitor: That was the biggest thing. I get to stay in Ontario this summer. My family gets to see me play more than one or two games. They don’t have to watch it on the Internet.  I get to see them, and Peterborough isn’t too far from my hometown. I can just shoot home on the weekends if I don’t have anything going on to see the family and stuff. Also, the opportunity to play under Sully and Keaster again is something that I’m really looking forward to.

Baltes: The Swarm finally returns home this Friday, March 30 after a long break for “Heroes Night.” The last time that you guys played Calgary, you had a ripped jersey and ended up wearing Joe Cinosky’s. It must have been a bit weird for you to be wearing "#4" vs. your usual "#20"?

Suitor: Yeah, it was different. But if I have to wear anyone’s jersey, I’d love to wear my boy Cinosky’s. It was good to wear it. He’s a class act guy. It’s too bad that he wasn’t in the lineup for us then, but it gave me a little extra motivation to play for him. He’s an absolute warrior and he goes to work for us all the time. It was good to have the opportunity to wear that for him, but more than anything everyone on our team is excited to be coming home. It’s been a long time. It’s tough going into other people’s barns. It’s not the same as coming out in the Hive where you actually get cheers instead of boos. We’re looking forward to a cheer instead of a boo when we get announced.

Baltes: The team had a tough couple of games on the road recently. What is it going to take for the team to come away with a win at the Hive this weekend?

Suitor: Discipline for sure. Our defense and our whole team has to take a step forward. Calgary is in my mind one of the best teams, if not the best team, in the NLL. Their offense is extremely explosive and their defense is unbelievable. Their goalie is an absolute gem back there. We are just going to have to come out and play our A game. They are going to want revenge on us. We beat them in their barn, so they are going to be fired up to beat us in ours. We have to come out with everything that we’ve got.

Baltes: April Fool’s Day is coming up…have you ever pulled any good pranks on anyone or had one pulled on you? Or perhaps you’re a little worried about this year?

Suitor: I haven’t really been a part of any good ones. I don’t think that I’ve pulled any. I’m definitely real nervous with Benesch, who is quite the prankster. We’re a little nervous there, but Jordan MacIntosh, Corbyn Tao and I might have something planned for the boys. We’ll definitely have that video going for the fans and everyone to see it if we can pull it off.

Check out "Tales from Neverland - Cribs Edition" featuring Suits.

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