The last time 2012 Swarm draft pick Shayne Jackson saw coach Joe Sullivan in a game setting was in September – from opposite ends of the field. Sullivan was an assistant coach for the MSL’s Peterborough Lakers, while Jackson was on the floor as a forward for the WLA’s Langley Thunder. The two teams met six times in competition for the Mann Cup, in which the Lakers were eventually victorious.
The Langley Thunder forward did not go down without a fight, however. Jackson scored 11 points (4g, 7a) over the best-of-seven series, in which Coach Sullivan said, “He was a guy who really demanded a lot of attention and you couldn’t leave alone, when you do leave him alone he puts up points against you.”
After being selected by the Swarm fourth overall in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft, Jackson is looking forward to playing for Sullivan as opposed to the other way around. “It’s going to be great,” Jackson says. “He’s been there and has won Mann Cups. To play for a coach who knows how to win is always special.”
The word “win” is synonymous with Jackson, who has been very successful in just about every level of lacrosse he has played. At Onondaga Community College, the Bowmanville, Ontario native won two national championships and recorded an incredible 121 points (58g, 63a) in 2010. After transferring to Limestone College for his junior and senior seasons, the dynamic lefty forward was named a Tewaaraton Award finalist, USILA First-Team All-American, Jac Coyne/Lacrosse Magazine Online National Division II Player of the Year and received the Conference Carolinas Co-Player of the Year award. During Jackson’s senior year in 2012, Limestone made it to the DII Championship game, and narrowly lost 11-10 to Dowling College.
In junior ball, Jackson performed great feats as well. He won the Minto Cup in 2011 with Whitby and tied for ninth in the league in scoring with 84 points (31g, 54a).
When asked about his previous successes, Jackson says, “I’d like to think I’m a winner. Everywhere I’ve played I’ve been to a championship game and it takes a lot to do that in any league, so I hope to continue my winning ways with the Swarm.”
The Limestone College graduate joins former NLL scoring champion Ryan Benesch on the left side of the field, increasing the team’s depth at the forward position. “We’re going to be a heck of a lot better with Shayne Jackson going out our front door helping us out offensively,” Sullivan says. “We’ve got enough depth there that we’re not going to miss a beat and we’ll continue to get better as Shayne gets better.”
Jackson is excited for the opportunity to play with Benesch and the rest of the Swarm, citing that he likes to surround himself with other players that love to win. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, I really like working with guys that want to win.”
During the 2012 NLL Entry Draft Jackson was a part of history, being one of the Swarm’s four first-round picks. However, the lefty forward notes that how early in the draft he was selected did not matter to him. “It was a pretty cool night, to go behind Brock (Sorensen) and Kiel (Matisz)," Jackson says. "It didn’t really matter when I was drafted, I’m just happy to have the opportunity to be playing for a great organization like Minnesota.”
Photo Credit: Limestone College