Sean Pollock calls Minnesota home, which is often a rarity for players in the far-ranging, weekend-playing National Lacrosse League. Selected in 2004 during the Minnesota Swarm’s expansion draft, Pollock is still playing in St. Paul, and is among only a handful of Swarm players who have been here since day one.
The Wallaceburg, Ontario native now stands as the team’s all-time leading goal scorer with 120 goals and is quickly approaching the all-time points record. Swarm fans – and management – can rest easy now that Pollock has inked a three-year extension, ensuring he’ll be in a Swarm sweater through the 2013 season.
“Polly” sat down with mnswarm.com to discuss his love for Minnesota and the key to a Swarm playoff run.
Paitich: You’ve spent many years in a Swarm jersey, six to be exact. You must like it here…
Pollock: Definitely. I came here during my second year in the league; it was Minnesota’s first year in the league when I was chosen in the expansion draft (2004). I’m actually the original member from the expansion draft, the only one left. It’s been an interesting six years and hopefully there’s another six in me. Of course I love it here. I met my wife here. I live here full time and I have a house with my wife. Minnesota is home now.
Paitich: When you were selected by the Swarm in its inaugural season, did you ever think you would stay here this long?
Pollock: I always hoped but I never knew. I was young; I was only 22. At that point, I was just hoping to stick in the league for more than a year. I really didn’t think long term but more short term. As I got into year three or four, I hoped this is where I could play my whole career, and like I said, hopefully play for another five, six, seven years … who knows.
Paitich: Well, it sounds like you’ll be sticking around for a while. General Manager Marty O’Neill recently signed you to a three-year extension.
Pollock: I worked hard. It’s something I wanted to work towards just so I don’t have to go into every offseason worrying about contract stuff. I can just concentrate on playing and not worrying about if I am going to have a contract going into training camp or not. Obviously Marty felt the same way and we came to an agreement.
Paitich: You became Minnesota’s all-time leading goal scorer a couple games ago. How does that feel?
Pollock: I haven’t really thought about it a whole lot. It’s something for goals that Ryan (Ward) held and we’re good friends. I think most of it has to do with the fact that I’ve been here a lot longer than everybody else. But it means also that I’ve been consistent over the years. Apparently – someone brought it up – that the all-time points record isn’t too far off either, so that will be pretty exciting looking back at my career.
Paitich: You mentioned the previous record holder, Ryan Ward. Do you guys still talk?
Pollock: Yeah, actually we’re really good friends. We talk weekly. Away from lacrosse, we actually hang out quite a bit. He’s probably one of my better friends.
Paitich: Are those kind of friendships commonplace in the NLL when players head their separate ways?
Pollock: I think it’s pretty common. If it’s a guy you played with for a year or two and don’t get to know as well, you probably lose touch with each other. There’s many guys throughout the league I’ve lost touch with; we’ll touch base when we see each other. But guys like Ryan, being really close friends with them, you’ve got to make the effort to make it work when they move on.
Paitich: The Swarm have suffered a few tough losses in a row here. Do those drain on you or motivate you or both?
Pollock: It’s been tough. I kind of addressed the guys the other night. I don’t say a whole lot in front of the whole team but I think we have a really solid team here. It’s one of the best in the six years I’ve been here, if not the best, even if the record doesn’t show it. We’ve lost four one-goal games at home, three of them in overtime. We lost a two-goal game in Edmonton. There’s five games right there where we could be 10-6, but, you know, good teams pull that out and we have to find a way to do that here real quick.
Paitich: Playing a tough Orlando squad this Saturday, the last home game of the year. Your thoughts?
Pollock: It’s important for us to go into the playoff game against Washington or Edmonton, whoever it might be, with some momentum. We haven’t had any here in the last five weeks. It’s important for us to get out here to a quick start and to maintain it for 60 minutes. It’s a big game for us, to show we can play with probably the best team in the league.
Paitich: What’s going to be the key to any playoff success?
Pollock: The key for any team is to get off to a quick start and build some momentum. If you get out to a quick lead, it’s easy to play out front than it is to be chasing all day. It’s important to get out and build confidence in yourself as the game goes on.
Paitich: You were named the new boys’ high school lacrosse coach at Lakeville South. That must be pretty exciting.
Pollock: Absolutely. The guys are working hard. We’re 1-2 right now. We played two tough teams recently. The boys have been playing better and getting better each time out. It’s exciting. It’s more of a sprint than a marathon because you get in and get at it right away. The practice times are few and far between because we play so many games. It’s a lot of fun.
Paitich: Is this something you’ve wanted to get into for a long time?
Pollock: I enjoy coaching. I enjoy working with the kids. I’d like to somehow, when my playing career is over, maybe I can get into the NLL as a coach. I would definitely like to do that, but first things first – let’s work on the playing career.