After spending the 2008-10 seasons at Adrian & RIT and serving as assistant captain and defenseman for the Orangeville Northmen of the OLA Junior A Lacrosse League, T Andrew Suitor was selected fourth overall in the first round of the 2010 NLL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Swarm.
In his first season in the NLL, Suitor has made his presence felt. In 10 games, he has tallied 7 points (4g, 3a), 68 loose balls, 38 PIM and 9 FT. Amongst rookies; he leads the league in faceoff wins and penalty minutes, ranks second in loose balls and comes in third for forced turnovers.
After winning two Minto Cups and three Ontario titles in his time with Orangeville, his sights are now set on something even bigger – a NLL Champion’s Cup.
Jessica Baltes from the Minnesota Swarm recently caught up with Andrew Suitor.
Baltes: This is your first season in the NLL. What has been the highlight for you so far?
Suitor: Running out of the Xcel tunnel during the first game, hearing my name called and realizing that my number one dream in life has come true: I’m playing in the NLL.
Baltes: You recently moved to St. Paul. How do you like it here so far?
Suitor: It’s amazing here, except for how cold it is all the time!
Baltes: Oh, come on! You’re from Canada!
Suitor: It’s way colder here!
Baltes: Do you have a job outside of playing lacrosse?
Suitor: Not right now. I’m not allowed, because I don’t have a green card. When I go home, I’m working on getting my electrician card.
Baltes: You played for the Orangeville Northmen for several years, you played lacrosse in college, and you will now be playing for the Victoria Shamrocks during the summer. How has the transition from juniors and college lacrosse to the NLL been for you?
Suitor: It’s been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. You go from playing with boys who are out trying to make a name for themselves to playing with men who are some of the greatest players ever to play this game. You make that jump and no one is going to be able to make it and just be okay with it, or fit in right away. It’s been tough. You have to be stronger, faster and you have to think on your feet a lot quicker. It’s like jumping from being in diapers to being able to run.
Baltes: On April 2nd, you had an incredible game. How did it feel to score your first goal in the NLL and to help the team clinch a spot in the playoffs?
Suitor: The playoffs is honestly the only thing that really is the big thing for me there. Scoring a goal was real cool, just so now I can say I’ve done it. That’s good, and it felt amazing to get like a monkey off my back kind of thing. I think it took way too long for that to happen. It’s good to get one, but more importantly we are definitely in the playoffs and we are definitely getting a home playoff game. That’s next on the list.
Baltes: What’s your routine like on game days?
Suitor: Wake up. Go to the shot around. If we are at home, I go to Tom Reid’s and I have 2 pieces of chicken and 2 plates of pasta. Come back, have a nap, wake up, shower. Next thing is to brush my teeth, do my hair, put on my suit. Get to the arena, have a peanut butter sandwich, but only one slice of bread. I put the peanut butter on it, fold it and eat it. Then have my headphones on with Kid Cudi “Soundtrack 2 My Life” blaring when I step onto the floor and have a couple of shots.
Baltes: What are your thoughts on being branded as a member of the so-called “Bash Brothers” (along with Defenseman Rory Smith)?
Suitor: I think it’s awesome. I used to go against Rory and now he’s kind of been like a big brother to me taking me under his wing. He’s definitely Bash Brother #1 as much as it kills me to say. We have a lot of fun together and he’s helped me out as much as anybody has that I have ever played lacrosse with as far as even just helping me defensively, watching tape with him and even showing me how to maybe throw a couple of better punches. So, it’s been awesome.
Baltes: Next month, you will be heading to Prague to participate in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships as a member of Team England. How are the members of the team selected and how did you end up on Team England?
Suitor: The way it’s selected is just a ballot. There is a coach, the general manager and the sponsors for the team and you just have to apply. The reason I’m allowed to apply is that my mother was born in Montreal and raised in Scotland. My grandmother was born in Scotland, so I’m grandfathered in because of that nationality. I got the opportunity to apply, I applied and was selected. I cannot wait for the opportunity to play against Team Canada and Team USA and Team Iroquois. You get to see all of these gifted athletes put together on one floor. It’s like being at an All-Star game. They are the best, so I can’t wait for that opportunity.
Baltes: How did you get into playing lacrosse? Did you play any other sports growing up?
Suitor: I started off playing hockey, like most Canadians. Thought I was the next Sidney Crosby going straight to the NHL, but as you grow up you realize that’s probably not a possibility. Lacrosse was always the off-season sport until I was about 10, and then I realized that I wanted to play lacrosse way more than hockey. Hockey became an off-season sport, and I started playing a lot more lacrosse. It has always been lacrosse and hockey. Then in high school I got into badminton hard core, because it was a great way to keep in shape. So pretty much badminton, lacrosse and hockey.
Baltes: Do you have a favorite lacrosse memory?
Suitor: Definitely. It would be this summer going into the Minto Cup, game 2, where it was do or die for our team. Matty Sawyer gave about a five minute speech on life and how it has been to coach. I think there were five guys on the team who had been there for four or five years. The inspiration, the commitment and the emotion in the speech is definitely my fondest lacrosse moment for sure.
Baltes: I like the new shoes. They make you very easy to spot on the field! Have you been getting a lot of comments on them?
Suitor: Yes, especially from my little sister. She’s been saying that it’s a lot easier to watch me play with those on. She actually knows who I am all the time. Whatever’s easier for her to see me play makes me okay with them.
Baltes: There are only 3 regular season games left this season. Did defeating the West Division champs last weekend help to give you guys some extra confidence going into the remaining games?
Suitor: I think it definitely helped our confidence, but at the same time we have to understand that these three games are the most important games of the year so far. With the opportunity to clinch that home playoff game, we have to win out. There’s no questions asked. As much as that’s a huge win against Calgary, we’ve already forgot about that, and we’re already focused on Washington and going in there and getting a win. We’re not even looking past that game. We’re just going to take it one game at a time and hopefully three wins by the end of this last stretch here.
Baltes: What do you like to do in your free time?
Suitor: I go to Minnesota Top Team with Rory a lot to train with Jeremy Clark, who has just been great getting us in shape. I also go with Chris Molitor. We hit the weights there, a lot of running and working on your agility. Other than that, just a lot of Xbox and playing cards with the boys. It’s a good time.
Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite TV Show: Sons of Anarchy or One Tree Hill
Favorite Song at the Moment: Kid Cudi “Soundtrack 2 My Life”
Favorite Food: My mom’s stuffed green peppers
Favorite City in the World to Visit: Victoria, British Columbia
Favorite Sport (besides lacrosse!): Badminton