Since entering the league in 2003, Minnesota Swarm Assistant Captain Aaron Wilson has racked up 533 points (283g, 250a) and 585 loose balls in 137 career games. Before being traded to Minnesota during the 2009 season, he played with the Toronto Rock for six seasons and had a brief stint with the Rochester Knighthawks.
In 14 game appearances, Wilson has recorded 52 points (22g, 30a) and 31 loose balls. Last season, he tallied a career-high 89 points (40g, 49a) for the Swarm and ranked fifth in the league for overall scoring.
After the unforgettable experience of winning a Champion’s Cup with Toronto, Wilson is ready to help lead Minnesota to its first.
Jessica Baltes from the Minnesota Swarm recently caught up with F Aaron Wilson.
Baltes: What is your occupation outside of playing lacrosse?
Wilson: My occupation is an electrician with a company called Brock Solutions.
Baltes: Is it difficult balancing two different jobs?
Wilson: Yes, it is. It’s very difficult sometimes with the travel. You need lots of days off, usually Thursday or Friday. Especially getting home Sundays, it makes Monday mornings pretty difficult too.
Baltes: The amount of practice time that you guys have is very limited. Do you ever get together with some of the guys who live near you, like Benesch or Watt, to get in some extra practice?
Wilson: We don’t normally get together to practice. We usually get together just to hang out. If we had somewhere to practice around here, I’m sure we would. There is really no where to practice here. You can’t really practice outside during winter time. I’d like to, but we can’t unfortunately.
Baltes: You were a member of the Toronto Rock in 2005 when the team won the Champion’s Cup. What was that experience like?
Wilson: It was something that I’ll never forget. Any time you win the championship with a team and all the hard work you put into it pays off in the end it’s something you never forget. It’s something that we are working toward here in Minnesota. So hopefully soon we can accomplish our goal and win a championship.
Baltes: You’ve been there and you know what it’s like. What areas do you feel the Swarm needs to improve at in order to make it to the Champion’s Cup?
Wilson: I think we need to improve in all areas. I think that we are close, but we need to improve in certain areas. You just need to find that extra something that teams have. This year I think that any team in the league has a chance to win. Going into the playoffs, we need to find our games. Everyone has to be at the top of their game and play their best. We need to play mistake free lacrosse and everyone has to be on the same page.
Baltes: How did you get into playing lacrosse?
Wilson: When I was a kid, my parents and I moved to a new house when I was seven or eight years old. My neighbor played lacrosse, and I kind of got it from him. I joined, and I loved it right from day one.
Baltes: Obviously, lacrosse and hockey are pretty big sports up in Canada. I noticed on your Twitter page that you are a Vikings fan. Is football well received in Canada and something you have followed for a long time?
Wilson: The NFL is big here, believe it or not. Fans are everywhere and everyone has their team. Obviously you have to be a sports fan, but if you are a sports fan, you definitely love the NFL. When I got traded to Minnesota, I kind of jumped on the Vikings bandwagon. I’m in a football pool every year that I love. Sundays from September to February are definitely spent on the couch watching the NFL.
Baltes: When you were growing up, were there any athletes who you really admired and tried to emulate?
Wilson: Yeah, I’m a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark were two hockey players who I idolized and watched growing up. I just admired the way that they played hockey, the way they committed themselves to the game, worked so hard and did anything for their teammates. I try to bring that to the game of lacrosse and do the same thing for my teammates.
Baltes: You are in your ninth season in the NLL. Do you have any professional goals you have yet to accomplish?
Wilson: Definitely. You always want to work towards new goals and set higher goals for yourself. Whenever you win a championship once your goal is to win another one, especially when you join a new team. I’m on a new team here in Minnesota. It’s my third year. My goal is to win a championship in Minnesota. That’s what I’m working toward. Being one of the older guys, I’m a leader on the team and I have to set the example for some of the younger guys and teach them what it takes to win. I’m trying to do that the best I can. We are all working toward one common goal and that’s a championship.
Baltes: Hive Cares night is coming up this Saturday. The team will be taking on the Philadelphia Wings and has yet to beat an Eastern Division opponent this season. How important is this game to the team’s momentum going into the playoffs?
Wilson: It’s very important to win our last two. We still have a chance for second place and a home playoff game, so that’s a goal of ours. Unfortunately, we lost a close one last weekend out in Washington. We need to win our last two here combined with a Washington loss this weekend. We can get that second seat and a home playoff game. We are just looking toward our game against Philadelphia. All we can do is look at that and hopefully we can win that, Washington can lose and everything can fall into place here for a home playoff game.
Baltes: Now that the team has clinched a spot in the playoffs, what’s going to be the key to success?
Wilson: The key to success is just going to be mistake free lacrosse. Every team is so talented in the NLL. Usually the team that wins is the team that plays the best lacrosse. Mistake free, no mental break downs and the team that has the most the chemistry on that night is going to win the game. We just need to concentrate on everyone doing their jobs to the best of their abilities and we should come out on top.
Baltes: What do you like to do in your free time?
Wilson: Usually just hang out with friends and my wife. I’m usually on the move all the time, so when I get a chance for some down time, I’m on the couch watching sports or hanging out with friends and having a few beverages or sitting out in the sun in the summertime and just relaxing.
Favorite Animal: Dog. I have two pugs.
Favorite Candy: White Chocolate.
Favorite Singer/Band: Green Day and Billy Joe Armstrong. I’ve seen them 15 times.
Favorite Actor/Actress: Jim Carrey
Favorite Movie: Dumb and Dumber
Favorite NLL City to Visit: Boston