FERGUS – Bringing residence the Nationwide Lacrosse League (NLL) trophy was a “very surreal second” for 23-year-old Carter McKenzie.
He just lately completed his first yr enjoying for the Buffalo Bandits, who received the championship on June 3.
Now, it’s his flip with the cup, and he gathered with household and mates on Aug. 5 to rejoice with a golf event and barbecue in his hometown of Fergus.
The celebration was a chance for him to share a second with a lot of the essential individuals in his life who’ve supported his journey, performed lacrosse with him or watched him play, McKenzie mentioned.
He famous his sister Lauren organized the celebration and has at all times been his largest supporter.
“She has been a rock via me and my brother’s lacrosse profession,” he mentioned in a cellphone interview with the Advertiser.
Lauren usually drives three to 4 hours to observe her brother’s video games and cheer him on.
“I actually wouldn’t be the place I’m now with out her,” McKenzie mentioned. “I’m very, very fortunate for that. My mother, dad, brother and sister are my largest followers.”
McKenzie mentioned there’s additionally a way of household inside the Buffalo Bandits staff, with the gamers creating a powerful bond.
Although McKenzie was on the staff’s observe roster, he performed 13 of 18 video games this season. He mentioned he feels good about what he added to the staff, noting he wasn’t “simply there for the trip, [but] truly capable of contribute to the common season.”
He can be enjoying for the Buffalo Bandits once more subsequent yr after resigning with them on Aug. 3.
McKenzie was born and raised in Fergus and performed all his minor sports activities right here.
“It’s good to rejoice with the neighborhood. I really feel like I owe quite a bit to minor sports activities and everybody that helped me alongside the way in which,” McKenzie mentioned.
He attended highschool and college elsewhere, however McKenzie mentioned he returned to Fergus each summer season.
“It’s my residence right here,” he mentioned, and it’s “been a terrific residence for me.”
McKenzie has at all times been enthusiastic about sports activities, together with baseball and hockey, and he mentioned he fell in love with lacrosse when he was about seven.
He mentioned because of the game he was capable of attend an excellent college in Kingston. The game has additionally given him robust connections to the opposite athletes on his groups.
He mentioned rising up enjoying lacrosse was like “rising up with 20 different brothers,” whose bond strengthened with each win and each loss.
Enjoying lacrosse gives an “escape from actuality,” McKenzie mentioned, as within the midst of the sport “nothing else issues – what’s happening at residence, what’s happening in school simply disappears and I can neglect about life for an hour, hour and a half and simply benefit from the sport.”
McKenzie’s targets are easy: to enhance each season.
“If I see enhancements yearly, that’s what’s going to make me completely satisfied,” he mentioned.
In the end, McKenzie mentioned it could be “fairly superior” to win the cup once more, however he doesn’t need to get too far forward of himself.