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Draft Outlook: Atlanta Blaze

January 28, 2019
Spencer Ford begins his fourth season with the Atlanta Blaze as the General Manager. Ford has also been serving as an assistant coach for the Blaze since the 2016 inaugural season.

The 2019 MLL Draft is set to take place on March 9th, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We sat down with Spencer to hear what he and the Atlanta Blaze are looking forward to at the Draft this year.

How are you preparing for the 2019 MLL Draft?
We watch as many NCAA practices as possible, we attend games and study film. The last couple of weeks have been very busy for Coach Banks and me, visiting about 20-30 practices. 

Do you have any superstitions around Draft Day?
We do not, we feel like we have done more than all of our homework, but we certainly get nervous as it’s unknown what everyone else is thinking. 

Who from your team staff will be assisting you with the Draft this year?
Me (Spencer Ford, GM & Assistant Coach)
Andre Gudger (Owner)
Liam Banks (Head Coach)
Dan Dworakowski (Analytics)
Brendan Cox (Analytics)

Is there a style of play or a personality you consider when drafting?
We, first and foremost, look for players who are team-first guys. Players who are the hardest working guys in practice, because we know that the personal responsibility needed in pro lacrosse is hard to handle. From there we like to see great size, speed, and skill. It is important to note that we don’t look at the player ranking but consider which player will best fit our roster. While a top player may be available, we will prioritize what our roster needs.

What would someone at the draft expect to hear?
A lot of excitement, some worry but many details of exactly what we are looking for. He also may hear us guess the picks.... 

Which college team do you think has the strongest senior class?
I think it’s very spread out this year, no more than a few from each school, which makes it even more important to study and see live action. 

Which college team do you think will win it all this year?
Duke / UVA 

Can you give us any of your top draft-prospects?
Attack - Pat Spencer (Loyola University)
Midfield - Zach Goodrich (Towson University)
FO - Alex Woodall (Towson University)
Def - Johnny Surdick (Army)
Goal - AJ Barretto (Army)

What do you think of the MLL Draft taking place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year?
I am excited about it, there is a great history in NASCAR and we both thrive off of speed. I am also extremely happy that we are working with one of the all-time MLL greats - Chris Schiller, he was everything right about the league and I am looking forward to seeing him and catching up. 

Where should the 2020 MLL Draft take place?
New York City! Let's go big time!

More About Atlanta Blaze GM Spencer Ford
Twitter:  @spencer_sford
Spencer Ford begins his fourth season with the  Atlanta Blaze as General Manager. Ford has also been serving as an assistant coach for the Blaze since the 2016 inaugural season.
Prior to the Blaze, Spencer worked in the front office of the Chesapeake Bayhawks as their General Manager from 2010-2015.  
As a prolific player in the MLL himself, Spencer began his 8-year tour through the MLL in 2001 with the Bayhawks, however moving in 2006 to the Rochester Rattlers. In 2007, Spencer joined the expansion team, the LA Riptide where he not only earned the award of MLL Most Improved Player-of-the-Year but also broke the single-season record for assists in the league--a record that still stands. Ford also led the Riptides to Championship game in 2007 and earned a spot for himself on the 2007 All-MLL Team. In 2008, Spencer made his second All-Star team with the Long Island Lizards, where he also set the All-Star Game assist record. 
As a member of the Towson University lacrosse team, Spencer earned All-American and 1stTeam All-Conference honors. He set numerous records at Towson in 1999 and was the national leader in assists.

More About the Atlanta Blaze
The Atlanta Blaze began play in April of 2016 and currently host home games at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the beautiful campus of Kennesaw University in Cobb County Georgia. The Blaze finished with a 7-7 record at the end of the 2018 season, narrowly missing playoffs after a tough-fought game against the 2018 National Champions, the Denver Outlaws. For more information and for tickets, visit