By Jordan Borrosh | 6/15/12 11:05 AM
While he’s become a household name after five successful seasons with the Denver Outlaws, attackman Drew Westervelt is continuing to shine in his debut season with the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The veteran helped his team slide into first place standings after a standout performance in Week 6 that earned him MLL Offensive Player of the Week honors.
“Obviously we’re extremely excited to be playing well at this point in the season,” said Westervelt. “I think what’s more important for us is that we continue to play better as the season moves forward. We obviously want to play our best lacrosse at the end of the year and playoffs so I think we’re all excited about where we are right now, but I think the fun thing or the exciting thing in our locker room is that I don’t think that we all feel like we, as a team, have played a full sixty minutes at our best which is a good thing.”
Nearly halfway through the season, Westervelt has already racked up more than half the points he had overall last season. With ten goals and seven assists (four goals and one assist coming from last week alone) Westervelt has cemented his role as a dominant offensive player for the Bayhawks.
“I think offensively this week, from the attack side of the ball, we were initiating a little bit more than in previous games,” Westervelt said. “We were getting really good opportunities. If we’re able to keep it simple, with our attack and depth at the offensive midfield, we can put the ball in the net. I think we were just trying to be unselfish and work for the best shot and this week, for some reason, I was getting a lot of the looks. Hopefully I’ll continue to distribute the ball and I think that’s where the success will come from. I don’t think anyone cares who scores the goals as long as we keep scoring .”
While some players have difficulty with transitions to new teams, moving from Denver, Westervelt was easy going on the change. He has been quick to adjust making his presence known with the Bayhawks and fans.
“It’s been a really smooth transition. I was obviously really comfortable out in Denver. Coming to Chesapeake I knew the majority of the guys but I hadn’t really played with them or was close with a lot of them. After being here with a seamless transition though, it’s a really great locker room and a great group of guys and I’m having a lot of fun and really enjoying playing with some new teammates.”
Westervelt’s outstanding game that earned him the Player of the Week nod was against the expansion Charlotte Hounds. Though the two expansion teams (Charlotte Hounds, Ohio Machine) have fallen last in the standings, Westervelt isn’t counting them out just yet.
“I think growing pains inevitably come with being a new organization, but they have great rosters so by no means am I counting those guys out to be contenders at the end of the year. They’re going to continue to tweak things and get better and better and find their identities. It’s always great to see the league expanding and growing and there’s a lot of talent out there and I expect these guys to start turning their own here as we get through the middle part of the season.”
With all the success Westervelt has experienced, he wanted to leave some advice for the incoming rookies.
“Enjoy it. I’m in my sixth season now and it’s a lot of fun and you have the luxury of coming right off the college season and right in to the professional game. It’s a lot of fun because it’s so different and so much faster so I think for a lot of these guys it’s kind of refreshing. You get out of the college game and you’re still playing lacrosse but it’s a very different brand of lacrosse and it’s a lot of fun with the two point shot and the shot clock. So for these guys I would just say enjoy it. I still enjoy it and that’s why I still play. As long as they’re still playing and using their athletic ability that’s given them success in the past, they’re going to succeed in the MLL as well.”
What is your favorite pump up song?
Right now in the locker room we’re listening to this techno song called Blesses. That’s what’s going on right now.
Favorite sports movie?
The most recent movie I can think of is Act of Valor. It’s not sports movie but it’s probably the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.
Pregame ritual or tradition?
I’m not real superstitious but I like to get there early and get on the field and get my shots on my own before everyone else gets there. I go as early as I can to get my shots in and do my own little warm up before everyone else gets there.
Favorite MLL memory?
My favorite MLL memory is the first game I ever played. Not knowing if I was going to get an opportunity to play coming out of college I ended up in that home game in Denver the first time. Lucky for me I had a pretty good game and I think that gave me a lot of opportunity going forward I think if I wasn’t as successful my first game I might not have continued to stay on the roster and I may not be where I am right now. So the first game I played in the MLL is probably my favorite memory.
Do you think the college level should add a shot clock?
I know college needs to do something to speed up the pace of the game. I’m not sure if it’s a shot clock I’m not sure if there’s some other options out there that could change how they speed up that pace. But yeah I think that’s a big drawing point to the MLL right now that it is a transition game that it’s fast paced and it’s not as special team orientated.
Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook I don't really tweet too much I’m more of a tweet stalker, I like to see what everyone else is doing but I’m more active on Facebook.
What is one thing your fans don’t know about you?
Fans probably don’t know that I’m a bit of an entrepreneur and a little bit of an introvert. I like to do things on my own whether it’s going to dinner or working. It’s not rare to see me go out or go to eat by myself or something like that.
Along with being named Offensive Player of the Week, Westervelt has also been named to the Old School team for the All-Star game June 30th in Boca Raton, Florida.
MLL will host its marquee event in Palm Beach County, FL this year on Saturday, June 30! To buy your tickets now, click here. To learn more about the 2012 MLL All-Star Game presented by Moe's Southwest Grill, click here. The 2012 MLL All-Star Game will feature the best lacrosse players in the world, all on one field and will be aired live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.