By Steve Rollins | 6/15/12 12:00 PM
Denver Outlaws rookie attackman Chris Bocklet was named the MLL Cascade Rookie of the Week in Week 6 after scoring 3 goals and 2 assists in his debut performance. The Virginia alum had a great debut performace in the Outlaws 16-8 win over the Ohio Machine. MLL’s Steve Rollins had an opportunity to speak with Bocklet to gain insight into his first career MLL game.
You’ve played in some big games over your college career at Virginia, but talk about how you felt before the game knowing that you’re playing in your first professional lacrosse game.
Going into the game I was really excited. I was a little nervous but luckily I have some great guys on the team who helped me out.
Lots of people say that the professional game is different than the collegiate game. What would you say the biggest difference is in making that transition?
I knew the game was going to be faster. I saw a couple games but I still wasn’t too familiar with all of the rule changes. It definitely took some adjusting, I was lucky to have some awesome players on the Outlaws to help me out and take me under their wing. As the game went on I got more and more comfortable. It was funny because I had guys on the other team telling me to stand within the two-point line during the opening faceoff. I wasn’t familiar with that rule change so thankfully they helped me out and we laughed about it throughout the game.
How do you feel about the shot clock in the MLL?
After playing in a game with the shot clock I think that it’s a great rule, I like the speed of it. It’s a fast pace and that’s how lacrosse should be. The shot clock makes the game a lot better.
You scored 3 goals and had 2 assists in your first game, overall what do you want to contribute to the Denver Outlaws this season?
I just want to continue to improve as a team. I didn’t have any expectations of where I was going to play and what I was going to do to contribute. I just wanted to help the Outlaws become a better team in any way I could. If that’s coming out and practicing with the team on Fridays and getting them ready to play in the game, then so be it. Anything I can do to help them have a great season and a great playoff run.
This week you're playing against the Rochester Rattlers, they have some good defensemen in Joel White & John Lade, and Ned Crotty on the other side of the field, are you looking forward to playing against more of the premier players in the league? How are you going to approach this game?
I'm definitely excited. Every game is going to be a challenge because there are so many great players in this league. I get excited to play, I like feeling a little nervous because it means that I'm into it. I still have a lot to learn and I still feel like a rookie, but being surrounded by so many great guys, I feel that it’ll come. I'm going to keep picking peoples brains and try to understand the game better because I still feel a little uncomfortable when I'm out there to be honest due to the new rules.
What style of play would you say you have as an attackman?
I’d say I feel most comfortable moving off ball, it’s a lot of fun for me. That’s what I did at Virginia a lot. Having Mundorf out there as a great dodger who dodges with his head up definitely helped open up opportunities for me. He’ll draw the defense and he’s always looking to make that extra pass and that’s where off ball players come into play.
Talk to us about how it feels to share the field with your brother, fellow Outlaw Matt Bocklet.
That was something I was looking forward to doing once I knew I would be playing with the Denver Outlaws. Matt has been great to me over the years, I’ve always watched him play with my brother Mike, and I never really got the chance to put on the same uniform as him. Sharing the field with him has been really special. He’s already busting my chops because during the game I had the ball, he was open on the crease and I looked him off. It would’ve been a left-handed pass so I couldn’t trust it, that was my excuse. It was fun to be able to play with him and its really special, something for both of us to remember.
Talk to us about how it feels to share the field with one of the best attackmen in the MLL, Brendan Mundorf, what do you hope to learn from him to help improve your game each week?
Brendan is a very talented player, he’s a lot of fun to play with and he’s a great guy. I tried to pick his brain a little bit after practice and ask him for any pointers or tips on what I should be doing. He has so much experience and I felt really comfortable playing with him because he wasn’t afraid to talk to me and correct me. Those are the type of players I really love to play with.
The Outlaws attack could be considered one of the best in the league right now; you have Brendan Mundorf a legend to the game, Mark Matthews a young gun who won this award last week, and yourself. Talk to us about how it feels to be surrounded by such talent.
We definitely have a solid attack. Looking at our team and watching them play you can see that we have a solid team all around. Jesse Schwartzman in the cage was amazing, the defense and middies played great. In my first game playing with them was a really well played game. The thing I like the most about the team is how well everyone got along with each other, on and off the field. After leaving Virginia where you live with your teammates and spend all this time together, I didn’t think that it would feel the same way playing in the MLL, but it did feel that way after my first week with the Outlaws. That feeling is something special and something I really enjoy about the Outlaws.
If you had to choose – Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook, but I'm slowly switching to Twitter. @CrockN10
What’s the most played artist or song on your iPod?
Favorite sport other than lacrosse?
Favorite part of lacrosse?
Scoring and winning
Dumb and Dumber
What’s the most important thing for aspiring MLL players to do to improve their game?
Learn from guys with experience. It takes time to understand and feel comfortable with the game.
I used to be a Tara Reid fan, but I think we lost connection of the years. TBD
Were you a member of the Dirty Birds or Devils Angels moped army at Virginia?
I was a member of Devils Angels, then I left that group and became a Dirty Bird. Those were some good times and a lot of fun in college.