By William Griffin | 7/10/13 5:00 PM
In only his second year out of the University of Virginia, Denver Outlaws attackman Chris Bocklet has made his presence known throughout Major League Lacrosse. Chris has emerged as the perfect complement to perennial All-Star attackman Brendan Mundorf and the host of other offensively minded All-Stars on the Denver Squad. The attackman was strong from his 2012 MLL debut, scoring ten goals in his first three games, finishing off his rookie campaign with 17 goals and three assists in seven games.
Bocklet has added to the success of last season, improving all areas of his game; he now leads the league in goals with 33 and is second only to Paul Rabil with 42 points, an incredible feat for a second year player. Chris attributes his rise in production to his routine this offseason and the pressure he put on himself to get even better, “I kinda put a lot of pressure on myself, because I really wanted to play for the Outlaws. I enjoyed it and got a taste of it last year, playing in some games at the end of the season, and how fun it is, so I took the offseason as a time to get ready and prepare myself so that when the season came around I was confident in my stick and confident that I would play and be a starter for the Outlaws.”
When asked about what the selection meant to him, the second year attackman said, “First of all it’s an amazing honor to be selected. There are so many great players on every single team in this league, so it’s just an amazing honor to be selected as an All-Star. I just want to represent the Outlaws in the game, and I’m excited for it. It should be fun. I grew up watching it; it’s always been entertaining and I’m always looking forward to it every year, so I’m definitely excited to be a part of it now.”
Bocklet’s successes on the offensive end are a large reason his Outlaws have been of fire. Denver leads the league in goals for with 17.2 a game, an impressive 4.2 more than Boston, the next highest team. Not only are they scoring, they are scoring efficiently, leading the league in shooting percentage, converting on .358 of their shots—once again, good for the league lead. The incredible offense, lead by a plethora of All-Stars, coupled with stellar defensive play, anchored by the brick wall they call Jesse Schwartzman, has led to an impressive team record—the ’13 Outlaws now hold the best record to start a season, 10-0, surpassing the ’05 Baltimore Bayhawks for the best ever.
Fans have noticed Bocklet and his team’s success and have flocked to Sports Authority Field at Mile High each and every week. On Independence Day, 31 thousand fans showed up to watch the star-studded Outlaws, setting the record for the most fans to ever attend a professional lacrosse game.
When asked about the record breaking 10-0 start and the record break attendance, Bocklet said while they were an honor, they weren’t the goal and his teams still needs to keep working, “We can get better and we're going to need to improve every week if we want to be the last team in the end, which is our goal.”
Bocklet’s success isn’t exclusive to the Major Leagues, in his senior season at the University of Virginia, his Cavalier team won the 2011 National Championship. In that season Bocklet recorded the 10th best goals per game average at 2.44 goals a game and also eclipsed the 100-career goals mark—only the 13th Cavalier to do that. Bocklet’s UVA line-mate, Steele Stanwick of the Ohio Machine, also makes his first All Star Game appearance this weekend. When asked about playing in the All-Star Game, the first thing out of Bocklet’s mouth was how excited he was at the possibility of suiting up with his former teammate, “It’s nice to be selected with Steele [Stanwick], a guy from my class at UVA. Definitely a special thing; I haven’t played with him since playing at Virginia so I kind of hope to be on the same team as him.”
Another first time All-Star, Rob Pannell—RP3—noticed the success of the former UVA Attackman, saying “He had success in college and now you look at the success he’s having in the pros, and it’s just great to see. He’s a great player and a lot of fun to watch.”
Bocklet hopes that the MLL Ultimate Fan Fantasy Winners, the two kids who will be choosing the teams, in a playground style selection Friday night, feel as highly about him as RP3 does—no one wants to be picked last. “Reminds me of 5th grade kick ball…I don’t think there are gonna be any hard feelings, there are so many great players in this league. To even be picked last, with this group right here, is still an honor—but you never wanna be the last pick, I remember that from fifth grade playing kickball at recess.”
You can see Bocklet and five of his Outlaws’ teammates in the 2013 MLL All-Star Game presented by Moe’s Southwest Grill on Saturday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m. at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The game will also be broadcast live by ESPN2. For tickets or more information on the even, visit the MajorLeagueLacrosse.com All-Star Page.