“The atmosphere when the paratroopers were coming down was electric,” said Hounds attackman and 2 nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Jeremy Boltus. “This is how it always is before a Charlotte MLL game at home, but I think seeing these guys flying through the air and landing in the middle of the stadium was an added bonus to our fans. To witness something like that is truly a great spectacle to watch. I know I had a blast watching some of my teammates who were going crazy wondering what some of [the paratroopers] were doing and how they were going to manage landing in such a small area.”
The U.S. Army Golden Knight Paratroopers were part of a U.S. Army Night hosted by the MLL expansion Charlotte Hounds in an effort to show appreciation to the men and women who serve our country. With Boltus as a staple in the team’s attack unit, the Hounds have an undeniable patriotism and connection to the military.
A humble Boltus described the feeling of carrying the American Flag as he led his team onto the field before game time. “It reminds me that, for me, lacrosse is a luxury and that my real priority is serving in the United States Army. I think it also serves as an honor for any soldier who has lost his/her life giving the ultimate sacrifice back to the nation. It was a token of my appreciation and knowing that their service and courage will never be forgotten.”
During halftime, Boltus helped give the crowd of both military and civilian personnel a show when 176 brave men and women were sworn into the U.S. Army at the American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, NC.
“We have a great deal of respect for the military and have always wanted to involve them to show our support for the men and women who serve our country,” said team President and Managing Partner Jim McPhilliamy. “I think it was an emotional lift for our players going into the game that carried on throughout the entire evening.”
The momentum from the opening and halftime ceremonies played a hand in an exhilarating win for the Hounds. Matt Danowski scored a two-point goal giving the team a one point lead in the final 22 seconds of the game. The Hounds have faced a difficult season so far with a 3-6 record. This win over the first place Chesapeake Bayhawks served as a morale booster for the team, which Boltus says shouldn’t be counted out of the playoff equation.
“If we can manage to handle what we have to do, we will ultimately have a shot at Championship Weekend because you just need to become one of top four teams and you have a shot at a title.”
The Hounds will travel to Denver to face off against the Outlaws on Saturday, July 14, 2012. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET (5 p.m. MT).