One of the most special, yet rare experiences a player can have during their playing career is the oppurtinity to play alongside their sibling.
Someone who has been there their whole life, from the moment they’re born, to the moment they play their first game together, it truly is a unique aspect. For brothers Mike and Scott Carnegie, they have experienced this first-hand, playing their entire NLL career together with the Calgary Roughnecks.
“It’s a really special feeling,” older brother Mike Carnegie said with a smile. “It’s a testament to our ability to grind it out.”
The Carnegie brothers have been apart of the Roughnecks organization since 2008, when the duo signed with the team as free agents. They were both passed over in the draft, but that didn’t stop them from working hard to get where they are, calling Calgary home and loving every moment of it. “It’s a really cool feeling walking to the Dome every game,” Mike Carnegie said. “We loved the game and didn’t take no as an answer when we were cut from teams, it’s a big part of our story.”
A story that dates back to their days back in their hometown of London, Ont, where they were busy either playing hockey or lacrosse growing up. Both brothers had a strong passion for lacrosse even though they weren’t all too familiar that there was a major lacrosse league, and unknowing to the fact that they would end up playing in the NLL. “We didn’t know this big league existed playing minor lacrosse,” younger brother Scott Carnegie recalls. “We just stuck with it and believed in what we can do.”
The fact that the Carnegie brothers have been able to play their entire career with one team makes their story and even more special one. Over the course of nine seasons, prior to the 2017 season, captain Mike Carnegie has amassed for 18 goals and 40 assists for 58 total points in his career. His brother Scott has also contributed offensively with six goals and 34 assists for 40 points in his career. Both, however, are best known for their steady and tough defensive play, which have made them key players for the Roughnecks all these years. “It really is rare to play with your brother for that long,” Scott Carnegie said. “We have this connection where we know where we are on the floor together.”
Together they have experienced the highs and lows the game of lacrosse has to offer, with winning the NLL Championship back in 2009, in just their second season with the team, to heartbreaking playoff losses in the more recent years. But despite the lows of the game, the brothers have looked at how much they have accomplished together and how far they have made it, from just being a couple of kids with a love of lacrosse back in London.
For Mike Carnegie, 2009 wasn’t just special because they were able to help the Roughnecks capture the league title, but also because of a special event that transpired that year, which made it an unforgettable one. “That was the year that I got married, Scott was my best man,” Mike Carnegie said smiling. “That year was just an accumulation of a lot of awesome things that happened.”
Moments like this shows just how close the brothers are off the field, and that there is more to them than just being professional lacrosse players. But, that isn’t to say that they don’t have lacrosse on their mind most of the time. “There isn’t too many times we aren’t talking lacrosse,” Scott Carnegie said with a laugh. “That’s something that we have together.”
With the brother duo now seen as the veterans of the team, it still doesn’t get old for them to look down the bench and see each other in the red, white and black colours of the Roughnecks.
With the goal to bring back the league championship back to Calgary this year, both are also ensuring that they enjoy every minute of each game playing together, until the day comes when they decide to call it a career. “It’ll go away one day and I know I’ll miss it,” Mike Carnegie said. “We just want to really appreciate all the moments with the team and each other.”