CALGARY, AB — “Set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there.” ~ Bo Jackson
Coming into training camp, players, coaches, and teams alike have taken Jackson’s advice and set goals.
As a team, the Calgary Roughnecks goal is simple.
“Team-wise, maybe not starting off 0-6,” joked defenceman Curtis Manning about last season’s slow start.
Seriously, the team has set their goals very high. They want to be the pinnacle of lacrosse once again.
“The goal personally is to win. We’re here to win a championship,” stated Mike Carnegie.
Carnegie’s teammates echoed his vision.
“The goal for this franchise every year is the Champion’s Cup,” said Dan MacRae. “That’s the goal for myself and I think it is for everyone on this team.”
“My goal is all team and first off it’s a home playoff date and secondly, win a championship,” added Dane Dobbie.
“Just to do whatever I can, whatever the team needs me to do,” Jeff Shattler chimed in. “Whether it’s loose balls that shift, or picking for Dobbs, or getting the ball to Dobbs, or whatever it takes. I just want to win a Champion’s Cup. I want to get one of two before my time is up.”
While the team goal is clear to every player, the personal goals vary drastically.
For the younger players, the rookies, the bubble guys, they want to earn a spot on the roster.
“I just want to give an honest effort every day and try my best and hopefully crack the squad,” said a humble Reilly O’Connor.
“For myself, I expected to make the team last year, but being the only guy under 25 aside from Frankie, I understood being put on the practice roster,” said sophomore Tyson Roe. “I did learn a lot. In terms of my goals, I’d like to make the team, that’s my goal.”
“Definitely looking to make the team,” stated second round pick Mitch de Snoo. “I want to show them what I’ve got and be able to contribute right away.”
“Obviously the first one is to make the squad,” explained rookie Tyson Bell. “Be able to make the team and get some points as a first year kid.”
If making the roster is the first step, then the second step is improving one’s game.
That’s the stage in which the veterans find themselves. They want to improve their game and do more for the team, whether statistically or intangibly.
“I think one goal might be to try and be more of a leader,” said Scott Carnegie. “Being one of the older guys, you’ve got to help out where you can and lead by example. Mentor the kids and be more involved.”
“I want to be a solid defender taking on the toughest check on the other team,” declared Jon Harnett. “Maybe limit my penalties a bit, stay out of the box. More loose balls, more physical play. Pretty much anything I can do to become a better defender and lacrosse player.”
“Creating a new culture around competing and winning and fitness is something I’d like to do,” Mike Carnegie said. “Just get us back to the top of the ranks, that’s the goal.”
With plenty of change in the Roughnecks locker room, having players like Mike Carnegie and Scott Carnegie who want to step up and become leaders will be paramount to the teams’ success in 2016.