June 5, 2011

The Citizen: Taking the next step

 

For Immediate Release

June 5, 2011

From The Citizen, Written by Michael Bonner

While many other central New Yorkers huddled around a fireplace as temperatures dropped below zero at the end of January, Auburn native Matt Chadderdon spent one Saturday consumed by a computer.

Major League Lacrosse held its draft on Jan. 22, during the peak of one of the worst winters Syracuse has ever been hit with. Usually the eight-round draft is held after the sport's Final Four weekend in June, but this year, it was moved before the collegiate season began.

Unliked the NBA or NFL drafts, the MLL draft wasn't televised, but was streaming live online. So instead of worrying about the elements or beginning the spring semester, Chadderdon, the Le Moyne men's lacrosse team's attackman, was fully focused on his computer and the refresh button.

Chadderdon would have to hit the refresh button more than a few times. It wasn't until the eighth and final round when he saw his name pop up on the screen.

"I was trying to watch and updating my computer once and a while,"Chadderdon said. "I think I was the third to last pick, so it took awhile."

With the 44th overall pick, the Rochester Rattlers selected Chadderdon, with just four picks remaining in the draft. Although it took a while, the moment was still a special one and something the Auburn native didn't think was possible just a few years ago.

"I never thought about playing pro lacrosse," Chadderdon said. "It wasn't popular, but it's becoming popular. All the hard work in high school and college is paying off."

Last weekend was the first time Chadderdon suited up for the Rattlers. It was only a practice and a light one at that. The team had a game the following day so it was more of an hour and a half walk-through than anything else.

In just a 90-minute time frame, it was a moment the 5-9 Chadderdon will never forget.

"I was a little nervous, it was the first time I got to see the guys in person," he said. "I've watched games on TV but it's always different. You know, seeing them up close, seeing how much bigger everyone is. I'm not the biggest guy in the world so. We've got some guys on our team that are 6-5, weigh about a hundred pounds more than me so it was a little intimidating."

Some of the faces he would be most comfortable seeing weren't at the practice. Along with Chadderdon, Rochester selected three players out of Syracuse.

The Orange's Joel White, Jovan Miller and John Galloway will join Chadderdon as rookies on the squad. They will make their debut with the team this weekend.

For Chadderdon, it will be the second round of practices and should give him more of an opportunity to display the skills he possesses.

Instead of short 90 minute walk throughs, this weekend is more like a minicamp with two two-hour sessions.

"We just did a lot of walk through stuff so I didn't really get to prove what I can do," Chadderdon said. "But this weekend I hope that I can do that and hopefully make the roster for the game Friday."

If he does make the active roster he'll take the field with one of his idols growing up — Casey Powell. Chadderdon grew up watching him play at the Carrier Dome and built his game around his. The fact that he now wears the same uniform as Powell has made the experience one that Chadderdon still has a hard time trusting is real.

"I grew up watching Casey Powell play, all the Powell brothers play, and just being on the same team as him is kind of like a dream come true because you grow up, it's such a big part of your childhood growing up, going to the Syracuse games at the Dome, seeing him and trying to mimic your game off of what he did.

"It's unbelievable."

View: Mobile | Desktop