With 11 goals and seven assists through the first four games of the 2017 NLL season, assistant captain Shayne Jackson stands as a leader for the Swarm. As the Swarm looks to stay undefeated this Saturday in Colorado, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NLL Draft spoke with GeorgiaSwarm.com about his career and the season.
Q: You’ve spent your entire five-year career playing for the Swarm. This past weekend you scored 4 goals. How were your emotions when you walked off the field with a win over Vancouver?
SJ: It was a good feeling being in such a back-and-forth game. It was definitely a good sign that we were able to step up on the field. We were down by five goals pretty early so to be able to come back and win was a good sign. We were pretty happy, but we have a big test in Colorado this weekend.
Q: Being an Assistant Captain puts a little bit more pressure on you over the other players. How have you strived to help the rookies become accustomed to the league?
SJ: The good thing about our team is that I may have a letter, but our team has many other leaders. If they have questions, we answer them. We help the rookies out anyway we can. I am a big believer that actions speak louder than words. The rookies have played big games in their life as well. They don’t need much help as is. If we work hard, success will follow.
Q:On Monday, Jan. 30, US Lacrosse Magazine posted an article on your overall skills in lacrosse. They have you on pace for 50+ goals this season. Is this a personal goal for you, or are you striving for higher?
SJ: I don’t put a number on personal goals. I simply want to help the team. My job on offense is to put up goals and help other guys put up goals. My biggest goal each year is to win a championship.
Q:Coach Comeau said in an article that you’re “on the small side, but [you] play a lot bigger than [you] are.” What pushes you to do more and sacrifice for the team?
SJ: I have been small my entire life. Some guys in this league are massive and have incredible hands. That is not me. I have to find others way to get to the net to compete with these guys.
Q:Your college career at Limestone College was quite impressive. What do you claim is your biggest collegiate accomplishment?
SJ: We won two National Championships at Onondaga Community College. At Limestone, we made it to the National Championship game but was not able to win. It was an experience to play in Gillette Stadium. My biggest accomplishment would be the two championships at Onondaga Community College.
Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself on the field?
SJ: Very hard worker or unselfish.
Q:A large amount of the athletes on the Swarm travel to Atlanta for home games. How has moving to Atlanta changed your outlook on the season?
SJ: We have a good group living here in Atlanta. We have found success in this so hopefully it grows from here. We all coach at different high schools here. It is great to go out and see the skill here in Georgia. Not many people are aware of that. We want to help the kids find out what they want to do. If the kids want to play in college or just in high school, we want to help them.
Q:What is one thing you want to accomplish in your professional career with the Swarm?
SJ: I would love to have more than one championship in my career. When I am done, I will not look at my personal success, but I will look at what the team has done while I am there. It is something that no one can take away. The bond you must have as a team to win a championship is something great.
Q:What makes a championship-caliber team?
SJ: Chemistry. You have to be able to bind to the system. You have to sacrifice. We have defensemen, like Ethan O’Connor that constantly dive in front of balls and have no problem blocking shots. That is what it takes for a team to win a championship.
Q:You have been in Swarm locker rooms for the entirety of your professional career. Have the locker room updates changed the mood of you?
SJ: It is incredible for the Owner, John Arlotta, to do this for the team. It was awesome to see all the stuff. I thought the locker room was incredible last season. Any time a team has pride in their locker room, it transfers out onto the floor. We have one of the nicest locker rooms in sports. All we can do to repay the favor is to go out each week and play hard and win.
Q:The Super Bowl is this weekend. With moving to Atlanta, have you caught Falcons fever at all this season?
SJ: Yeah, it doesn’t really happen much when you move into a market and the team moves into the Super Bowl. It might be the biggest championship in the world. I like the Falcons, but I also like Tom Brady. I think for him to win as many Super Bowls as he has is incredible. I would like to see the Falcons win though because I know how passionate the Falcons fans are. It would be huge for the state of Georgia.
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