August 22, 2012

Hangin' Out With ... Ethan Farrell

Ethan Farrell of the Vermont Voyageurs.

Hangin’ Out With …Ethan Farrell

Everything about Ethan Farrell’s lacrosse career has been a bit unorthodox. When it came to choosing a college, he chose Lynchburg, an NCAA Division 3 school in Virginia. While there, he developed an affinity for using wooden poles rather than metal ones. Unlike most American lacrosse players, the Nantucket, Mass., native also developed a strong affection for box lacrosse.

After graduating in 2010 as a third-team All-America midfielder, Farrell began his transition from college field player to professional box player. While his ultimate goal may be the National Lacrosse League, Farrell has been working up to that level with the Vermont Voyageurs of the Quebec Senior Lacrosse League.

He still uses wooden shafts — carving his own now — and he still scores goals. In 45 games for the Voyageurs, Farrell has scored 97 goals; this year, he averaged more than three points per game in leading the team to the QSLL finals.

How did you start carving your own sticks and why?: “Playing in college my freshman year, I started breaking a lot of shafts playing d-middie and faceoff. Toward the end of the year, I ordered some wooden ones from hickorylax.com for like 25 bucks each and they held up pretty well. I stuck with them up to my senior year. They had a good feel and hurt the other guys a little more. Since I’ve been out, I had some free time and cut down a couple trees and hacked away at them with my hatchet. Now I have a draw knife and can make them nicer. It’s cool because you can make it, so it’ll just sit in your fingers like a triangle shape.”

How did you start playing for the Voyageurs?: “I started because my assistant at Lynchburg had a buddy that heard about them. I started watching box lacrosse, and it looked awesome. So he got me in contact with (Voyageurs owner) Jeff Culkin. I played six games for them in my first summer in 2009 and totally fell in love with it.”

After being a successful field player, what was it like to go and play box lacrosse?: “For me, since my freshman or sophomore year I’d watch NLL games on Friday nights with some buddies. Being able to watch it and seeing what the guys were doing helped me transition pretty seamlessly, I think. There’s still a lot of little things I’m learning but being able to watch it, take it in, and think like a box lacrosse guy helped me out a ton before stepping foot on the floor.”

Why do you think box lacrosse is more popular in Canada than in the U.S.?: “I think in Canada it’s the summer pastime, while the winter is a lot of hockey. They play box all summer. It’s a way of life up there. Down here, it’s the time off.”

Do you ever see yourself playing field lacrosse again?: “I’ve definitely thought about it. I’ve thought about entering the draft and trying out for the local team in Boston. I love the indoor game more than the outdoor game, though. I get a lot of satisfaction coming up here and playing for the summer. This is the highest level I’ve ever played night in and night out, which is pretty cool to be a part of.”

You were drafted in the third round of the NALL draft by the Charlotte Copperheads. What’s that experience like?: “That was really cool to be drafted. It was too bad the league didn’t start last spring (as originally planned), but it’s going to in the fall and should be awesome. We had some training camps and exhibitions, and it was pretty cool to be a part of. It’s cool that it’s an American-based league trying to get Americans to play indoor lacrosse and get them acclimated to the game. I’m pumped for it.”

What are you most passionate about outside of lacrosse?: “Right now, I’m just doing manual labor, but I have a degree in physics, and I want to get a job in engineering so I’m trying to go that way and get a real job one of these days. But I wanted to focus on lacrosse while I’m young. I’ve thought about coaching, too, getting the resume out there.”

What’s something you absolutely couldn’t live without?: “My family. They’ve been really supportive my whole life. It’s great having them and I have a lot of great memories with them.”

FAVORITES

Pregame meal: Lasagna

Visiting city/stadium: “I’ve been to a couple football games at Foxboro and that would be sweet to play there. Or TD Garden and bring back the Blazers. And probably the (Boston) Rockhoppers, too.”
Practice drill: “Indoor, it’s two-on-twos. The whole indoor game is pick-and-rolls, it’s a huge part of it. It’s cool because you get to be really creative the whole time you’re out there.”

Dinner: “My mom makes this meal, robux chicken casserole. It’s like chicken, rice, celery, and corn flakes on top and you bake it. It turns out pretty awesome.”

Vacation spot: Lake George, N.Y. “I love going back to Nantucket, too. It’s a good spot to be from.”

Musician/group: Toby Keith. “I like country.”

Song: “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” by Toby Keith. “A good American song.”

Actor/actress: George Clooney

Movie: “Last of the Mohicans”

TV show: “It used to be ‘Junkyard Wars,’ but they don’t run it anymore. I watch ‘Gold Rush’ religiously.”

Sport other than lacrosse: Hockey. “I didn’t get to play it, but I love watching it. I wish I could skate. We didn’t have a rink on Nantucket until my senior year of high school.”

Team to follow as a fan: Patriots

Article of clothing: Lynchburg lacrosse shorts with pockets.

EQUIPMENT

Stick: “I’ve got the wooden shaft that I made from Hickory. For the head, I have a Reebok 9k and strung it traditional.”

Helmet: Nike Bauer with a box cage

Gloves: Brine

Pads: Old-school Brine for the shoulders and Reebok for the elbows

Shoes: New Balance basketball shoes

This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue of New England Lacrosse Journal.

Twitter: @PShore15

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