Interview with Toronto Rock’s Josh Sanderson

This week on “Ask The Pro’s we chat with Josh “Shooter” Sanderson of the Toronto Rock. Josh has played the past three seasons in Toronto winning an NLL Championship in 2005. Josh broke into the league in 1998 with Rochester and has also played in Albany, and San Jose. While he is not a dominating physical presence, he no doubt is an offensively gifted player, averaging over 5 points per game since joining the league. Today (April 23, 2007) Josh celebrates his 30th birthday and we wish him all the best.

GM: At what age did you start playing lacrosse and where?

JS: I started playing at age 4 in Orangeville, Ontario.

GM: Who were some of your early influences when learning lacrosse?

JS: My father was my biggest lacrosse influence.

GM: In 1994 you were the Rookie of the Year in the OLA Junior Series.  Describe that honour.

JS: Winning the Junior “A” rookie of the year was a great honour; there were some great rookies that year.

GM: After your Junior Lacrosse career, you played one season out in British Columbia before returning to Ontario. How did that come about and what brought you back?

JS: Playing out west my first year of major was great. I’m glad I did it but I tore my ACL after that summer and decided to play in Brampton because a lot of my family and friends were playing there.

GM: You’ve been on two Minto Cup Champion teams (Orangeville) and one Mann Cup Champion (Brampton) team. Do any of these stand out in your mind as the best?

JS: Winning the Minto out west in 1996 was probably the best but the Mann Cup is a close second.

GM: You actually began playing Pro lacrosse for Rochester in 1998 at 21 years of age. What do you feel has changed the most in the game since you started?

JS: Playing in Rochester was a great experience. Since then I think the pro game has gotten faster and a lot better with more league parity.

GM: You also played in Albany, and San Jose before coming to Toronto. What memories do you have of your time in Albany and San Jose?

JS: My best memories from my time in San Jose / Albany would be all the great team mates I had and the friends I made in that 5 year span.

GM: In your time in the NLL, who are some of the best players you feel you’ve played with?

JS: Some of the best players I’ve played with over the years would be (Colin) Doyle, (Jim) Veltman and Whipper (Bob Watson). There are so many more but those three are 3 of the best ever to play the game.

GM: By today’s standards you are not a “big” lacrosse player. Given your successes what do you feel you have done to overcome the size difference between yourself and many of your opponents?

JS: With my size I try to play to my strengths and make smart decisions.

GM: Is there any advice you would give to kids looking to play in the NLL?

JS: Kids wanting to play in the NLL should work hard and practice as much as possible.

GM: You’ve also won many individual awards in Junior / Senior / Pro. What personal award / accomplishment are you most proud of?

JS: My favourite personal award would be the The Mann cup Most Valuable Player.

Fun Questions.

GM: Your favourite place to play other than the ACC is….

JS: Other than the ACC I like to play at the Saddledome (Calgary)

GM: The toughest goalie to score on is..

JS: The toughest goalie would be (Paddy) O’Toole and Chugger (Steve Dietrich).

GM: What is your most memorable lacrosse experience?

JS: Winning the Champions Cup would be my most memorable.

GM: If you could interview any sports person past or present, who would it be and what would you want to ask them?

JS: I would interview Tiger Woods and I would probably ask him for a couple tips on my swing

GM: If you could be a Professional in any other sport, which one would it be?

JS: If I could be a pro in a different sport I would pick football because I have never played and I’m a big fan of the NFL.

GM: What is the best thing about playing in the NLL?

JS: The best part of playing in the NLL would be competing against the best players in the world

GM: Josh we thank you for your time.

JS: Thank You

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