Frisco’s newest professional sports franchise is the Dallas Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and two of its players couldn’t be happier about the recent move southward to the Lone Star State.
The Rattlers, who won the 2008 MLL championship, had been in Rochester, New York since 2001 before relocating to Frisco after last season.
It’s a bit bittersweet obviously because I was drafted by Rochester, a great city with great fans. Coaches, the organization, everything was great there,” Rattlers attacker Jordan Wolf said. “But I think it’s a really great new start for the Rattler organization. We cannot be more excited to be in Dallas, to a place where people love sports. The sport of lacrosse is booming, so we’re just really excited to get going.”
I’ve done some clinics here and you can just see the caliber of athletes that are in Texas,” Wolf said. “There’s just a huge buzz about the sport from the younger level all the way up to high school, so having a team here to watch and being able to interact with some of us, it’s going to be a cool experience.”
Chris Bocklet is a fellow Rattlers attacker who has also coached in Texas for the past few seasons, one year in Allen and the past two in Austin.
During that time, he brought one of his teams to Ford Center to check out where he and the Rattlers will be playing their home games this spring and summer.
I think we were one of the first teams to play in it,” Bocklet said. “I brought my high school guys and they were just in awe. They gave us a tour. There’s just so many outlets to plug in your phones. I looked around and there wasn’t a spot where I couldn’t watch a TV on the field, so it’s just high-tech, no shortcuts and super exciting to be able to play in such a top-of-the-line facility.”
Bocklet and Wolf have both been playing lacrosse for many years, so their enthusiasm, love, and passion for the game is quite evident.
Wolf remembers first picking up a stick when he was in third grade, back when lacrosse was his third sport behind ice hockey and soccer. His original plan was to play soccer in college. However, lacrosse intervened, and he ended up playing his “third” sport at Duke and now professionally.
I just fell in love with it. It has a lot of different aspects of other games,” Wolf said. “It’s extremely fast-paced, physical and there’s different parts of other sports. I kind of fell in love with it towards seventh, eighth grade and haven’t looked back.”
Bocklet owes his love of lacrosse largely to his brothers, Matt and Mike, who he got to play with during his time in Denver, including when the Outlaws won the 2014 MLL Championship, an experience he’ll always treasure.
I got the opportunity to play with them,” Bocklet said. “My brother made an open tryout, my oldest brother (Mike), after having a kid and not playing for three years. He made the team, was the leading scorer and just crushed it, which was crazy. It’s been a family sport. My roots are just playing in the backyard from when I was in third grade and just from watching them play. Being able to play with them has been a pretty exciting thing for me.”
Both Bocklet and Wolfe hail from the East Coast, where lacrosse is a much more popular than it is here in Texas.
However, in recent years, the sport has made considerable inroads in Texas and several notable lacrosse events, including the 2017 MLL Championship Game and the Patriot Cup, a tournament featuring some of the top teams in college lacrosse, have both been held at Ford Center.
And this talented duo looks forward to doing whatever they can to help spur further growth here, especially with the Rattlers’ first season in Frisco beginning come late April.
It (Ford Center) is by far the best facility in the MLL. For any sport, it’s a top-class facility,” Wolf said. “It’s crazy the places lacrosse takes you. I never thought I’d be playing in the Cowboys’ practice stadium, so I’m truly fortunate.”
“Even though I’m from New York, I feel like I’ve got the Texas pride,” he said. “I’ve got my cowboy hat and boots and I love being in Texas.”