Friday, February 18, 2011

Bob Watson: The Rookie

Last summer, after the sting of losing the National Lacrosse League championship game had eased, Bob Watson was thinking of calling it quits.
Little wonder. After 14 seasons, the Toronto Rock goaltender had accomplished it all in the game. He won five titles in seven years, became the league’s all-time winningest goalie and, earlier in 2010, realized his personal goal of playing competitively until the age of 40.
Add to those hall of fame credentials the fact that in July Watson became a Waterloo Region Police officer, a new high-pressure career with lots of shift work, it appeared the right time to hang up his mask.
But in November, as training camp loomed, Watson realized he wanted to come back for more. After talking it over with his wife, Nicole, and getting assurances from both the force and the team that the two careers could co-exist, he signed on for one final season.
“I wanted to make sure I was coming back for the right reasons,” says Watson, who will turn 41 near the end of the regular season. “I’m back because I love competing and I want to win.”
It shows. As the 2011 season reaches the midway mark this weekend, Watson is one of the key reasons the Rock (5-2) lead the league. His 5-1 record is tops among goalies, as is his .810 save percentage. He has held opponents to fewer than 10 goals in five of his seven starts.
Watson was named the NLL’s player of the month for January. Later in February, he will make his fourth trip to the NLL all-star game.
To read the rest of the story by Daniel Girard of the Toronto Star please click here

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