The New York Riptide signed lacrosse star forward Callum Crawford to a two-year deal recently in hopes of improving after a 1-12 season.
The 35-year-old signing has spent 15 years in the National Lacrosse League and is one of only 11 players to have recorded 1,000 career points. He currently has 1,049 for his career.
The four-time NLL All-Pro is coming off a phenomenal season with the New England Black Wolves that saw him lead the league with 76 points that included 43 assists and 33 goals. He was a finalist to receive the NLL MVP Award.
Those statistics were compiled in a mere 11 games before the pandemic shortened the league’s season.
Crawford’s decision to join the Riptide is a reunion of sorts as he spent one year at Dowling College in Oakdale.
Crawford recently spoke with Anton Media Group about deciding to join the Riptide, the future of lacrosse on Long Island and his career.
Q: What made you want to sign with the New York Riptide?
A: Having a full understanding of the whole picture from the ownership group down to the general manager to the coaching staff certainly helped. I know what they plan on building, not just what they want. It seemed like something great for me and my family to be a part of for a long time.
Q: What are your thoughts of the talent on this team?
A: There are some pieces on this team that are exciting to play with and then there’s a lot of working that goes into building the roster. The coaches and GM have a plan that will allow us to see some changes. We’ve already seen a lot of changes and being a part of that is exciting.
Q: How do you hope to help the growth of lacrosse on Long Island?
A: Lacrosse has been there forever, but the game has really started to trickle into youth and club sports. We’re not just seeing what it can do for a young man’s growth in their field lacrosse game. I understand playing collegiately is not as appealing, but we’re working towards changing that. I think the passion and joy the sport can bring to kids is starting to be realized. It’s something they can genuinely fall in love with. It’s definitely a more fun, action-packed sport.
Q: What do you think has led to your success throughout your career so far, including last season?
A: I think it has to do with continuously getting better, constantly evolving and not staying stagnant. The game has changed so much from when I came in the league to now so you have to continue to adjust. If we don’t adapt, get better and change with it, we get left behind. I think my ability to do that is why I’ve been able to continue playing and playing at the level I have while other players that were once the top-tier of the league are not around anymore. That’s not meant as a slight, but there are players who did certain things really well, but it hasn’t necessarily transferred over to the new style of lacrosse as the game has become more strategic and team-oriented.
Q: Is there anything, in particular, that you believe has helped you adapt over the years?
A: I watch a lot film focused on when I have not been good. I’m very hard on myself. I’m my own worst critic. I admire the players that do things really well that I don’t and I try to find little things that they do to add to my game.