Tom Bovee of LaxDirt.com spoke with UMass men's lacrosse alumnus and current Boston Cannons attackman Will Manny to get his thoughts on the program for a feature article.
So Will what made you pick UMass?
I wasn't really recruited by any of what you would call the big time schools. This ended up not mattering at all. I felt a great connection with Coach Cannella and he was interested in me right away. I wanted to go to a school that offered me all the things I was looking for, not sure I would have found that had I gone anywhere else. I was going to get to play right away and they had just graduated Jimmy Connelly and Tim Balise, so I knew I would get the chance to play right away, that was important to me. It really just worked out plus you earn what you put in at UMass and it's a real blue collar mentality about everything. I love that about Coach Cannella, you have to earn it.
You played on one of the best UMass teams in history who is one teammate from college you wish was on your team now?
I had a good talk with Cannons GM Kevin Barney and Head Coach John Tucker in the offseason and they were able to add a few UMass guys and I am really excited about it so I am fortunate to already have the chance to play with many of them but I would go with Jake Smith, he is one of the toughest, meanest most fundamental defensemen I've ever played and he is now in the MLL. Going against him you know you're going to be on the ground on a regular basis. I would want him on my defensive end, if I'm on attack watching out defense I know I'll have the ball soon if he is back there.
What was your favorite tradition on campus lacrosse related or otherwise?
If we played a game on a Saturday after practice on a Friday we would meet in our film room as a full team. We had FNR, its Film Night Reels it could be from 2-10 minutes long of highlights from past, present and all over and it really gets the guys going and shows them what they are playing for. It teaches guys about Garber's Gorillas. A lot of guys don't understand that and it means everything to the guys who live it, I might just write a book about it one day. Also after that all the seniors also would go to dinner and just get to spend the time together and not a lot of schools get to do that, it's a special time that as seniors you get to enjoy with your class.