New England Black Wolves forward Shawn Evans always enjoys talking with fans, but he was particularly impressed with what he heard during Saturday’s Fan Fest at Mohegan Sun.
“They were there for the autographs, they were there for the practice,” Evans said. “Some of the questions they were asking, they were the right questions because they want to know. When they’re asking those questions, you can truly tell they’re dedicated fans and, right now, I think we’re building that. It’s something that is hopefully going to take off.”
Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark had a similar feeling after conducting a Lacrosse 101 session where he explained various aspects of the game while also taking questions from fans as he roamed the stands while the team ran through drills below on the field.
“It was really good and it’s valuable.” Clark said of the questions he received. “You make assumptions or don’t really know what people are wondering. So I thought it was a great format to let them ask about whatever they were unsure about.”
Overall, it was a long Saturday for the Black Wolves. There were two practices and two autograph sessions, and a number of players also worked junior clinics. All of the players and coaches were also on hand for the National Lacrosse League press conference to unveil the new logo.
Additionally, the Black Wolves collected canned food items from fans who attended the Lacrosse 101 and open practice sessions. Those items will be donated to the New London Community Food Bank.
“I thought it was great, I thought it was really well done,” Clark said. “I thought the players – it was a busy weekend for them – but they did a really good job understanding what the priority is. Connecting with the fans and making sure it was a good experience for them. They need to understand they’re in the business of promoting the game and they do that naturally, so I thought the players did a great job, got a lot accomplished, and everybody handled it well.”
“I think it was a successful weekend having the Fan Fest there, having the players and coaches engage with the fans, just to give them a little bit of an understanding of who we are and give them a little bit of knowledge for the game,” he said. “Educating the fans about the game of lacrosse goes a long way toward them knowing what’s going on on the floor so when they’re cheering, they’re cheering for the right reason. I think it was a huge success. I think it’s something we should be doing every year to gain fans and give something back by interacting with them.”
Now the focus is on preparing for the season opener at Rochester on January 7th.
“It was a difficult decision and process along the way,” Clark said of cutting down to the final roster, which was unveiled Monday. “Now, you’ve done that, you need to come to grips with that and you move forward with the group you have and focus on Rochester, January 7th. That’s the next hurdle. That’s the next focal point.”
After a long training camp, the players are looking forward to playing real games
“We’re two weeks away from the start of the season,” Evans said. “It’s the best part of the year. Practicing and training camp is a little bit of a grind, and you’re ready to get started with the season after a few weeks. Right now we’re excited. We can’t wait to get started.”
The Black Wolves, East Division Finalists in 2016, will open the 2017 season in Rochester on January 7th and will return to Mohegan Sun Arena on January 28th against Buffalo at 7 p.m. Season tickets, mini plans and holiday packs are on sale now. Tickets start as low as $15 and can be purchased by visiting blackwolves.com or calling 844-LAX-WOLF.