MAHOPAC, N.Y. — Fulfilling his childhood dream is just what Mahopac graduate Brendan Hynes did when he was drafted 27th overall in the 2017 Major League Lacrosse Draft by the Charlotte Hounds.
Along with teammate Benny Pugh, the duo were the first two Richmond Spider players ever drafted by an MLL team.
“Ever since I was a little kid it has always been my dream to play as long as possible,” said Hynes, a 2013 Mahopac graduate. “To be able to play competitively still after college is something really exciting and a great accomplishment for me. I’m excited to see what it’s like playing at the top level with all these great athletes.”
Current Mahopac boys lacrosse co-coach Sean Mohammed coached Hynes as a senior while in his first year as an assistant under Mike Haddeland.
“He was a natural born leader,” Mohammed said. “He had an incredible work ethic and attention to detail when it came to his personal stick-work. The most memorable thing about him is that he made things look effortless but was extremely hardworking.”
A versatile weapon on the field, the 6-foot-3 Hynes feels that his game has took a leap since arriving at newly Division 1 Richmond. He led the nation in forced turnovers with 50 and set a new program record. Hynes also ranked in the top 40 in the country in ground balls with 74.
“I definitely improved a lot in college,” said Hynes, who plays long-stick midfield and was a captain since he was a sophomore at Richmond. “It helped a lot that my freshman year of college was Richmond’s first year of being a Division 1 program. All of us had to mature very quickly playing against seniors. I really improved physically and in knowing what to expect from the other team the past few years.”
He suited up for the very first time in a home match with the Atlanta Blaze on June 10. The Hounds won 18-12.
“It’s a great group of guys,” Hynes said. “It’s amazing how good of athletes these guys are. It’s definitely a different pace and just awesome. All the guys are very friendly and welcoming. They make it really easy to transition into.”
Being a professional lacrosse player is much different from the long hours of dedication necessary in high school or college.
Instead, most players have day jobs during the week before the team meets for a Friday night practice in which Hynes is flew out to from home. Hard work is still essential to remain on an air-tight roster.
Weightlifting, running and foot-work practice are a part of his daily routine to perform well this season.
Hynes majored in finance and already has received a few offers from companies down south. He hopes to find something closer to home while continuing to fuel his passion for lacrosse in the MLL.
“I can definitely do it,” Hynes said of having a long career in the league. “It comes down to preparation and you are on your own five or six days out of the week. It’s really just what you make out of it and how you prepare. I have been able to do it for years and I hope to last in the league as long as possible.”