Top Lacrosse Players of the NLL

Curtis Dickson

The 2014 National Lacrosse League season has begun and players are making headlines every week. We’re shining the light on some of the world’s best lacrosse players in the NLL so you know who to watch this season. Make sure to represent your favorite Lacrosse team with one-of-a-kind lacrosse fan gear!

Curtis Dickson of the Calgary Roughnecks

Calgary Roughnecks

Curtis Dickson has proved to fans of the Calgary Roughnecks and NLL that he is the king of Lacrosse. His quality and quantity of goal scoring has been surpassed by absolutely no one. Dickson is at his best in pressure cooker situations, the odds stacked completely against him, seemingly nowhere to go outside of a clock timeout. In those situations, Dickson simply succeeds and leaves the sad sack sulking for the opposition to contend with. He had five game winning goals last year, most of those fourth quarter or even OT finishers. His 7g in the span of about 20 minutes in the LAX playoffs was unscripted majesty that is easily one of the NLL’s greatest individual efforts, ever.

Kyle Rubisch of the Edmonton Rush

Edmonton Rush

Kyle Rubisch has successfully garnered great results with a less abrasive approach. Rubisch, who is very much an intense and fearless Edmonton Rush competitor, operates with an in-game IQ no defender today comes close to matching. His positional play is perfection and his ability to see LAX game play develop several steps ahead of anyone is the primary reason he rocks in the forced turnover rundown. Ditto for loose balls, Rubisch was last year’s league leader among non-face-off players too. No one does defense better than him in the NLL.

Rhys Duch of the Vancouver Stealth

Vancounver Stealth

Rhys Duch’s individual effort and continued clutch play makes him one of today’s most dominating lacrosse offensive leaders and relied on scorers. The Vancouver Stealth sniper’s league leading 45 finishes last year were almost a quarter of the team’s total end-of-season offensive output, a percentage he also led the NLL with. His performance during last year’s playoffs (where he exceeded that quarter ownership mark when it came to Washington’s goal production) only added to his growing LAX legend, first leading a third period to topple Edmonton, then netting the game winner in a single goal W over Calgary in the West Final, and of course going stride-for-stride with the eventual champs, all while nursing a charley horse that would have sidelined most of the league.

John Grant of the Colorado Mammoth

Colorado Mammoth

At almost 40-years-old, John Grant is still playing lacrosse at a level few in NLL can come close to. For those that think the Colorado Mammoth player took a step back last year, it was almost impossible not to. Where was he supposed to go after setting the sport’s standard for points in a single season, passing who else but Tavares two seasons ago? Word of warning for this upcoming season, Grant may be fitter and more focused than he’s ever been. He is still skilled beyond belief, still dangerously lethal with the ball in his pocket, and still one of the greatest lacrosse players on the planet today.

Matt Vinc of the Rochester Knighthawks

Rochester Knighthwaks

Matt Vinc is the absolute best between the pipes today. Without him, the Rochester Knighthawks are not sitting as repeat Cup winners and they are not heading into 2014 as the most legitimate dynasty in the making since the Toronto Rock of the early 2000’s. While Rochester sports a solid defensive stand, Vinc still sees more than his fair share of heat, easily leading the NLL in both shots against and saves – his 662 stops in 2013 a new single season record. Past his at times perfect mechanics, it’s what Vinc allows the rest of the team to do on every shift that makes him better than the rest. Vinc’s presence allows his teammates to go after the improbable, the risky, the stuff only back-to-back Cup winners will push themselves to achieve.

Garrett Billings of the Toronto Rock

Toronto Rock

While the talk about Toronto Rock’s Garrett Billings in recent seasons has been all about his setup skills, two years ago registering the single season assist record (82) and last year touching 70, most impressive might actually be his ability to effortlessly thread the needle from the outside, probably today’s most dangerous downtown assassin. He’s yet to fully take the torch from Colin Doyle, who may not lead the team in helpers but is still Toronto’s offensive kingpin. Last year Billings did do what no other Rock scorer has ever done, posting back-to-back 100pt campaigns for the first time in franchise history.

Callum Crawford of the Minnesota Swarm

Minnesota Swarm

Was there a better player than Callum Crawford in the second half of the 2013 regular season? No there wasn’t. Put others’ reputations and past glories aside and simply concentrate on what players did last year and hands down not only was Minnesota Swarm’s Crawford a legit MVP candidate but he was also most critical to Minnesota’s cross-over clinch. This will be his first year since 2009 not playing alongside Ryan Benesch, maybe the two most important players in Swarm LAX franchise history. Will he find that same magic with high profile rookie Logan Schuss, presumably their top left-hander leading into the year? The Swarm’s success will definitely hinge on the response to that burning pre-season question.

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New Australian Football League Store

This week Prep Sportswear is proud to announce the launch of the Australian Football League market! Australian Rules Football is the only fully professional Australian football league and is also commonly known as football, footy or Aussie rules. If you’re unsure what the Australian Football is, it’s a sport played between two teams of eighteen players on the field of an Australian football ground, a modified cricket field, or a similarly sized sports venue. Footy fans can locate the Australian Football League market and their favorite football clubs in the Pro Sports Team Shop. Prep Sportswear created exclusive Australia Rules Football designs for each club that were inspired by athletic graphics and themes from each respective club. Here’s a look at some of the most popular Australian Rules Football Clubs we offer.

sydney

Is it possible that the Sydney Football Club is the best club in the AFL? Swans fans certainly believe so! Based in Sydney, Australia, the Sydney Swans were inaugural winners of the A-League in 2006 and are considered one of the most successful teams in Australia having won two national A-League Championships and one Premiers’ Plate. The team constantly has superstar athletes running through it, such as Manchester United star Dwight Yorke and Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero. If you’re a Sydney Swans fan and want to show your pride for the Australian Rules Football team, get your Swans gear today!

collingwood

How the Collingwood Football Club got the nickname the Magpies is a mystery, but it stuck. The Collingwood Magpies were formed in 1892 and are now based in Melbourne, playing their home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Collingwood FC is the most supported club in the AFL and has consistently attracted much higher than average crowds to its home games than other clubs in the league.  Historically one of the most successful clubs in the league, Collingwood has won fifteen VFL/AFL premierships, the third-most of any team. If you love the Magpies and want to represent your club, check out our collection of customizable Collingwood Football Club apparel!

melbourne

We understand a fan’s love for their team and that’s why we offer the largest store for customizable Melbourne Football Club apparel. Based in Melbourne, Victoria, the Melbourne Football Club is famous for creating the code of football that is still in play after being established in 1859. Nicknamed The Demons or The Dees, the Australian Rules football club competed in what may be the earliest challenge trophy competition in 1862 and was a foundation member of the Victorian Football Association. In 2008 the Melbourne FC celebrated what was claimed to be the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of its founding members.

brisbane

Do you dream about the 2003 AFL Grand Final in your sleep?  Then you must be a Brisbane Football Club fan. The Brisbane Football Club was formed in 1996 from the merger of the Fitzroy Lions and the Brisbane Bears and is now based in Brisbane, Queensland.  Along with the Geelong Australian Rules Football Club, the Brisbane Lions are the equal-most successful AFL club of the 21st century, having appeared in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals from 2001 to 2004 and winning three premierships. The Lions truly sealed their place in history as an AFL dynasty in 2003 when they went into the 2003 AFL Grand Final as the underdogs and surprised everyone by thrashing the Magpies and becoming the fourth club ever in VFL/AFL history to win three consecutive premierships. Root for the Brisbane Lions FC with customized fan gear!

essendon

It is no surprise that the Essendon Football Club is one of the most popular clubs in the league. Nicknamed The Bombers, the Essendon Football Club was formed in 1871 and is headquartered at the Essendon Recreation Reserve in the Melbourne suburb of Essendon. The Essendon Australian Rules FC has won 16 VFL/AFL premierships which, along with Carlton Football Club, is the most of any club in the AFL. Essendon is often recognized for its on-field success, its stability and its pioneering work in the community, particularly with Indigenous Australians. If you’re a Bombers fan through and through, get your own Essendon Football Club fan gear!

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Pro Sports Athletes Who Play Abroad

Most sports fans would assume all talented athletes would want to come to the United States to compete with some of the top athletes in the world. However, this is far from the truth. A large number of talented American pro sports athletes go abroad every year to showcase their talent. Every athlete has their reasons, whether it’s to garner more playing time, a bigger contract, or simply to see the world. Here are a few athletes who made their marks after getting their passports stamped.

Pro soccer players are infamous for getting recruited abroad. Goalkeeper Brad Friedel is no exception. While many recruits play in lower divisions or not even at all, Friedel was always one of the first to play in the English Premier League. He made headlines with the Blackburn Rovers by leading them to a Carling Cup victory in 2002 and continues to be successful with Aston Villa.

The Canadian Football League received superstar talent when Quarterback Damon Allen decided to sign with them. Allen has thrown for 72,327 yards over his 23-year career in the Canadian Football League, more than any other professional football player has ever thrown in any league. He has been mentioned as one of the greatest CFL quarterbacks of all time after winning four Grey Cups with three different franchises, Edmonton Eskimos, BC Lions, and Toronto Argonauts.

Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes is best known as the first National League batter to open the season with three home runs. After playing with the Kintetsu Buffaloes, he became one of most feared hitters in the Pacific League. While playing for the Yomiuri Giants in 2004, Rhodes led the Pacific League in home runs three times.

After a disappointing early NFL career, Matt Stegall decided to join the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL for the end of the 1995 season. From there his football career skyrocketed and he became an incredibly effective slotback. His 147 career TDs are a CFL record, as are his 15,071 career receiving yards. By getting the playing time he needed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Stegall was able to transform into a stellar athlete.

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