Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hockey fans are familiar with Brendon Rothfuss, the forward who had 5 goals and 4 assists in his freshman campaign on the ice.

You may not be aware that Brendon is that rare breed of college athlete who plays 2 sports.

He is also an attackman on the College's lacrosse team. So far in their 3-6 season he has scored 11 goals (good for third on the team) while assisting on 5 more.

I interviewed Brendon for so we can get a sense of how he makes it all work...

Participating in 1 sport and taking classes is tough enough. Participating in 2 sports and taking classes is almost unheard of. How do you balance it all?

It’s definitely not easy, but I knew coming into Brockport I wanted to try and play both sports and there certainly are sacrifices that have to be made to make sure that I can balance both sports and still focus on my school work. Sometimes the guys are ringing me seeing if I want to come hang out but I don’t have the free time they have so I end up having to stay in my dorm doing homework all night. Of course I want to be hanging out with my buddies but in order to participate in two sports I have to sacrifice that at times, and it has definitely been worth it.

You take part in sports that have you actively playing from October to May. That said, you need to be in the very best shape all year long. There's almost no downtime. What does your exercise routine and diet consist of?

Last year with my junior hockey season ending in the beginning of March I was able to get a good jump on physically preparing myself to be a college athlete. I would work out 3 times a week over the summer and once I got to Brockport at the end of August our hockey team would skate and work out 4 to 5 times a week. So when October came around we were in great physical shape and we only continued to grow on that throughout the season.

However, going so hard for so long has certainly taken its toll on my body and since the end of hockey I have taken it much easier in the weight room simply because if I were to be doing the same workouts as the hockey guys are doing now my body would not be able to withstand lacrosse as well. Therefore now during lacrosse season we practice every day and I make it up to the weight room once maybe twice a week and just try and eat big healthy meals so that I don’t lose too much of what I gained throughout the year. Unfortunately I’ve already lost 6 lbs since the end of hockey, but I will be able to put that back on throughout the course of the summer.

Tell us about your lacrosse history at Webster Thomas

While I was at Webster Thomas I watched our program develop from a new “small school” into one of the elite programs in New York State. Coach Ruller has really done wonders with the program and it seems like every year his teams just keep getting better and better. My sophomore year we won I think 5 games and were a team filled with 10th and 11th grade talent, a lot of us being our first year on varsity. We carried the load pretty well and two sophomores (Dom Scalzo and I) led the team in goals. The following year we lost only a handful of games and were undefeated in our division. Webster Thomas has now not lost a division game since 2005 so it is pretty neat to be a part of the group that first put our school on the map. Over the years I was fortunate enough to play with some great lacrosse players that helped me grow into the player I am today. I ended up graduating 2nd all time in points in 2007 and was a part of some really special teams.

Which sport have you had the greatest success at: hockey or lacrosse?

That’s a really tough question, I’ve been lucky to play with some pretty great players in both sports that have helped me achieve a lot over the years on the ice and the field. Winning All Greater Rochester player of the year was an awesome experience from my last year in high school, but so was being a two time first team all county attackmen in lacrosse. I’m going to go on a limb here and say hockey, I got to be a part of great teams at the youth and junior level. I was fortunate enough to win a State Championship back in 2006 playing for the Maksymiu brothers with Rochester Youth and I would say that’s my greatest achievement.

How do the skills and instincts you utilize in hockey translate to lacrosse and vice versa?

I think for any lacrosse player to have a hockey background is a huge advantage as an athlete. Although in hockey you handle the puck on the ice and in lacrosse you handle the ball in your stick up by your ear, a lot of the muscles a player uses in their wrists and arms are the same. Also I find that the creativity and coordination of hockey play a huge role in the lacrosse game whether it’s with your stick-work or shooting.

Lacrosse is becoming more popular all the time, yet it's still regarded as a niche sport. How do you "sell" people -- fans and athletes -- on lacrosse to get them interested?

Lacrosse is a special game, it’s got a little bit of every sport in its roots. It’s got the footwork and formations of basketball, the creativity, grace, and grit of hockey, the physical contact of football, and the speed of soccer. If you have the opportunity to get to a lacrosse game in your area, I’d recommend you give it a try. When I was young I was oblivious to lacrosse, and ever since I first picked up a stick I haven’t been able to put it back down. Some of the players these days have an incredible amount of skill and make this wonderful game exciting to watch.