Shawn Evans has done just about everything that can be done in the lacrosse world. He owns rings for the Minto Cup, Mann Cup, NLL Champions Cups and added the NLL MVP to his mantle this season.
Yet, with all of his hardware, Evans never expected to make TSN's SportsCentre as an in-studio guest.
“I had a great first experience on SportsCentre. I grew up watching it and to now get a chance to be on it was a pretty cool feeling,” Evans said. “I hope by doing this it grows the sport of lacrosse and the viewership because it’s an exciting sport to watch.”
Last week, Evans joined Rochester Knighthawks player Cory Vitarelli was on the other side of the desk as he joined TSN’s SportsCentre for an upcoming lacrosse show, which will feature the Top 20 Lacrosse Plays of 2013.
“It was definitely cool to talk about some of the goals and players that will be on it,” said Vitarelli on his TV debut.
In 2013, “Evy” completed his most successful offensive season as a professional, earning NLL MVP honors after notching a league-best 112 points for the Calgary Roughnecks. Evans was acquired by the Roughnecks in the 2011 trade that sent the fifth overall pick to Rochester, which the Knighthawks used to take Johnny Powless. Last season, Evans not only led the NLL in points but recorded the second highest single-season assist total in league history (80).
“It was a good season overall. I stayed health, my body was healthy,” said Evans, who is a Team 22 athlete. “We had a good team in Calgary and I was hoping we could have gone a little farther. We had a lot of success when my teammates were putting the ball in the back of the net and I was setting up plays. We had good team chemistry and good offensive chemistry.”
Before arriving in Calgary in 2011, Evans played six seasons in Rochester after being drafted second overall in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft. In 93 games, he scored 143 goals and added 220 assists for 363 points. He was also a member of the Knighthawks 2007 Championship team.
“The Dog,” as he is known by his Knighthawks teammates, won his second-straight Champion’s Cup in May. Vitarelli was named the team’s Unsung Hero for the second straight season after notching a career-high 19 assists. He also finished second on the team in goals (25) and third in points (44). This past season, he had a penchant for dramatic and acrobatic goals as seen worldwide after Rochester’s win in Buffalo on Feb. 9 as his diving catch and finish was the No. 7 play on the U.S. version of SportsCenter.
“It’s pretty amazing. I watch TSN every morning and it’s pretty special to have some lacrosse highlights on it and to be in one of them,” he said. “I'm looking forward to the show, the goals and seeing some of the other lacrosse guys talking about them.”
The duo was among nearly a dozen NLL players that will be featured on the show, including John Tavares, Tracey Kelusky, Brodie Merrill, Brandon Miller, Colin Doyle, Andrew Suitor, Mike Poulin and Dan Dawson.
The show is slated to run in early October.