PHOTO BY JOE MAIORANA/PRETTY INSTANT

Boston Cannons midfielder Josh Hawkins doubles as a studio host for Lax Sports Network.

LSN Host, MLL Pro Josh Hawkins is No Weekend Warrior


Josh Hawkins, best known as the runner and gunner on Loyola’s famed rope unit that led the Greyhounds to an NCAA title in 2012, has found a calling as an on-air personality. When he’s not making plays for his hometown Boston Cannons, he’s analyzing his own teammates and opponents as Lax Sports Network host.We hit up Hank in between segments.


"We didn't know any better. We didn't even know we were that good. We couldn't wait for the season, so we could just run on everyone." — Josh Hawkins on Loyola's 2012 NCAA title season









How would you describe your lacrosse journey — specifically the ride to the NCAA championship in 2012?

I was an athlete growing up, playing a ton of sports or just running around outside in western Massachusetts. I grew up without video games, so everything was playing outside with friends. That being said, my lacrosse journey has been unique because I wasn't always sure I wanted to play lacrosse in college or even knew how to get recruited. Once I transferred to Deerfield Academy from Amherst Regional High School, that’s when college lacrosse became a realistic option.

Fast forward to my junior year at Loyola. That group was amazing to be around on and off the field. We didn’t know any better. We didn’t even know we were that good. We just had so much fun. It started in fall ball with the rule changes, specifically the quick whistle. For me and Scott Ratliff, it was a game changer. We couldn’t wait for the season, so we could just run on everyone.

Fast forward again to the Cannons and playing professionally. I never thought I would be playing in the MLL for my hometown team. Lacrosse has opened so many doors and allowed me to meet and become friends with so many amazing people. It’s a sport that keeps on giving, and I don’t think any other sport could do that for me.

How is life as a host at Lax Sports Network, the sport’s first 24-hour digital network?

LSN has been an awesome opportunity for me. I’m able to stay involved with the sport at all levels, both male and female, while also pursuing and growing a career as an on-air talent. It’s a very unique situation where I’m an analyst for a league that I’m currently playing in, which has been both fun and interesting at times. Professional lacrosse is growing, and to grow with it as an athlete, you have to be a “full-time professional lacrosse player,” no more of this “weekend warrior” stuff. LSN has allowed me to be the former.




PHOTO COURTESY OF LAX SPORTS NETWORK

"It's a very unique situation where I'm an analyst for a league that I'm currently playing in," Hawkins says, "which has been both fun and interesting at times."


In your “Introduction to the Game” article for MLL Press Box, you mentioned how small-sided play at a young age will help grow the game. Would you describe yourself as an advocate for small-sided play, knowing the efforts US Lacrosse has put forth with the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model and new youth rules?

I would definitely describe myself as an advocate for small-sided lacrosse. It allows for kids to get a lot more reps, touches and opportunities on the ball. Even looking at the box game and how skilled those are who grow up playing it north of the border, they are playing in a smaller setting – 5v5 with smaller field dimensions. Look at what Casey Powell is doing with “Speed Lacrosse,” another small-sided way to train fundamentals. It’s also an environment to be creative.

You played for the U.S. team in Team USA Spring Premiere. You tweeted that you had waited four years for that opportunity. Are you hopeful to compete in 2018?

I did tweet that. Follow me @HankHawkins. But seriously, it’s been something I’ve wanted to be a part of since hearing Mark Millon talk about the men’s national team at one of his UMass camps back in fourth grade. When I said four years in my tweet, I was referring back to 2013 when Loyola played Team USA in a preseason event my senior year. I also had to watch Team USA get a silver back in 2014. I’m honored to be a part of the process, but it’s just that, the process. My goal is to be a part of that 2018 men’s national team that brings the gold back to the U.S.

A condensed version of this “Life After Lax” article appears in the March edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Don’t get the mag? Join US Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.