Majeski ’06 joins Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse
Bates College has produced its first professional lacrosse player, and no one, it seems, is as surprised as the player himself, B.J. Majeski ’06.
A former All-NESCAC defenseman for the Bobcats, Majeski has signed with the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse this week following three successful weekends of open tryouts.
“I am so excited to still be playing, it’s like a dream come true. The entire time I’m on the field with the other guys, I have a huge grin on my face and probably look like an idiot,” the self-deprecating Majeski said in a recent e-mail.
|B.J. Majeski ’06 (with former teammate Tom Lucey ’06 at right) has taken his game to new heights, and is the first Bobcat to make a Major League Lacrosse roster.|
Majeski, who will wear the No. 31 jersey, just as he did last season for Bates, is the only player on the team from a NESCAC school, and one of the smallest players on the Cannons’ roster, at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds. Among his teammates are superstars of the sports such as Mike Powell, the all-time leading scorer at Syracuse University who has his own line of apparel, and John Christmas, a midfielder who played for Virginia.
The 10 teams in the MLL play a 12-game regular season, all on weekends. Boston opens the 2007 season with a road game against the Washington Bayhawks on May 12.
“It’s such an incredible honor for B.J. and the Bates program,” said Bates head coach Peter Lasagna. “I think maybe it says something about Division III and NESCAC lacrosse
Majeski won some postseason awards as a senior a year ago — he made the All-NESCAC Second Team, and was named an alternate for the STX/USILA North-South Senior All-Star game. Still, his college lacrosse resume doesn’t leap off of the page.
But since graduation, Majeski has worked full-time as a middle school special education aide in his hometown of Norwalk, Conn. He has also been helping his former high school coach, Mike Epstein, at Brien McMahon High School. Left without the team structure for the first time in eight years, Majeski committed himself to working out on his own, and into the best condition of his life — something Lasagna noticed when Majeski came to watch his former teammates play at Wesleyan this season.
“B.J. just kept on working to get better, throughout college and even after graduation,” said Lasagna. “For kids in our program to see that that is possible, that their career doesn’t have to end after graduation, is exciting.”
Playing professionally hadn’t occurred to him, however, until one of the players he coaches saw that the MLL was accepting applications for its player pool. “I filled out a form, mailed it in, and four days before training camp, I received a call from [Cannons head coach Bill] Daye to invite me up there,” said Majeski.
At tryouts, Majeski managed to play fearlessly and catch coaches’ eyes, even while being awed of the talent around him.
“Here I was, at a training camp with some of the best players in the world, and I wasn’t watching them for once,” he said. “They sure did seem a lot bigger on TV, but they still all just about dwarf me. The ones that are around my height are amazingly fast. It’s almost not fair, but I guess I did something right.”
As tickled as Majeski is to spend this summer with the Cannons, it will be his last if all goes according to plan. He is training to join the Armed Forces, possibly to fly fighter planes for the U.S. Marine Corps. A side benefit to trying to keep up with the best lacrosse players in the world, he says, is it’s good physical training for his future endeavors.
“I’m still shocked every time I get a team e-mail with the Cannons logo on it,” said Majeski. ”My friends joke around about not knowing who’s the lazier professional athlete, me or Manny Ramirez.
“But I am going to ride this for all it’s worth, and enjoy it while it lasts.”