What makes the National Lacrosse League (NLL) such a unique professional entity is the fact that none of its more than 275 active players earn a full-time living from the sport. With teachers such as Storm defenseman Bobby Horsey, union presidents like Steve Sombrotto and even steel workers in the case of Mike Benedict, all of the Storm players are part-time professional athletes.
One player in particular who works especially hard both on and off the turf is first-year Stormer Doug Noganosh, who serves as one of Roma, Ontario's finest in the Mnjikanning (min-JIK-a-NING) Police Service as a corporal ranked police officer, where he does everything from arrest criminals to assisting in the investigation of crimes.
'I really enjoy my work, day in and day out,' Noganosh said. "Working as a police officer helps me to not only keep the public safe, but in addition stay in top notch shape for the National Lacrosse League.'
The 5'11 Orilla, Ontario native, who is currently enjoying his second season of professional indoor lacrosse after spending last year with the Ottawa Rebel, feels that his line of work never offers a dull moment.
'Working as a police officer is both intense but at the same time exciting,' he explained. 'I am grateful to the city of Mnjikanning for entrusting me with their public's safety and I will continue to do the best job I can.'
When not fighting the bad guys on the streets of Ontario, Noganosh does battle with his opponents on the arena floor of the Continental Airlines Arena while wearing the black, silver, blue and white of the Storm.
Prior to joining New Jersey this season, 'Noggie' as he often referred to around the team locker room, had significant playing experience in the Ontario Lacrosse Association after spending four seasons with the major league's Brooklin Redmen under current Storm assistant coach Elmer Tran and five seasons with Orilla Kings of the junior league, where he claimed the 1994 Canadian Championship and 1993 Defensive Player of the Year award.
As for his thoughts on the Storm organization thus far, Noganosh says that he is very happy with the team and is grateful to the coaching staff for giving him a shot this season. 'I am very pleased with the New Jersey organization, the players are a great bunch of guys and I already feel like I have been part of this team for a long time,' Noganosh stated. 'The coaches are good as well and I was happy that Mr. [Jim] Brady called me this summer and picked up my rights.' Currently this season Noganosh (1G, 0A) has played in three games to help rank the Storm defense as fourth best in League penalty killing with a .741 percentage.
As for his hopes for the remainder of this season, Noganosh is looking to both improve his defensive skills, while along with many of the other Stormers, getting the club up to its full potential and advancing to the playoffs.
'It is my hope that our team gets into the playoffs. As for my own personal goals, I am going to continue to try and have a good year defensively and to help contribute on the offensive end of the floor as well,' Noganosh said.
Noganosh and the rest of the Storm return to action this Saturday February 1, 2003 when they travel to Ottawa for a 3:30 p.m. showdown with the Rebel. The next home game for the Storm is against division rival the Philadelphia Wings on Thursday, February 6, 2003 with the first 2,500 fans receiving rally towels. Tickets can be obtained by calling (201) 507-8900, at the Continental Airlines Arena box office or any Ticketmaster location, online via Ticketmaster.com. For more information call 1-866-NJ STORM.