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Stories/Op-Ed

Dickson Stepping Up His Game For Roughnecks

He can shoot faster than a speeding bullet, power through defense like a locomotive, able to leap across the crease in a single bound. Look! Down on the field. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Curtis “Superman” Dickson.

Three MVP awards, and 342 regular season career points (202+140) Curtis Dickson been earning his superhero title on the Roughnecks since he was drafted 3rd overall by the team in 2010. The 28-year-old was born in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, and like many other players in the league, he has been playing for the majority of his life. 

“I was about three years old, my dad he grew up playing lacrosse and he kind of got me into it as soon as he could,” Dickson said. “You’re not supposed to be able to play organized lacrosse until you’re four but he knew a guy in the league, and got me in there early and I’ve just been playing ever since.”

Dickson has had a lot of role models in his life to shape the career he has today. His father played lacrosse, and Dickson has known Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky for nearly 20 years.

“I grew up playing in B.C., and Curt coached me back in PeeWee, I was about 8 or 9 years old. So I’ve known him for a while and he’s a great lacrosse player,” Dickson said. “The main guy I looked up to is my father, he grew up playing lacrosse. He’s taught me everything I know. He coached me and was there all the way up through my minor lacrosse career. He’s definitely been the biggest influence on my game.” 

Now in his sixth year with the Roughnecks, Dickson has become an integral part of the team. While playing a professional sport changes your life a lot, he has got to experience many things that most up-and-coming athletes can only dream of. 

“It’s been a lot of fun getting to live in the city and play a professional sport,” Dickson said. “I think getting to play a championship home game against Rochester a couple years ago was a pretty awesome moment. Also, my first game as a Roughneck was pretty memorable as well, playing Buffalo at the Saddledome and seeing how awesome our fans are.”

Last year, the Roughnecks had an 0-6 start to its season, the worst in team history. This year they are sitting at 0-2, still a slow start but Dickson isn’t feeling discouraged. He believes this year will be much different than last.

“Last year, obviously I think defense and goaltending to start the season was a little shaky. This year it’s been a huge turn around on the defense. [Frankie Scigliano] been outstanding when you can hold a team to 10 or fewer goals you can usually win most nights,” Dickson stated.

The Roughnecks are heading to New England to take on the Black Wolves (1-0) this weekend, and will look for the team’s first ‘W’ of the year. In order to do that, Dickson says there are some changes that need to be made.

“Offensively, we have to be better, we have a lot of new faces out there on the offense and we knew it would take some time for us to start clicking, and gelling, and get together as a unit. It’s been promising we’ve had a lot of chances. We just need to figure out a way to put the ball in the net.”

The Roughnecks may have a lot of fresh faces on their team this year, but they will see a familiar one when they take on the Black Wolves. The Riggers traded one of their top scorers, Shawn Evans to the New England Black Wolves in exchange for forward Tyler Digby and first round picks in both the 2018, and ’19 drafts. Dickson and Evans have had a memorable friendship on and off the field, which will make the game a little unusual for ‘Superman’.

“For a while there, it seemed like I couldn’t get rid of the guy,” Dickson laughed.  “It’s going to be weird, obviously playing for the Roughnecks for four seasons with him and I spent the summer in Peterborough with him and played for Team Canada in the world championships in September with him. He’s considered the best player in the world right now. And rightfully so, he’s a phenomenal athlete and phenomenal talent.”

“The defense is going to have a tough task trying to stop that guy. He had a great game last weekend as usual he’s a competitor and a guy that loves to play and hates to lose.”

The Riggers will travel to the Mohegan Sun Arena to face off against the Black Wolves Friday, at 7 p.m. ET for their first and final match up in the regular season. While an 0-2 start is not ideal for the ‘Necks, they are keeping their eyes on the prize.

“It’s championship or bust,” Dickson said. “I think every season, we know we have a team to do what it takes to win a championship, and anytime we come up short of that it’s a disappointment. We always have our eyes on that championship and it’s no different this year.” 

By Laura Bates for NLL.com. Photo by Candice Ward.

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