Our good friend @Lacrosse_Wonka spent some time at the 2012 MLL All-Star Game and was able to score an interview with lacrosse great Billy Bitter. Here is what Wonka was able to learn about this athletic hero:
"5,013 fans from all around North and South Carolina came to the 6th home game of the brand new team, Charlotte Hounds. The atmosphere of the 76 year old stadium was very energetic, giving the experience a huge boost. Family and friends enjoyed tailgating and talking to some players before the game. For 5,013 people, it sounded like a packed house. Its true Charlotte really is crazy about Lacrosse.
I got the chance to talk to UNC grad and MLL All Star, Billy Bitter. Number 4 of the new team is in his second season in the MLL starting his career with the Denver Outlaws but traded to the Hounds during the draft. With 9 goals and 5 assist so far this season, he is on track to ending the season (AUG11) with a record any player aims to have. My first impressions when I got to talk to him were “He oozes swag”. Very clear with words and the attitude of a Leader, he was chill.
Me: What’s your favorite position in Lacrosse to play?
Billy Bitter: “Attack, that’s the only position I played in my life, basically my whole life. It’s what I’m used to and I always had fun with it.”
Me: How is Mike Cerino’s coaching style different from Joe Breschi if any?
BB: “It’s a little different, one being that the game is a little different, the shot clock and only practicing one day a week. The one thing I notice it that they are both very similar off the field, very great people, very welcoming, and very personable. It’s always a good thing to have in a coach. The coaching style in the fact that the game is a lot different, the speed of play, not being able to see the other players. Other than that, I would say they are pretty much the same.
Me: Where do you see Lacrosse as a sport in 10 years?
BB: I can see it growing a lot more in the west coast, mid-west. Basically not all in the North East where all the colleges are and the Top Ten Schools are. I can see it maybe going to some colleges out in the West, which would be great. More teams in the MLL.
Me: What is your favorite pre-game meal?
BB: Peanut Butter and Jelly! Light on the jelly. Toasted.
Me: What do you do before a game?
BB: Not much, a lot of guys try to come out here and shoot around, try to get loose. I just try to keep to myself. I listen to music, sort of stretch out and relax. Stay loose.
Me: What’s your favorite type of music?
BB: I have a pretty big collection of music on my computer. But I like anything from Country to Dance. But right now I say I’m into Dance music. Heavy beats. A little bit of Dub Step but I get a head-ache from that stuff *Laughs*
Me: What do you do other than play Lacrosse?
BB:I ski a lot in the winter, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I skied too my whole life. I like to ski, I like to hike. My family is in Vermont right now so hiking is a really good time. Boating, Cliff Jumping. A lot of outdoor stuff.
Me: Question from the Followers, Are you single?
BB: *Slight Smirk* No.
Me: How do you like Charlotte?
BB: I like it a lot, Charlotte couldn’t be better. Easy hour flight down here on the weekends, the coaching staff is great. Our front office is awesome; they treat us great so we’re really lucky. The fans are the best part.
Me: Do you think staying at Deerfield Academy for an extra year had an impact on your skills?
BB: Definitely, for one Deerfield is just a very difficult school academically, you’re also living on your own. It definitely helped me before I went off to college on my own, very far away from home. Definitely helped me with my skills, just an extra year to tune up my skills I needed to work on. I had a great coach there that really helped me improve my game.
Me: How is the chemistry on the team?
BB: I think it’s great. If you see us in the locker room after the games and before the games we are very friendly with one another. Always laughing on the bus. Just the only thing that on the field is that will eventually come. We literally just started as a team, that always takes time. It’s tough to know each other’s tendencies when you only have practice once a week. But I think we are heading in the right direction. I see a lot of promise with the people we have and I can see bright things in our future.
Me: How often does your family go to your games?
BB: They haven’t been to one yet. I’m one of six kids and I’m the Fifth one, a lot of Lax in their life. It doesn’t bother me; I know they are busy on weekends. Eventually I think they will come to maybe one or two. Hopefully this summer, if not next summer. They always try to watch my games on TV or ESPN3
ME: Does Jimmy, your brother, always ask for advice?
BB: He does mainly because he’s shy. But I always try to reach out to him, send him a text before the game stuff to work on, always congratulate him on the games he played. Just constantly keeping with him and telling him to keep his head up and push on.
ME: How was the MLL All-Star game?
BB: It was a lot of fun, it was a great time. I thought they did an awesome job with the fans and the crowd. The half time show was fun to watch. Overall it was a great experience, great weather and everything.
ME: What does your offseason look like?
BB: It’s pretty basic, I work in New York City, working 9am to 5pm, the weekends I’ll have off. After work I’ll train or before work. It’s pretty relaxing, not too busy which is great because it’s been a lot of lacrosse this summer so far.
Me: Did you have any role models growing up? Your dad?
BB: Yeah I guess my Dad, a little bit of my dad. He helped me, he teach me a lot of my game that I know today. Mikey Powell is one guy, I remember watching him, he was pretty sick. Lacrosse wasn’t on TV as much as it is now. YouTube didn’t even exist so I wasn’t as lucky as these kids are today. But anytime the game was on I would try to catch it on TV, go to games that were near where I was from, up North.
Me: Any advice to Laxers that want to make it big like you?
BB: Play as much as you can, always have that stick with you. Bring it where ever you are. Play other sports too."