Talking Sports with Colorado Mammoth’s Jarrett Park

By Anthony Caruso III
The Capital Sports Report Owner/Sr. Writer

Jarrett Park, a transition player with the Colorado Mammoth, recently took time to do a Q&A session with The Capital Sports Report. His interview is about his sports career and views.

TCSR: who is your biggest role model outside of sports?

JP: “It would be my parents. They had the biggest impact on my life. I was able to watch them growing up, and they were very successful people.”

TCSR: why did you choose to attend Syracuse University?

JP: “Well, I grew up in Upstate New York. I thought I would leave town for college, because I had previously been independent. I wanted to play soccer, as well, and Syracuse allowed me to do both. I was able to win a national championship in lacrosse. When I was there, I studied bio mechanical engineering.”

TCSR: being a two-sport athlete at Syracuse

JP: “It was challenging for sure, but it was great. I had played soccer all my life, but in college, I realized that I loved lacrosse more. I wanted to pursue lacrosse after college.”

TCSR: winning the 2002 and 2004 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship at Syracuse

JP: “Well, the first one was my freshman year, and I had only played in front of a couple of thousand people in my career prior to arriving at Syracuse. Then, that year, the championship was played at Rutgers University in front of 40-plus thousand people. The next time that we won it, in 2004, we played in front of more than 50,000 people. There’s not many people that will ever say that they’ve been able to play in front of that many people. It was incredible.”

TCSR: playing for the Boston Cannons in 2005

JP: “I think it was a good team for me to start my professional career. I didn’t play in the first several games after Boston had drafted me, because Boston was a great team that year. They are still a good team and a perennial power each summer. I was really excited, because of the players on the team. It allowed me to learn from these players. It was a good jump-off to my career. After playing for them, I was drafted by the San Jose Stealth for the indoor game. I had to move out West, and it made sense for me to change MLL teams, too. Once I changed teams in the MLL, I landed with the San Francisco Dragons. That allowed me to play both indoor and outdoor lacrosse in the State of California. I was able to explore an area of the country that I had never been to before.”

TCSR: why he thinks the San Francisco Dragons didn’t work out

JP: “I think the Dragons did work out. There’s a lot of lacrosse being played in California. I think the San Francisco/San Jose area would work, as a market for a pro team, but I’m not running the show. I’m also not running the leagues. Sometimes when people start teams, they’re not always the best business men, or even the best men to have at the helm of the job of running a pro team. But I think as far as the market goes, I think it’s a good market. When we played there, we got decent draws. What happened to them happened to a lot of businesses at that time when the economy took a dive. For most owners, these pro teams are not their first business. Pro lacrosse is more of a side business, or even a hobby at most, to these owners. At around the time that the Dragons folded, the LA (Los Angeles) Riptide, the Philadelphia Barrage, and the New Jersey Pride folded. I think it was more to do with the economy than the product to be honest.”

TCSR: playing for the New York Titans after being acquired in the 2006 expansion draft (The New York Titans has ceased operations, too)

JP: “It was definitely a different experience than I’m having with the Colorado Mammoth right now. The Mammoth are an established team. I was able to see the Dragons go through the different experiences that helped me prepare myself for my experience with the Titans. Being from Upstate New York, I was able to play at Madison Square Garden. I had a lot of friends on that team, and I wish we were still together, because I thought it was a great group of guys. We tried, but it’s a tough market in New York with so many different things going on around New York City.”

TCSR: playing for the Washington Bayhawks, who are now the Chesapeake Bayhawks after changing their name

JP: “That wasn’t the greatest summer, because I had to travel a heck of a lot. I had no desire to move to the Washington, D.C. area, so I was commuting back and forth to all the games. I also had to battle an ankle injury, and as a result, I started drifting  further and further away from the team. The Bayhawks was the beginning of me having to step back and away from the MLL (Major League Lacrosse). The next year, I was with the Chicago Machines, who are now the Rochester Rattlers, but I didn’t play much again due to an injury. Then, the following summer, which was this past summer, I decided that I needed to take time off, because I wasn’t having fun.”

TCSR: possibly returning to the outdoor game again this summer

JP: “I had shoulder surgery this past fall, and now, I’m in the middle of my indoor game, so if I’m feeling healthy and a team wants me to play for them, I would consider it. Right now, my rights are owned by the Rochester Rattlers. I’m living in Colorado, and that’s back in Rochester, so we’ll see. The Rattlers head coach B. J. O’Hara is one of my friends, so we’ll likely talk about it if I do come back. That’s a long time away, though. I’m focusing on the indoor game right now.”

TCSR: playing for the Colorado Mammoth

JP: “I’ve been out here a bunch of times to play the Mammoth with the Stealth and the Titans. I’ve always had success here actually. We’ve always done well here with my other teams, and it was always a great experience playing in the Pepsi Center, because they always sell out with 17,000-18,000 people per game. It is definitely a tough place to play with the crowd noise, but the only team that I want to play for after the Titans disbanded was the Mammoth. I was fortunate that it worked out that way. I like the State and especially the State of Denver. When they called me and said that they wanted to draft me in the dispersal draft, I said absolutely. They asked me if I wanted to move out here, and I said absolutely. I feel comfortable here.”

TCSR: future once you have to retire

JP: “Well, if I can’t play lacrosse, then that means I can’t physically go snowboarding or skiing or surfing, which is what I also like to do. But I was trained as an engineer and I like working with my hands, and last summer when I didn’t play lacrosse, I went and studied wood working at the University of Redlands in California. I think maybe I’ll be spending time in a wood shop, as an older man.”

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Anthony Caruso III by The Capital Sports Report is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Based on work at <www.thecapitalsportsreport.com>

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