Features | 1/31/2013 1:28:46 PM | Alex Beilman
| Shawn Williams (Photo: Bill Wippert)|
Although Black Sabbath certainly didn’t pen their hit song “Iron Man” with Bandits forward Shawn Williams in mind, people have begun to attach the title to Williams’ name. That’s because Shawn Williams just recently set an NLL record by playing in 200 consecutive games.
“It’s one of those things that kind of creeps up on you,” Williams said. “I’m happy to be a part of this league and especially happy to wear a Bandits jersey again.”
The streak began in Williams’ first stint with the Bandits, on March 11th, 2000 in a game against New York and culminated 12 and a half years later as the Bandits took on the Philadelphia Wings on Janurary 26th, 2013.
Over the course of the streak Williams has suited up for the Bandits, the Rochester Knighthawks, and the Edmonton Rush before landing back in Buffalo, when was traded by Minnesota (who had acquired him from Edmonton at the 2012 NLL draft) to the Bandits. Williams could not have been much happier when he was reacquired by the Bandits.
“It was pure happiness and excitement,” Williams said. “It feels like home [in Buffalo] for sure. You come in and see some familiar faces and it makes things a little bit easier”
The most incredible part of Williams return is that he has not lost a step. Since entering the league in 1998, Williams has put up 1,059 points, including 643 assists, in just 227 games. Not including his totals this season, he is averaging 69 points a season over his career.
Williams has 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) in the four games he has played so far in the 2013 season. That’s good to lead the Bandits in scoring.
“It’s still early [this season] but I think it’s just par for the course. On any given night, any one of [my teammates] could be leading,” Williams said of his hot start to this season. “It’s just playing lacrosse. Good things happen when you’re playing simple and not over-thinking things.”
Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour knew what he was going to get from Williams and has been happy with the contributions he has made so far.
“He’s been a real calming influence to our offense. The ball has been moving so well this year and he does it all.” Kilgour said.
Williams was also named one of the team’s assistant captains prior to the start of the season. As someone who has been rooting for the Bandits from the beginning, it was a huge honor for Williams to wear the “A” on his jersey.
“It’s an honor, especially wearing a letter for this franchise. I grew up loving the Bandits just like any young Canadian guy,” Williams said. “Whether I wear it or not, I’m going to be the same person, and I feel like that’s what has gotten me this far as well.”
“He’s been a tremendous leader so far this year. We gave him a letter right of the bat because he stepped into a leadership role at training camp,” Kilgour said.
Williams’ contributions on and off the field have helped lead the Bandits to a 3-1 record so far this season and helped bring a veteran presence to a young Bandits team.
“As long as you’re contributing good things can happen,” Williams said. “It’s not like you’re setting up office, looking for questions [from younger players] but as you’re playing you’re giving advice. Everybody is helping everybody. You’ve been around a long time and it’s all a part of it and a part of giving back.”
It’s anyone’s guess as to how much longer Williams streak will continue, but he’s always ready to play and ready to help his team. He’ll look to suit up for game 201 on Saturday when the Toronto Rock roll into town.
“You want to be in the lineup every week,” Williams said. “That means you’re contributing and that’s key. As long as you’re doing that, good thing can happen.”