Pro lacrosse player heading to world championships

By Kris Dubé, Fort Erie Times/Niagara Advance

During the week, Travis Hill keeps himself busy as a supervisor at the Old Fort and a member of the War of 1812 bicentennial planning committee.

When the weekend rolls around, he changes his title as someone involved in the local community to someone who is in his sixth season as a professional athlete.

Hill has played with the National Lacrosse League (NLL)'s Minnesota Swarm since he entered the league. He has gone through what he refers to as a rewarding change, once a rookie but now one of the team's most seasoned veterans.

"It's quite the transformation process, guiding some of the younger guys through the same process you went through," said Hill, who leads the team with an average of 3.5 penalty minutes per game, playing both forward and defense.

If the Swarm wins two more regular season games, it will solidify their position as the second place team in the NLL's western conference and give them home advantage.

"In Minnesota's history, they haven't hosted a home game yet in the playoffs," he said.

Every four years, the NLL takes a break in May, as many players are selected to play in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.

Hill has been asked to join the roster of the Iroquois Nationals, whom he played for four years ago in the same tournament, losing in the final game to Team Canada when it was held in Halifax.

This year, from May 21 to 28, Hill will hit the floor for the same team, competing overseas in Prague.

For the 29-year-old, taking the top prize is his main priority.

"The gold medal is number one, the second is leaving North America for travel. I've never done that before," said Hill.

The team will be coached by Darris Kilgour, the current head coach and general manager of the NLL's Buffalo Bandits, whom Hill says he is "honoured" to play for.

"He's a huge icon in the native community for what he's done with the Bandits and throughout the league," he said.

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