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20 Questions with Ryan Flanagan

February 3, 2017
What better way to welcome the new guy to the team than to put him in the fire for this week’s 20 Questions? Ryan Flanagan, you’re up

Flanagan is no stranger to playing lockdown defense. The four-time all-star has been impressive in his years with the Charlotte Hounds, racking up over 225 ground balls in five seasons. Not to mention his reputation has instilled fear in the hearts of attackmen all over the League.

In 2013, he brought the Charlotte Hounds to the championship game, but they came up short, losing 10-9. Coming off an ACL surgery that ended his season last year, Ryan is out to prove people wrong, and get the Lizards back to the promised land.

We know he can handle other attackmen, but can he handle our 20 Questions? Here’s what he had to say to your questions:

1. When did you start to get a love for lacrosse? – Submitted by Andy B.
RF: I started playing lacrosse in 5 th grade and fell in love with it right away. I continued to play other sports but I have had a stick in my hand just about everyday since I started playing

2. Best memory of playing lacrosse? – Submitted by Trey R.
RF: It’s tough to pick just one memory from all my years playing lacrosse and most don’t come from actually playing. My best memories will always be celebrating with my team after games. I would say the memories that stand out the most are
-  The 5-6 hour bus ride from Syracuse, NY to West Islip, NY after winning the state championship my senior year of high school.
-  Celebrating our first win over Duke during my junior year at UNC.
-  Knocking off an undefeated Denver team in the semifinals during the 2013 MLL Playoffs.

3. What was your first stick? - Submitted by Ryan G.
RF: Great question! I honestly don’t remember. I think an STX Excalibur. My neighbor let me borrow a stick for the first year or two and I have no clue what it was but oddly enough it had a UNC dye job.

4. Favorite Animal? - Submitted by Paul B.
RF: Dogs.

5. If you weren’t playing lacrosse what would you be playing? – Submitted by Colin T.
RF: Football.

6. Favorite mesh? – Submitted Brandon P.
RF: Whatever the team provides. I couldn’t tell you the different types of mesh but I hate when kids use wax mesh!

7. Do you have a specific diet you follow during the season? – Submitted by Dan F.
RF: I try to follow a pretty healthy diet all year round. It doesn’t change very much during the season. I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, rice quinoa, yogurt, chicken and eggs. 

8. What sort of training do you do as a defender? – Submitted by Kevin K.
RF: As a defender, I try to focus as much as I can on improving my footwork and speed. If I can’t run with someone, my job is pretty difficult. I spend a lot of time with a speed ladder and jump rope and I always try to include some type of running, jumping or explosive movements in my workouts.

9. Favorite weather to play in? – Submitted by Dalton J.
RF: 65 and sunny!

10. What’s your pregame ritual? – Submitted by Kyle K.
RF: I don’t have a real pregame ritual. I always try to get out and warm up a little bit before we head out as a team to warm up but that can depend on where we are playing and if we can get on the field before warm ups. 

11. Favorite snack growing up? – Submitted by Klayton K.
RF: I’ve always been a big fruit fan and haven’t ever really been a big fan of cookies, chips, etc.

12. What teammate would you like to face 1 on 1? – Submitted by Ben B.
RF: Drew Adams. We have a pretty good team and Drew is an outstanding goalie but if I ever had to cover someone 1 on 1, it would probably be Drew.

13. Name a few personal goals for yourself in your first season? – Submitted by John R.
RF: I just want to earn a spot on the team and get on the field. I’ve got a lot of work to do before that can happen but that’s my only goal at this time. For the team, our goal is to beat the Bayhawks on April 22 nd.

14. What are you doing to train yourself for the upcoming season? – Submitted by Dom P.
RF: I tore my ACL, MCL and Meniscus during the 2016 MLL season so my entire offseason has been spent rehabbing that injury. It’s been countless hours in physical therapy, in the gym, in the pool, on the field, on the bike, etc… and A LOT of squats.

15. Favorite superhero? – Submitted by Steph C.
RF: Deadpool. No question.

16. What separates you from other players? – Submitted by Erin K.
RF: Every player in Major League Lacrosse is special. You don’t get to this level without having elite level athleticism and a great work ethic so we are all pretty similar in that regard. I’m probably taller than a majority of guys though.

17. If you weren’t a defender, what would be your next position? – Submitted by Jeff S.
RF: Midfield. One of my strengths has always been my ability to get up and down the field and I’m not a very good shooter. I’d probably make a better midfielder than attackman.

18. Three words to describe yourself. - Submitted by Zach P.
RF: One. Tall. Guy. 

19. What’s the most underrated part about playing lacrosse? – Submitted by Carl L.
RF: When you play in the MLL you are part of a very special fraternity. I think that’s the most underrated part of playing lacrosse to me. We all love the game and love to compete but the guys in the MLL are special.

20. What are you out to prove as the new guy? – Submitted by Desmond L.
RF: Oh man… I’m just ready to get to work with the Lizards!

Thanks to the fans of course for their amazing questions, and thanks again to Ryan for his great answers!

To send in your questions for players in weeks ahead, give a follow to New York Lizards on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (@nylizards). Use the hashtag, #20QTuesday to stay connected and join the fun!

New York Lizards Season Tickets are now available. For more information call 1-855-NYLizards. Individual game tickets will go on sale soon.