When you think of McGill Lacrosse, you think of a program that has dominated the CUFLA for the last five years. Many fantastic players have come through the program during that time, but none have had the honour of being drafted into the National Lacrosse League (NLL). That changed on Sept. 26 in Toronto. Fourth-year forward Spencer Bromley became the first McGill player selected in the draft when he was taken 48th overall in the fifth round by the two-time NLL defending champion, the Saskatchewan Rush.
Bromley never thought about the possibility the he would be drafted. He did not even attend the NLL combine, where teams interview and work out draft-eligible players, as it clashed with a McGill game.
“I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t have an idea at all,” Bromley said.
Even with Saskatchewan being a deep team on the wing, Bromley believes that he is talented enough to go to camp and make the team.
“It’s up to them,” Bromley said. “The ideal situation would be for me to take a crack at the team and hopefully make it.”
In addition to being an accomplished lacrosse player, Bromley is also focused on his academics: He was named to the Principal’s Student-Athlete Honour Roll in 2016. He plans to go to graduate school alongside playing in the NLL, a situation for which he is well-prepared.
“Playing lacrosse at [McGill] prepared me with a work ethic to balance my school and athletic life,” Bromley said. “It taught me a competitive attitude. We’ve lost very few games in my time on the team.”
However, McGill wasn’t the only offer Bromley had when he graduated in 2013 from Earl Marriott Secondary High School in Surrey, British Columbia. He chose to attend McGill over several scholarship offers from NCAA lacrosse programs.
“I felt that McGill was the perfect combo of good lacrosse and good school,” Bromley said. “I figured if I put the time in high school to get good grades, I would have the opportunity to come to a great school.”
Growing up in Surrey, Bromley played for the Semiahmoo Rock and Richmond RoadRunner lacrosse clubs. His run of excellent play earned him a spot on the Delta Islanders, a Junior A box lacrosse team, where he still plays during the summer. He has thrived with the team, scoring 61 points in 21 games this past summer and winning a provincial Junior A title. He attributes a lot of his success to the coaches and teammates he has played with.
“My biggest influence has been my coaching staff,” Bromley said. “The Delta coaching staff starting with Greg Rennie, Logan Schuss, Bruce Davidson, my minor lacrosse coach, and Brent Hoskins, my field lacrosse travelling team coach who helped me get into McGill.”
Having the privilege to play with so many great players has helped Bromley to evolve into a more complete athlete, giving him the chance to play at the professional level.
“It’s a huge honour to play here,” Bromley said. “A lot of great players have come through here who should’ve been drafted. It had a lot to do with luck and timing. Playing in the Minto Cup, [the trophy awarded annually to the best men’s Junior lacrosse team in Canada,] this year gave me the platform to get scouted.”
With all his recent success, he remains humble and focused. Bromley wants to repeat as a national championship winner and end his McGill career in style. Whichever path he chooses, wheteher it be the NLL, graduate school, or both, he is primed to make an immediate impact.