Updated: Sep 29
2023 Result: 8-2, 1st in PLL, won PLL Championship
2024 Draft Picks:
Offensive Efficiency: 28.9%, 3rd in PLL
Defensive Efficiency: 25.1%, 2nd in PLL
Pending Free Agents:
It all went pretty well, didn’t it? Archers beat Cannons week one, which in retrospect is a very impressive win. Their only regular season losses were to Chaos and Waterdogs. They weren’t an underdog all season until the title game, when they opened as one, but ultimately went off as a 1.5 goal favorite. They went over in seven of 10 regular season games. Tom Schreiber won MVP, Latrell Harris won SSDM of the Year, Brett Dobson was the title game MVP and had a case for Goalie of the Year. Connor Fields looked like the guy who was an MVP finalist in year one. Even as injuries piled up for them late with Harris, Fields, and Cam Wyers going down, they were able to make plays and leverage their versatility to fill holes. The Chaos beat them, and the Waterdogs lost to them twice by a goal, and the Atlas took them to OT in Baltimore. Nobody else stayed within three goals. They dismantled the Redwoods in the semifinals (and in the regular season). They held the Chrome to 12 goals, total, in two games. Tony Resch finally started getting so much deserved recognition as one of the greatest defensive minds ever to grace a sideline. Their draft picks, top to bottom, were outstanding, as Mike Sisselberger gave them the faceoff specialist they had lacked for years. Connor Maher and Piper Bond were trusted completely by the veteran poles right away, and Cam Wyers stepped in for an injured Jon Robbins and was solid. The Archers spent most of the season atop the standings as considered the league’s best team, and finally got over their playoff jinx and took home a title.
As is always the case with the team that wins the title, you can’t really go find a place where they need help. Last year, the Archers were very active in free agency, bolstering their rope unit and adding Mac O’Keefe as a lefty shooter. The attack and rope unit will be intact for next year. Dobson is still on his rookie deal, as are the other recent draft picks obviously. Something to watch will be the health of Harris, who is already said to be done for the indoor season as well. NLL runs all the way into June should the Rock reach the finals, so to be ruled out means he has a long recovery ahead. If the Archers anticipate beginning next year with a Harris who is less than 100%, some SSDM depth and two way midfield help would be the place you point to as a need. Otherwise, it’ll come down to retirements (there aren’t too many that appear obvious for now) or players not returning to dictate what this team needs.
The list is short, and most are obvious options to return. Nick Washuta got some backup time this year and looked good in the Championship Series last February, plus he has a great relationship with the Archers coaching staff. He’ll likely return on another deal as backup to Dobson. Matt McMahon and Warren Jeffrey are cornerstone players. McMahon signed a one year deal back with this team a year ago, Jeffrey likely returns again this year to keep the close defense together. Kyle Pless was a late season add who never appeared on the 21 man roster, if they have to let someone go, he seems like a prime candidate, as does Reece Eddy who played very sparingly. One of them may get kept if the Archers anticipate another deep run for the Colorado Mammoth, which could have Jeffrey late returning to the team. If the Archers go looking for SSDM options in the event Harris isn’t ready next summer, Peter Dearth could be the first call. Recruited as an offensive midfielder to Syracuse, made it to the pros as an SSDM, and has fallen out of favor with the Atlas. New scenery and a scheme that plays to his strengths make the Archers a good fit.
Again, with basically no real holes, the Archers can strictly go best available throughout the draft, or start drafting young players where they are getting old. Here’s the thing, they aren’t getting. Latrell Harris is their OLDEST SSDM. The oldest player on the team is Schreiber, who clearly isn’t showing signs of slowing. Grant Ament, Ryan Aughavin, Piper Bond, Reid Bowering, Jared Conners, Connor DeSimone, Brett Dobson, Reece Eddy, Latrell Harris, Justin Inacio, Tre Leclaire, Connor Maher, Matt Moore, Mac O’Keefe, Jon Robbins, Mike Sisselberger, Nick Washuta, and Cam Wyers all finished college between 2020 and now. The team is built to last. Archers pick 8th in the first round, and go with any of the positions already discussed as possible depth spots. Guys like Beau Pederson or Jake Stevens could fit well.