Sports

Langley's Belton joins Rock

Langley Thunder
Langley Thunder's Kyle Belton (left) was drafted by the National Lacrosse League's Toronto Rock in the third round.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times file photo

While Kyle Belton looks for a day job, he is hoping to spend his nights with the Toronto Rock.

Belton, 25, is back in Langley after graduating from New York's Stony Brook University with a degree in business management. He also played on the Seawolves field lacrosse team, where he accumulated 59 goals and 73 points in 53 career games over his four years.

And on Monday (Oct. 1), Belton was selected in the third round (27th overall) of the National Lacrosse League draft by the Toronto Rock.

"I have been waiting for this day — the chance to play in the NLL — to come and I am excited to train these next few months and show them what I have got," he said.

Training camp is in December with the regular season beginning Jan. 12.

Belton said he had talked to a couple of different teams so he didn't know exactly who would pick him. He did figure he would go either in the second or the third round of the seven-round draft.

With only nine teams in the league, and Belton one of seven Rock draft picks, Belton knows he has his work cut out in his quest to land a roster spot.

"Just cracking the line-up is a challenge on its own, but I am excited for the battle."

"We feel he could be one of those guys who has potential to play in our league," said Rock general manager Terry Sanderson.

"We first scouted him three years ago and we have been tracking him ever since."

Sanderson said Belton could add depth to the Rock along the right-side, adding the goal scorer has a great shot and good footwork.

What should make things easier, Belton believes, is the fact the Toronto roster has some familiar faces in former teammates and foes he has played against in the senior A Western Lacrosse Association.

One of those is Rock star Garrett Billings, who like Belton is an alum of the Langley Minor Lacrosse Association. Both Billings and Belton also play their senior A lacrosse with the Western Lacrosse Association champion Langley Thunder.

Belton saw limited action in 2012 with the Thunder, playing in just six games and scoring four goals and four assists.

For his four-year career in Langley, Belton has 55 goals and 122 points in 52 games.

"It is definitely going to make it easier seeing faces you know," Belton said.

•••••

The Langley Thunder had two other players also selected at the draft.

Mark Matthews, who is Thunder property, went first overall to the Edmonton Rush, while Shayne Jackson was drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Swarm.

Jackson was fourth on the team with 18 goals and 38 points in 14 games in his rookie season for Langley.

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