WATERFORD, Mich. – This time last year, Cam Bazin had to make a decision – lacrosse or hockey?
The Troy native had one more year of junior hockey eligibility after two seasons with the Waterford-based Metro Jets of the North American 3 Hockey League, but in the end, chose lacrosse and wound up being recruited to play at Olivet College.
One year later and Bazin’s freshman season at Olivet saw him lead all of Division III lacrosse in scoring with 69 goals and 30 assists for 99 points as the Comets finished 10-7. Even so, Bazin was only named Second Team All-Conference in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
“On a personal level, this past season was more than I could dream of,” said Bazin. “I really wasn't expecting to do as well as I did because I took a couple years off from lacrosse for junior hockey. I came into the season in great shape and knew that as long as I went all out every day that I could accomplish any goal that I wanted. My goal was to just always give 110 percent every day and let the success come with it. I had a great set of teammates and wouldn't have earned any of the success I did without them.
“As a first-year program, we didn't have any respect coming into the season and after finishing 10-7, I feel like we gained a lot of respect from other teams. We really came together as a team this season and I can't wait to keep competing with these guys for the next couple years.”
Stats-wise, even Bazin was in awe with his stellar numbers.
“I didn't expect to put up the numbers I did at all,” Bazin said. “After graduating high school, I played two years for the Jets, so I figured lacrosse was just a hobby from the past, but the opportunity I received to play at Olivet was too good to pass up, so I hung up the skates and brought back the cleats and just pushed myself every day so that I could be at the top of my game. I really didn't know how well I could actually perform until this season. My teammates pushed me every day at practice and I just went out and played the games with heart and passion and the points just came along.”
Coming in as a 20-year-old freshman, Bazin said he had a lot of high expectations.
“Although I'm only listed as a freshman, I was one of the oldest guys on the team, so I knew that I needed to step up and be a leader and show some of the younger guys the level we needed to compete at,” explained Bazin. “I wanted to push myself, as well as everyone else on the team, to new levels so that we could all realize our true potential. I really didn't let the label as a freshman affect anything at all because I knew the potential of our team and I didn't want to accept anything less than our best every day.”
Still, picking lacrosse over hockey was a decision Bazin admitted he struggled with a year ago.
”The decision to choose lacrosse over hockey was one of the hardest decisions I have ever been dealt with,” said Bazin, who is looking to major in journalism or sports management at Olivet. “Hockey was always my first love and I was around it and played it my whole life, whereas I picked up lacrosse my sophomore year of high school. I didn't know what to expect from myself by playing college lacrosse, but I always knew the level I could compete at with hockey. The opportunity I received for lacrosse at Olivet was just too good to pass up and I had to make a very tough decision and hang up the skates. I still miss hockey like crazy, but the success I had this year with lacrosse was amazing and I am very eager to continue playing these next three years. Plus, summer hockey leagues will always be there for me in the summer.”
Bazin admitted that he felt snubbed by only being named to the conference second team, but if nothing else, it’s the perfect scenario for the 2013-14 season.
”I don't know if me only being a freshman affected the difference between first and second team, but I won't complain too much about that,” Bazin said. “In the end, it just gives me extra motivation to go out there next year and prove everyone wrong. I always play with a little chip on my shoulder and this may have made that chip a little bigger, but it will definitely give me a lot more motivation to compete at an even higher level for next season.”
Down the road, what does the future hold for Bazin in terms of lacrosse? Maybe a shot at the professional National Lacrosse League or Major League Lacrosse?
”As for long-term lax goals, I haven't really fully thought about them to be honest,” said Bazin. “Right now, I'm looking forward to my next three years at Olivet academically and athletically and just competing with the best every year and working on winning a couple conference championships and competing in the NCAA tournament. I mean, I would love to continue playing after college, but as for playing in the NLL or MLL, I guess we'll have to wait and see.”
This summer, Bazin will be returning home and coaching the Troy Terps middle school teams for his third season in a row. He said he may also run a lacrosse camp or two with some old coaches, but above all else, he just wants to stay in shape and develop his personal lacrosse skills even more to get ready for next season.