11/25/11 10:00 AM
In our second edition of “Get to Know the Machine,” we sit down and talk to the MVP of the 2010 MLL Championship game, Kyle Hartzell. Ever since Kyle picked up a stick in high school he has been a fixture in the lacrosse community. After high school Kyle spent two years at CCBC-Essex, where he won the 2005 NJCAA championship.
After CCBC-Essex, Kyle enrolled at Division III Salisbury University in Maryland. At Salisbury, Kyle won two Division III national championships and was named Third Team All-American and First Team All-League.
After graduating college in 2008, Kyle started his Major League Lacrosse career with the San Francisco Dragons. After ending his rookie season third on the team with 31 groundballs, Hartzell joined the Bayhawks and continued his success.
In 2010 Hartzell decided to play indoor lacrosse, as well as outdoor, and joined the Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League. With Kyle on their squad, the Stealth won their first NLL championship by defeating the Toronto Rock 15-11. Kyle’s stellar play during his first two seasons with the team led to his selection to the 2011 US National Indoor Lacrosse Team, which won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in Prague.
Kyle isn’t known for his gaudy stats but for his shut-down defense that stops All-Star players in their tracks. During the 2010 MLL Championship Weekend, Kyle held season-leading scorers Paul Rabil of the Boston Cannons and Stephen Berger of the Long Island Lizards pointless during Championship Weekend. Kyle’s dominating defense led the Bayhawks to a title and earned him the 2010 Championship Weekend MVP. The 2010 title marked Kyle’s first MLL Championship and was his fifth championship overall. Kyle has won titles at every level he has played since high school.
Kyle is now entering his fifth season in the MLL and is hoping to continue his championship streak as part of the Ohio Machine’s inaugural squad.
1. What made you choose lacrosse over all the other sports out there?
I was a big time soccer player growing up. But in high school the lacrosse coach asked me to play, and as soon as I picked a stick up I was hooked!!
2. When you were little, did you expect to be one of the best players in the world?
If you told me when I was younger that I would be a professional lacrosse player I would have laughed. I am privileged to play with and against the best players in the world.
3. What is some advice you would give to those youth players hoping to make it to MLL status one day?
Work hard! Do something every day to get better. Anything is possible.
4. Why do you love lacrosse?
I love the tempo of the game. It’s fast paced and exciting to watch, there’s never a dull moment.
5. Who has been your favorite person to work with up to this point in your career? (College or Pro)
My favorite person to work with would have to be my trainer Jay Dyer. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without him. His training program puts me through challenges week in and week out to get better and to be the best.
6. Who is your lacrosse role model?
I would have to say the Gait Brothers. They are the ones who are known as the best to play the game.
7. What has been your favorite moment in your pro lacrosse career so far?
Definitely winning the 2010 MLL championship game with the Bayhawks and earning MVP honors.
8. What is one thing that you try to improve on with your playing style?
Causing chaos on the defensive end, not letting players get comfortable and my one-on-one defense.
9. What are your thoughts on being part of the Ohio Machine inaugural season?
I’m excited to be a part of a new franchise. Playing for Ohio is going to be exciting; I can’t wait to play in front of the fans in C town!
10. What are you looking forward to the most this upcoming season?
Getting to the playoffs, as a new team.
11. What is one thing you hope to get out of this upcoming season with the Machine?
Win a championship, period!
12. How do you spend your offseason?
I run a lacrosse company called Rogue Lacrosse. In my off time I put on clinics for kids and teach the game. I love giving back and spreading this game I have come to love.
13. Do you have any game day superstitions? If yes, what are they (if you care to share)?
Show up, blow up!
14. What is your typical pregame meal?
15. How do you prepare for an upcoming match?
Just focus on the task at hand and win!
16. How do you categorize a season as successful?
Winning a championship; nothing more, nothing less.
17. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Play every game like it’s your last.”- Coach Jim Berkman
18. What are three words that would describe who you are?
Energetic, fun, and competitor
Additional Random Facts:
Season ticket deposits are available now for only $20.12 with season ticket packages being announced at a later date. Most of the 2012 inaugural season tickets will be priced at just $100 for all seven home games. For Ohio Machine inaugural season tickets, contact the Machine front office at (614) 754-1973 or by visiting