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Bandits’ Brown Signs With Whipsnakes

Frank Brown, who signed a two-year extension with the Buffalo Bandits last winter, recently signed with the Whipsnakes of the Premier Lacrosse League. Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bandits

Silver Creek graduate Frank Brown’s already extensive professional lacrosse resume has continued to grow in recent weeks.

On April 4 the Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club announced via Twitter that they had signed Brown for the upcoming Premier Lacrosse League Season, which will kick off on June 4.

“I’m very excited,” Brown said of the signing. “I think it is an opportunity that I have worked for for a long time. Without getting too far ahead of myself, training camp starts May 28 so I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then. It was awesome but at the same time it is all the more reason to focus up, you know?”

Hailing from Red House, Brown had a standout collegiate tenure at Hobart, and has spent time in the National Lacrosse League with the Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, Philadelphia Wings and Georgia Storm.

The midfielder recently agreed to a two-year extension with the Bandits, and helped the Boston Cannons claim the 2020 Major League Lacrosse Championship.

Now Brown will have the opportunity to make his mark in a new type of league designed to help grow the sport across the country.

In 2020 the PLL and Major League Lacrosse merged under the banner of the former. The 2021 season will be played using a tour-based schedule for the eight-team league, in which games and practices are hosted at different hub cities throughout the year.

After training camp and the first week of play is held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the PLL will travel to Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University in Georgia for Week 2.

Also on the schedule are stops in Baltimore, Long Island, Minneapolis, Colorado Springs and Albany.

“When the PLL and the MLL merged they had an entry draft, three rounds and each team got a pick,” Brown said. “I was not taken in that but after that was a waiver-wire period with all of the players from MLL, some from NLL. Basically if you played professional lacrosse in recent years you went into this waiver-wire pool. That is when the Whipsnakes ended up picking me up.”

After the draft, some of Brown’s former teammates helped facilitate his signing.

“I have a few former teammates on the Whipsnakes,” Brown said. “They had reached out and said the head coach (Jim Stagnitta) had contacted them about me, and asked for my contact information. They just kind of gave me the heads up there. Then I ended up talking to coach maybe two or three days later. Our training camp will be May 28-June 3. First games start that same weekend at the same location where we are playing in Boston.”

Among those former teammates is Brown’s longtime friend and fellow Silver Creek graduate Zed Williams. At this point, the two former Black Knights stepping onto the turf together is nothing new.

“We played together at Silver Creek. We were drafted to the Georgia Swarm in 2017 together,” Brown said. “We were drafted to the Rattlers in 2017 for the MLL. Zeddie and I have been teammates since I was 12 or 13. I’m kind of numb to it now because this is what I have worked for basically my entire life. Zeddie, I don’t think I ever imagined Zeddie not playing at this level. The best part for me is just to be his teammate again. I’m really looking forward to that.”

Lacrosse has been a source of more than just personal achievement for Brown this year.

2020 marked the first-ever Cousin Brownie Holiday Give Back, a charity drive started by Brown to help Seneca families in the Allegany and Cattaraugus Territories through a partnership with Seneca Nation Child and Family Services.

“Everything went well,” Brown said of the campaign. “It generated more support than I really could have imagined. We ended up raising over $15,000 in cash and then I think like over $2,000 in purchases from our Amazon Prime list.”

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