By Sam Laskaris

The Brooklin Lacrosse Club added some homegrown talent to its organization prior to the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Entry Draft.  All squads in the six-team MSL were allowed to protect a maximum of four players with local connections prior to the draft, which was held Mar. 20 in Oakville.

Brooklin opted to protect four individuals. They were Dyson Williams, Brett Dobson, Graydon Hogg and Sean Westley.

“The graduating players we were able to protect from the draft is an excellent group,” said Brad MacArthur, who serves as the head coach and general manager of the Brooklin franchise. “All four players offer something a little different in their games.”

MacArthur is already well acquainted with all of the protected players.

“The fact they are all Durham Region kids and have tremendous ties to the local lacrosse community is a bonus,” he said. “We've been able to see these players grow and develop from minor all the way through.”

The Brooklin brass had been yearning for the day it could add Williams to its organization.

In fact, Williams has already played one game for the club. Flashback to 2017. As a 16-year-old Williams did play for the Brooklin club when his father Shawn, a legend in local lacrosse circles, came out of retirement to play a game with the squad.   The younger Williams ended up scoring five goals and also earning an assist in that one match.

Since then, he’s been displaying his offensive skills with the Whitby Warriors’ Junior A squad, coached by his father, as well as the Duke Blue Devils, the NCAA Division 1 field lacrosse club.

Williams is hoping to become a regular with the Brooklin club starting this year.

“Personally, I think I’m ready for the jump,” he said.

Williams is no stranger to Brooklin’s home rink as it is also the Warriors’ home facility.

“I’m just excited to get the chance to play (in the MSL) on the floor at Iroquois Park Arena,” he said.

As for Dobson, he’s a goaltender who also played his junior ball with the Warriors. He’s also currently a star netminder now with the New York-based St. Bonaventure Bonnies.

Dobson’s addition provides even deeper goaltending depth for the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, which also operates the Merchants Lacrosse Club, an Oshawa-based Senior B entry in the Ontario Series Lacrosse.

The Brooklin organization already has five netminders with National Lacrosse League (NLL) experience in its fold.

Dobson said he’s also aspiring to play at the pro level, ideally in both the NLL and the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), a field lacrosse circuit.

Ideally, Dobson is hoping to be drafted by a PLL franchise and play in that circuit this spring and summer. But if that doesn’t materialize he’d welcome the opportunity to join the Brooklin organization.

“The best way for me to get (to the pro ranks) is playing against the best competition,” he said. “I think I’m ready for it.”

As for Hogg, an Oshawa native, he also is a Warriors’ graduate, having been a regular with the squad since 2017.

He’s currently playing NCAA Division 1 field lacrosse at the University of Albany in New York.

Hogg was thrilled Brooklin protected him prior to the MSL draft.

“I think it’s pretty cool having grown up watching the Brooklin team,” he said. “And I think it’s a dream come true playing in your backyard.”

Meanwhile, Westley is a Whitby native but he spent his first two seasons of Junior A lacrosse with the Peterborough Lakers.

His rights were traded to Whitby, however, last year and he participated with the Warriors in their abbreviated season in 2021.

Westley is also currently Dobson’s teammate with the Bonnies. And he said he’s keen to return home soon and challenge for a roster spot with the Brooklin organization.

“I’m just excited to get to training camp and compete there,” he said.

Westley realizes he’s joining an organization that has plenty of young talent mixed in with some veteran leadership.

“They’re incredibly talented all over the floor,” he said.